Quiet Quitting: 6 Items to Keep in Mind to Thrive
Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian: (singing) Hello, this is Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian, host of the Badass Women's Council podcast, and I am super glad that you're here. Today, we are going to talk about quiet quitting, because who isn't talking about quiet quitting? If you haven't heard the term yet, just type in QU into your search engine and see the plethora of articles that you can find about it. I did a little digging to see if I could find the origin of it, and it looks like it goes back to 2021, may have even started in China. Let me read you a definition that I found on Instagram, where everybody goes for their biggest news, because I think this describes it fairly well. I just had it up and now I'm scrolling, trying to find it. Here it is. Okay, it says, "Quiet quitting; a rebellion against toxic work culture that encourages employees to set boundaries at work, to prioritize your mental health and protect your wellbeing. Deliberately choosing not to go above and beyond your job requirements if the compensation doesn't match your efforts." I found this from an Instagram account called The Every Girl. I don't have a specific person to attribute it to, but that gives you the gist of what quiet quitting is. It's everywhere, it's TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, CNBC, Fox News, Fortune Magazine. I've yet to find a major magazine, news source that hasn't done a little ditty on it. Imagine this, I have strong opinions. I know that's shocking to most of us, that I would have strong opinions. But let's go back and do a little history on how we got here because I think anytime we can glance back for a minute and look at how we got to a certain situation, place, feeling, it helps us do a little diagnosis to inform us of how we want to move forward. Back when the World Health Organization put burnout as an occupational phenomenon, what was it, 2018? 2018 or 2019, should have looked up that little date. That was the precipice, I'm not even going to try, can't get the word to work. That was a catalyst, there we go, for a lot of my work with Wethrive. live. The tagline of my company is to ban burnout, build community and boost business. I saw and heard burnout described in many of my clients, in the people that I was interacting with. I was like," Okay, I can help with this." Burnout was already a thing years ago. Then just as we were understanding burnout, giving it a name, and organizations were starting to put councils together to address it, it was a thing, just as that was just starting to get some traction, boom! COVID, chaos, gasoline on the fire of burnout, dumpster fire. And we all globally as humans on this planet, went into survival mode because we were unsafe. Context: every day when you wake up, your brain has one job. It needs to make sure you survive and thrive. Well, thriving wasn't even in our possibilities. We were no longer talking about burnout, we were talking about survival. So we hunkered down in survival mode and here we are two years later at different stages, depending on who you are, coming out of this survival mode, in this slow blink of what the actual hell just happened? As our lives are starting to take on a normalcy, there is no normal, you know what I'm saying, we've had an experience where our humanity and our human needs were just thrust into this importance level that we'd never experienced before. We went from burnout to dumpster fire, to no. I'm no longer willing to sacrifice my life, my health, my family, my own humanity in the name of work, because now I understand how precious my life and my relationships and my humanity really is. In my book, Write Your Own Story, I had started writing about the age of humanity, is what I call it, before COVID even happened. It was already this shift that was coming out of this burnout diagnosis where people were like," No, I want my life back," and we were slowly dancing around it. Then COVID we're like," No, I'm taking my life back," which P. S. I'm a fan of taking your life back. I think that's what should be happening. But quiet quitting and the way it's being described, I have a cautionary tale that quitting isn't going to give you the sense of thriving satisfaction that you think it will. Quiet quitting doesn't actually mean putting in your notice. It means just going in and doing the minimum requirement and checking out. Just the title of it is not going to resonate with our brains as thriving. The title is articulating that we were sold a lie about the hustle and grind culture, that if we worked harder, improved ourselves, we would be rewarded. We now know that's bullshit. So quiet quitting is taking a stand, taking our power back. I'm a huge fan of that. But let's break it down into what the company is responsible for and what we are responsible for. I call it our company story and our personal story. When our personal story lines up with the company story, boom! That's good stuff. Let's go to company story first. When I call it story, I do call it story because I'm talking about the human to human aspect of our work, because humans process everything around us as a story. Let's just look at the company story, the human to human culture, the way that you interact as a part of your business, your company story. All right, if your company, your boss, the humans in your organization are oblivious to human needs, they're mean, they're hostile, they have no regard for the human aspect of life and work, you should actually quit. Not quietly, put in your notice, bye. I mean, I'm talking extreme, these people are mean and awful. Because it's not worth that, your job is not worth that. What that means is, you've voiced concerns. You've said," Hey, here are the challenges. Here's how it's negatively impacting me and others," and you've had a conversation and you're just being met with, don't care, whatever. That's an extreme situation. But because of what your brain needs to feel satisfied with your work, it actually doesn't have as much to do with the number of hours you spend on the job as we think it does. I believe wholeheartedly, and if you've listened to this podcast at all, you know that I am a huge champion for daily stillness, rest, rejuvenation, self- care. I am a poster child for that. I'm saying you should absolutely take care of yourself. What your brain is saying," Hey, is this a good place for me to work?" Our brain wants to know, am I safe here? Am I safe with my emotions? Am I safe to make mistakes? Can I bring ideas? Can I ask questions and ask for clarity and ask for context about some of the work and feel like it's a safe place for me to do that? That's the first responsibility for company story, is this a safe place for me to be a human? But then what our brain is looking for to tell us if we're thriving, is am I valuable, relevant, and making an impact to other humans in my work? Whether that's the humans that work inside your company that you serve internally, or the customers and the clients that you serve externally. But our brain is saying," Hey, are we serving and making a difference to other humans?" Just quitting and checking out isn't going to tick that box. If you've followed me and heard me speak at any time or here on the podcast, I say often, we are not a machine here to produce. We are a beautiful human here to add value, be relevant, and make an impact. So quitting and checking out won't check that box. Here are some things that are our responsibility, our personal story, what we need to thrive. Are you ready? Grab a pen and paper if you'd like. Well, not if you're driving or on a treadmill, that'd be bad. All right, here we go. Number one: Know yourself, know your gifts, your talents. Be intensely self- aware because we are not waiting for permission or for someone to come and knock on the door and say, "Today's the day we're going to develop you. It's time for your routine maintenance." We're not looking for external validation. You have an inner thrive guide, you have an intuitive nature. Your responsibility is to use it, trust it, to know yourself so intensely that you can break the mold of external validation and proving ourselves, which we're going to go into that in much more depth. That's number one. Number two, all of these are related, I just number stuff because it makes it easier in my head and hopefully in yours. But they're all interdependent, all related. Number two: break the factory mindset of work harder and working more is worth more. That's that overtime mindset that doesn't apply to most of our work, got to break that. I have a story about that, it's related to proving yourself. I have this client, she's vice president, she's on the executive team, she's wildly talented and like me, and many of the people that I work with, she came from small town, blue collar upbringing. Literally most of my family either worked in a factory or on a farm. So working more, and the overtime being more valuable, runs deep in our DNA, runs deep in our mindset. What she had done, and I've done this before too, many of my clients have, I'm sure you have too, she had over committed unintentionally to prove herself. If I work harder than everyone else, they'll know that I'm valuable and relevant. Well, in some ways yeah, that's true. But they'll also grow to expect that's your value and relevance, is your willingness and desire, your personal brand, your personal story becomes about I'm willing to work more hours and take on more than anybody else. In this case, she had actually taken on a second job, volunteered for a second job. Wasn't being paid for it because it was something that she cared about, it was important and she wanted to show how committed she was to the organization. Well, she also then later received a diagnosis that said from her doctor, from a stress perspective, if she didn't make some changes, she was going to have some real problems. Now this is what happens, we don't have the capacity to just do this indefinitely. When she came to me and asked me to be her coach, she said," I need help with this," and when we looked at her workload and I said," Okay, you volunteered for this because you felt like you could make a difference and all that. Is it really serving the organization in the way that you thought it would? Or is your stress and your exhaustion causing you not to bring your best self to the original job you were hired for?" She said," Yeah." That's the law of diminishing returns. We can only do so much with excellence. So we worked out this plan for her to go and recommend how this other job that she had been volunteering for was going to be handled. She didn't go into it saying," I'm too tired. I don't want to do this job anymore." She wasn't a whiny baby about it. She went in with a business case that said," Here's who I recommend for this role. Here's why it makes sense to the business and to the bottom line." Made a recommendation and now she's really using her gifts and talents and her energy towards the original job that she was hired for in much bigger, bolder, more beautiful ways. That's what happens when we know ourselves and we apply ourselves in a really intentional way. All right, number three, I think we're on. Four, I don't know, is know how your gifts and talents are serving and supporting other humans. Each day as you are checking out for the day, ask yourself," How did I serve others today?" And that may not be anything that shows up on your goal list, but it's something that's going to show up in your brain. It may be something as simple as," Hey, when the new guy came in today, I actually stopped and I sat down with him and I eyeball to eyeball, welcomed him and I asked him if he had any questions and I made some recommendations on things that helped me when I was new. Even though he doesn't report to me, even though I didn't need to or have to or it doesn't say anywhere on my goal is that I should, I did it because I'm a great human that wants to help others in this organization." It could be that you met your goal. Maybe you met your sales goal on that day, you went over the 100%. Celebrate, whoo! But then you also said to yourself that within that 100% of goal, you pictured the clients that you served with your products or your services, and you pictured who they were as humans and how your product or service is making their lives better. You intentionally thought about the human connection of your work. Okay, number four. Again, all these are interrelated. Stop over committing to prove yourself. Just stop doing it because nobody's going to say," Oh, Sally, I think you're already doing so much work here, we're not going to allow you to do more." People aren't going to do that. They're going to take whatever you give, so stop over committing, thinking that's your value and relevance. I know the truth hurts sometimes, but here I am holding up the mirror to help you see you. Okay, number five: know how your role serves the money making model of the organization. How you impact either top line revenue, expense control, bottom line profitability. Do some analysis on your own of how are you serving the money making model of the business. If you need clarity and context, ask your boss, ask somebody that you trust in the organization. But knowing this will help you be discerning on what you can actually not invest too much energy and effort into or stop doing completely, because it doesn't really make that much difference to either the humans or the bottom line. Number six: each week look at your task list and ask yourself how those tasks or those meetings or those projects are impacting both humans, company story, human to human, and the money making model. You can even draw a little four box model and put story at the bottom from left to right and money on the vertical from bottom to top and do a little how is this impacting the story of the humans, and plot that in the four box. How is it impacting the bottom line, plot that. Then do the highest leverage tasks that are in that top right hand box and everything else, if you get time or just stop doing it. But you decide what are the highest leverage tasks and then go home and rest. That way you know you're doing the highest impact stuff, because I'm going to reiterate it again. Number seven: Quitting won't feel as rewarding as you think it will, but resting and then going back the next day to do the highest leveraged tasks and activities and intentionally thinking about how you are making a difference to the company and to the company's story of humans and the bottom line, that's where the good stuff is. Now I'm going to tell you, I did this in my career and I caught some crap over the years for not participating in things that I couldn't see the value. I couldn't see how it was helping my peers or my clients or the bottom line. It took a lot of strength not to do it. It's how peer pressure moves from high school to business. You get asked to be on these things that you think you're contributing and you're looking at it and you're like," This does nothing, it's not valuable, it's busy work, it's no." But you can only do that if you are wholeheartedly committed to getting results for your clients, your customers, and the bottom line. Because when I would say no and people would give me crap about it, then they would look at my results and they would go," Oh, but she's actually a pretty good human and she's getting results. Maybe we should leave her alone." Was it hard sometimes? Did I get my feelings hurt? Yeah, because people didn't say nice things about me sometimes because I was unwilling to participate in things that they thought I should. But I just kept focused on the things that matter to me, which was me, my wellbeing, my family and I wanted to come in and do a good job every day. I wanted to serve my clients, I wanted to know them and make sure that I was making their lives better with my products and services and I concentrated intently on that. When I concentrated intently on that and understood the money making model of the business, I can make really leveraged intentional decisions that helped the organization make more money. Because making more money allows us to serve more clients and to have the programs that are valuable and relevant. It's a good thing. Made me feel good and proud and valuable and relevant and impactful. You all, that's what your brain wants when you lay your head down at the end of the day after doing great work. There's a difference between knowing the value and relevance that you've provided and just knowing that you went in and worked the hours and you're exhausted. I'm not saying work's going to be a piece of cake all the time, but when you know that you're making a difference, you're willing to put in a little extra sometimes because you know how and why it matters. That's my little take on quiet quitting. I think you should rest, I think you should find where you're most valuable, but quitting isn't going to give you what you really want to do. All right, that's all for today. I hope you're well. I would love for you to message me and say either how this helped you or what you want to hear more of, because when I sit and do these shows, I do them for you and I want them to be valuable, relevant, and make an impact. Love you, mean it. Make it a great day.( singing)
This week on The Badass Women's Council, Rebecca talks about quiet quitting. This phrase is blowing up across social media platforms, and many people are experiencing this in their workplace. Today, Rebecca shares where this phrase comes from and what you can keep in mind to help yourself thrive when navigating a quiet quitting scenario. Listen now!