Before we start, let’s be clear, this isn’t because I expect people to do more hours or sacrifice their work/life balance. I’ve always been a big advocate of keeping a healthy perspective on work and home life. In fact, my agency runs a very comprehensive health and wellbeing programme to help staff achieve this.
But, and this is a big but, I actively disagree with this strange, new trend.
Doing just what is asked of you – nothing more, nothing less, which is the definition of quiet quitting, is never going to bode well for either employee or employer.
My mantra for living a happy, fulfilled life is pretty simple. What you put in is what you get out. And that extends to everything – kids, work, sports, friends, family and so on.
If you put in the bare minimum, you’ll get the same level of joy back. So how does a quiet quitting mindset help with a positive mental state? It won’t.
I believe the human spirit needs to achieve, accomplish and triumph to experience happiness at work. This doesn’t come from box-ticking or easy and unchallenging tasks. It comes from personal growth – however big or small. And it’s hard to grow if you confine your thinking to ‘just what a job requires’.
PR isn’t transactional. You don’t go into it for the favourable nine-to-five working hours. You’re dealing with current affairs, media, digital, brands, crisis, issues… but, most importantly, people – all day, every day. None of which align well with the ‘work-to-rule’ Wikipedia definition of quiet quitting.
PR is a craft that needs to be honed over time and for a ‘quiet quitter’ this will be a very, very long process. Colleagues with a more engaged and can-do mindset will speed pass them on the career ladder. Employees that do a job really well will always reap rewards – both financially and beyond. They’ll usually progress faster, be first in line for pay rises and be given more exciting work, but, most importantly, they’ll grow in self-confidence and self-esteem.
I’m a passionate person; if I care about something, I’m all in – my career, my kids, my friends (I wish the gym came in here, but it doesn’t) – and I love my life because of that. But I understand that not everyone is the same. However, attitude is everything. Skills can be taught and learnt, but an inquisitive, growth mindset is worth its weight in gold. Engaged individuals become great employees, colleagues and friends, and if they can retain balance and perspective in their work/home lives, they’ll end up happier and more fulfilled than a quiet quitter.
So, as an employer of nearly 50 people, I can safely say I won’t be hiring any quiet quitters anytime soon; and as a mother of two young women, I will actively discourage them from this bizarre trend, which, in my opinion, is just a recipe for misery and unfulfillment.
Mandy Sharp is founder and chief executive of Tin Man Communications.