Quiet Thriving: When Quiet Quitting Just Isn’t For You

Is there a better approach for those unhappy in work?

via RF Studio

Quiet quitting might have been the trend of 2022 but this year we’re looking for a more optimistic approach when it comes to our careers and instead, turning to a term known as “quiet thriving.”

For those who may be unfamiliar with quiet quitting, the phrase basically means doing the bare minimum in jobs that we don’t believe are serving us in the way we feel they should or let alone deserve.

But what about those of us who actually enjoy our jobs and want to do well? If you fall into the latter then you’re going to want to get aboard the quiet thriving train.

What is quiet thriving?

To put it simply, quiet thriving involves taking specific actions and making mental shifts that help you to feel more engaged on the job. Whilst quiet quitting may work for some, it’s important to note that it’s not the only choice for those who feel unappreciated in their jobs. In fact, sometimes doing the bare minimum in our role can actually leave us feeling even more devalued.

Career coach and wellbeing consultant Pauline Harley explains that it’s normal for us to want to play a part while delicately navigating and not falling apart in our careers. “We are built to thrive in curiosity and creativity, accelerating us to take action. But then some can take their foot off the pedal and settle into the complacency of quiet quitting or what I define as career coasting,” she shares.

Inevitably this can erode career confidence along with putting strengths and skill sets to waste. In order to avoid this, we need to look at how one can ignite their work spark without comprising their well-being. As Pauline suggests, “beginning from a strengths-based focus is always a good start in building inner strength and character” in our career.

We as human beings want to succeed, so when you think about it, doing the bare minimum at work isn’t really in our nature.

How to incorporate quiet thriving into our jobs

Firstly, it’s all to do with mindset. Try to make a conscious effort to reframe any negative thoughts you may have and replace them with positives.

Also, ask yourself: how can I make my workday more enjoyable for me? Focus on the aspects of your job that you do like (trust me they’re there somewhere!) – whether it’s something as simple as catching up with colleagues in meetings or even pushing yourself that little bit to be more creative. Slowly but surely, your work will hopefully start to feel more meaningful.

Focus on your strengths. “Identifying strengths and positive impacts can provide valuable information about oneself,” adds Pauline. After recognising the above, ask yourself if it is possible to shape your work around your interests and play to your strengths.

Have a chat with your employer, as not only can this make your work more fulfilling but you’ll likely feel more valued by doing tasks that you excel at.

Establish boundaries. “This will prevent burnout,” explains Pauline. Remember your worth, your job probably needs you more than you need them.

So, take back control and help one another out by setting a clear start and finish time. Also, be strict within those hours. That means no bringing your work home or skipping breaks. This will allow you to spend more time doing what you enjoy outside of your working hours.

Set yourself achievable objectives. Sometimes when we simply cruise by in our job, it can feel meaningless so why not set yourself little objectives to reach each day?

It could be something as simple as chatting to a new coworker, sending an email you’ve been putting off or maybe even pushing yourself that bit further to learn a new skill in order to excel in your career. Write them down at the beginning of the day and tick them off as you go. Don’t forget to treat yourself when you’ve accomplished your objective!

Keep track of your accomplishments. Not only will it boost your confidence and help you feel better about yourself but it also serves as great material to put on future resumés and job applications.

Remember these can look different for everyone, so track everything you’re proud of. That way, if you start to doubt yourself in your role, you have a list of proven tasks that show you are more capable than you may think.

Ask the expert. If you’re still feeling stuck in a rut after trying all the above, Pauline suggests to “seek guidance and advice from mentors or professionals when needed.”

This can be from a trusted mentor and career consultant to an employee coach or therapist who specialises in professional challenges. They will help you devise a job-improvement strategy to help you get the best out of your role.

Dream job or no dream job?

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that jobs come and go and your mental wellbeing should take priority over anything else. But if you plan on staying in the role you’re in, and aren’t totally satisfied, this approach could make all the difference.

Don’t let colleagues get you down. Just because they don’t enjoy their job, doesn’t mean that you can’t. Also, don’t stress out about not having a specific dream job right now. In fact, many of us go through life without ever having a dream job and that’s okay as Pauline reminds us.

“Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life is a career fairy tale. It’s a social media-driven illusion that causes confusion and conflict in a state of happiness and satisfaction comparisons,” she explains. “But having the ability to look at your work in a different creative and conscious light, of course, and you may learn to value and love other aspects of it that can help you move onto bigger and better things on your terms in time when you are ready.”

So let go of those negative thoughts and start backing yourself that little bit more. Be the change you want to see and embrace the mindset of quiet thriving.


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