I learned a new term this week: Quiet Quitting.
Inspiration for my weekly blog often comes to me from a surprise source. This week, my bonus daughter, Katie, texted me a link to an article from The Wall Street Journal about “Quiet Quitting.” As I read it, I felt so ahead of my time. I “Quiet Quitted” a long time ago.
From my understanding, Quiet Quitting means not taking your job too seriously, having a healthy work-life balance, and setting boundaries with your employer. Refusing to take on the energy of a high-stress workplace, answering emails while on vacation, or otherwise extending outside agreed-upon expectations. Prioritizing self-care, human connection, and joy.
If talk of not giving your very heart, soul, and physical well-being to your career immediately makes you think of laziness, you’re probably not going to agree with me here. And that’s okay.
While I loved being a teacher and had no choice but to occasionally grade papers outside of my contract hours, I never volunteered for extra committee assignments and skipped every meeting and training session I could get by with. I hounded my principals to let me work part-time. I took an extra week off when my Spring Break did not coincide with my kids’ break.
A co-teacher and I made up a long-standing Thelma and Louise scenario where we would hop into my red convertible and drive off into the wind, skipping a teacher work day. When I taught on a team, I almost always sidetracked our team meetings with chit chat or going to get coffee.
Teacher of The Year
Consequently, I was never publicly doted on by the administration, and I was never in danger of being nominated for Teacher of the Year. Let’s just say, I have not been accused of gleaning my self-worth from my career. And that’s okay.
Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard at making my classroom welcoming and preparing creative lessons jazzed with what I thought was fun. I connected with my students and enjoyed my teacher friends; however, I was never the person who was still in the building at 5:00. Or 4:00. Or 3:01. The absolute best were the semesters when I had last period prep and I could sneak out early.
Self-Comparison Rears Its Ugly Head
Sure, there were times when I struggled with feeling less serious, less important, or just plain, less-than because I wasn’t naturally prone to overwork. I wondered at times if I might just be a ne’er do well because I lacked the drive to be a leader in my profession. At times, I was ashamed. Eventually, I always returned to my default setting, which was to focus upon what was right by my students and myself, while reserving enough freedom to have fun whenever possible.
And now, I know I was just ahead of my time. I was Quiet Quitting.
And that’s okay.
Wow!! That’s me to a T!! Good read.
Thanks, Ann! Like minds . . .
You were ahead of your time! Brava! (Brava is for gals Bravo is for boys and orchestra concerts taught me that)! 👏🏻
Thank you, Joni! And I didn’t know the brava/bravo distinction.
Hey, Chickie! I was reading the Center Grove Alumni email and there was someone looking for Jessica Dixon. Would that be your daughter?
You should have just put my picture with your article! I would be the poster child for people who are always working! I’m trying!
Hi Brenda! Trying absolutely counts!
And yes, Jessica is my daughter.
Kudos to you Debi for saying what many of us feel. I have always tried to do a good job while at work, no matter what role I filled. But faced criticism, especially from leadership, when deciding to change roles when my work-life balance got lopsided. I set my priorities early on and work was never at the top of the list. I’ve said for a long time that leaders who answered emails late at night or took calls while on vacation set an example that said to subordinates “this is the expectations” that certainly reflected the idea that work should come first. Regardless of their talk of work-life balance and self-care. What we do matters!
Yes, Rhea, leaders do set an example by their actions more than their words. Perhaps our kids’ generation will change expectations.
I decided early on in my career that it wouldn’t define me. I set boundaries which were often joked about by my coworkers but always felt that my family, friends and me time were as important as a career.
Yes, Fran, I do so agree!