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You may have heard—from the same media outcry machine that accused millenials of destroying everything from mass-produced beer to napkins to marriage and divorce—that there’s a new threat to civilization as we know it: quiet quitting. And it seems that millennials’ reign of terror has ended at last because this existential crisis is being blamed on Gen Z and their trusty sidekick TikTok.

According to the viral TikToks being credited with driving the trend, “quiet quitting” means doing the job you were hired to do and that’s it: You don’t complete any unpaid tasks and draw strict boundaries between your work and personal time. Gallup defines quiet quitters as employees who are not engaged with their jobs—or workers who are doing their work, but not putting in energy or passion.

Quiet quitting isn’t limited to Gen Z. A Gallup poll found that about half of the entire workforce is quiet quitting. The loss in engagement had been especially large among workers under 35, but workers 18-35 are only 33% of the U.S. workforce and Gen Z is only part of that demographic. 

Many employees, career coaches, and others who talk about jobs online have embraced the quiet quitting trend and steered the conversation toward the hustle culture and dehumanizing work environments that put the onus on employees to draw boundaries, protect their well-being, and avoid burnout. But critics have deemed quiet quitting passive aggressive and even called those who engage in it “lazy AF.”

Even people who support the idea of quiet quitting have argued that the term is misleading—“quiet quitters” aren’t actually quitting their jobs and to suggest that doing only what you’re paid for is somehow wrong is pretty disingenuous on the part of employers. Some have argued that the phrase “act your wage” is more apt, while others think the pre-existing term “work-to-rule” didn’t need a flashy new name.

So what’s really the deal with quiet quitting? We went right to the source to find 18 TikToks that’ll give you a decent rundown on quiet quitting (starting with the video that popularized the term).

1.

@zaidleppelin On quiet quitting #workreform ♬ original sound - ruby

2.

@johnsfinancetips Quiet quitting, the most recent employment trends. People are just doing their jobs, nothing more! #quietquitting #quitmyjob #newjob #quietquittingmyjob #fintok #moneytok #johnsfinancetips ♬ original sound - John Liang

3.

@selenarezvani What do you think about quiet quitting? Let me know in the comments!👇 #quietquitting#quittingyourjob#corporateculture#corporatelife#careertok#careertips#careeradvice#corporatetiktok#leadershiptips#leadershipadvice#corporateamerica#careeradvocacy#selfadvocacy ♬ Hip Hop with impressive piano sound(793766) - Dusty Sky

4.

@managermethod #quietquitting #worktok #hrtiktok #pov #worklife #workstress #corporate #hrtok #whattosay ♬ original sound - Manager Method

5.

@hrmanifesto ✨New Trend Alert✨Loud Failing #insanity #quietquitting #loudfailing #employee #engagement #nightmare #corporate #victimblaming #hr #hrmanifesto #greenscreen @wsj @zaidleppelin ♬ original sound - HRManifesto

6.

@theseamlesscoach My take on #quietquitting ♬ original sound - Kelsea Warren

7.

@_thehrqueen Can quietly quitting destroy your career? ✨ #hrqueen #quietquitting #iquit #corporateamerica #mentorforu #youngprofessionals #hrlife #hrtok #careertips #careeradvice #careeradvicedaily #leadershipdevelopment #ReTokforNature ♬ Level Up - Kwe the Artist

8.

@theclwill Quiet quitting is neither quiet nor quitting, it's exhaustion. #leadership #leadertok #quietquitting ♬ original sound - Chris Williams

9.

@moneywiselawyer

Quiet quitting is an all-or-nothing strategy

♬ original sound - Jay | Student Loan & Debt Law

10.

@sidneymorss #quietquitting #quietquit #corporate #workplace #satire ♬ original sound - Sidney Morss

11.

@jobdoctortessa #stitch with @Sarai Marie The 2 Parts to Quiet Quitting. #quietquitting #corporatetiktok #thejobdoctor #corporateamericaburnout #businesstiktok #workhard #burnout ♬ original sound - Job Doctor Tessa

12.

@cnbcmakeit You shouldn’t try quiet quitting — at least according to Kevin O’Leary. Do you agree? #quietquitting #quietquittingmyjob #kevinoleary #jobadvice ♬ original sound - CNBC Make It

13.

@quinnlbishop #stitch with @Mr. Wonderful do less! Make your life better #quietquitting #quityourjob #workingclass #leftist ♬ original sound - Quinn L Bishop (she/her)

14.

@saraisthreads #greenscreen Poor Debrah. #fyp #work #working #corporate #corporatelife #corporatetiktok #corporateamerica #corporatehumor #office #officelife #manager #managersbelike #career ♬ original sound - Sarai Marie

15.

@j.t.odonnell Replying to @messympath I would NEVER quiet quit, here's why... #nono #quietquitting #quietquittingmyjob #learnontiktok #careeradvice #jobtok #careertiktok #careermode ♬ original sound - J.T. O'Donnell

16.

@imdrebrown Quiet Firing= Company not giving you a raise or promotion although you meet all the demands of your job description! [NOT ELITE] #youngprofessionals #genz #corporate #quietfiring ♬ original sound - DeAndre Brown

17.

@lauryngreggco Quiet quitting is a scam. Here’s why. #executivedevelopment #lifecoach #businessthoughts #capitalism #quietquitting #healthyboundaries #quietquittingyourjob #settingboundaries #boundariestiktok ♬ original sound - Parenting with Peace | Coach

18.

@courageousleadership Quiet quitting is the natural evolution of extreme hustle culture #quietquitting #leadership #hr #toxicworkplace #toxicworkenvironment #burnout #boss ♬ original sound - Robyn

Updated 9/9/2022