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How “Quiet Thriving” Could Boost Your Job Satisfaction

If you are having doubts about whether your job is right for you, it might be time to make the mental shift from “quiet quitting” to “quiet thriving”.  

It is not uncommon for employees who are feeling unappreciated or unfulfilled at work to turn away from their employers and start upon what may become the road to the end of their employment.  Whilst employers should, of course, do what they can to ensure that staff feel appreciated and fulfilled at work, the trend of “quiet thriving” sees employees stepping into the driver’s seat and taking control of their careers.

“Quiet thriving” is the opposite of “quiet quitting” and can produce totally different emotions in response to the same situation.  “Quiet quitting” is often a passive, negative reaction to events, through which employees retire into themselves without the same level of emotional or professional engagement with their role.  In contrast, “quiet thriving” involves employees taking positive actions and making mental shifts to help them feel more engaged at work.  An employee cannot control every action that happens to them at work; however they can decide to take positive actions in response.  In turn, this can encourage colleagues to respond in a positive way.  If it works, this virtuous circle can lead an employee to fall back in love with their role, rather than winding away their time in a bitter and unfulfilled state of mind until they eventually walk away (or, worse, are dismissed). 

If you are on the verge of quietly quitting, you might want to try out the following “quiet thriving” actions instead:

  1. Find something about your role that you love. Even if you do not enjoy every aspect of your role, try to identify one area that you particularly enjoy and would like to develop going forward.  Write down things about that aspect of your role that you enjoy and put them in places that you can see them to remind you why you do what you do.  Ask your manager if you can discuss your role with them with a view to using your skills in that area more to optimise both what you can offer the organisation and your enjoyment in the performance of your role.  A good manager should be delighted that you have taken the initiative and that you have the drive to move things forward and should fully support you with your strategy if it is viable.
  1. Stand up for something you believe in. If you think that changes could be made in your organisation to improve it for customers, colleagues or for you individually, do not be afraid to address these with your manager.  For example, if you believe that the diversity and equality agenda could be better advanced at your organisation, make your voice known and suggest ways to improve it.  This will feel empowering and help you to feel more engaged, whilst also attracting the respect of your managers who will appreciate such initiatives within their business.
  1. Set your boundaries. This may feel difficult to achieve but often people respect you more, and understand where they stand, if you put boundaries in place and communicate them clearly.  For example, if there is a culture of repeated overtime working that seriously undermines your work/life balance, mentally commit to stopping work at a reasonable time each day.  You should also have a conversation with your manager about your workload and about staffing issues if it is impossible for you to perform your work during your normal working hours.  This will help to keep you motivated at work whilst also improving your productivity and the chances of the organisation retaining your long-term loyalty, and with it all the knowledge and experience you have gained during your employment.  A win-win for you and them.
  1. Develop friendships at work. This will make you feel more committed to your role and enjoy the time that you spend with your colleagues.  Indeed, recent research conducted by Microsoft into remote working found that 74% of hybrid workers would want to attend the office more if their “work friends” were there.  Given that we spend so much time with our colleagues, it is a good idea to take time to get to know them and what is going on in their lives.  Have a conversation in the kitchen over a coffee or go out every now and then for lunch together.  Try your best to attend any team events that your organisation puts on such as team drinks, sports events, or away days, or even put yourself forward to organise these types of events and become the glue that holds everybody together.
  1. Give yourself achievable goals. It is important that you can track your progress and setting yourself achievable goals that keep you motivated is a good way to do this.  Write the goals down so that you can refer back to them.  This will keep you going in the right direction whilst also serving as a memory prompt for how much you have learnt and the new skills you have developed – this will come in handy at annual appraisal or pay review time.  Whether it is a small or large goal, seeing it ticked off the list is a good way to acknowledge your personal development and keep your confidence and self-esteem high at work.

Before withdrawing into yourself in response to something at work that has taken the wind out of your sails, consider the steps above which may help you “thrive” rather than “quit”.  These actions will likely be met with positivity, gratitude and respect from your managers, who will see that you are a loyal and dedicated employee that it is worth their time and effort investing in.  And, if not, then it probably means that the time has come to look for pastures new.

BDBF is a leading law firm based at Bank in the City of London specialising in employment law. If you would like to discuss any issues relating to the content of this article, please contact James Hockley (JamesHockley@bdbf.co.uk) or your usual BDBF contact.

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