Quietly Quitting? I have the perfect career for you…
Quiet quitting. Are you in the process of this? Have you heard this expression? It’s been flooding headlines recently and like most things that flood headlines, we are also flooded with opinions about it.
The term has been defined and redefined. For some, it means mentally checking out from their work, and for others, it has become about not doing “additional” work without additional pay. Think of the basis for the rejection as work that is either beyond 40 hrs in the week, or duties that aren’t part of their job description.
In short, here’s some of the background on what’s being discussed.
A lot of the negative opinions about QQ revolve around the idea that you are only hurting yourself – as in, individuals who favor the quiet quitting approach towards their job won’t get ahead, won’t achieve financial freedom, and will be left unfulfilled in their career endeavors, etc. Meanwhile, on the flipside, the focus is on excelling in their personal life, favoring achievements here over those in the professional setting. And you know what (collectively now, “what?”), personal achievements can often help propel a career faster than professional achievements. There’s more time for networking, volunteering, learning, family, friends, and ultimately more hits of the good stuff… Serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins!!
I’d say this group of critics (mostly Boomers and many GenX) have lived their life in pursuit of material objects and titles. It’s not wrong, it’s just different. Full disclosure, I’m GenX and I struggle with the notion of quiet quitting. It’s not how I was raised nor was it one of the models for success I subscribed to early on in my career. However, the younger generations have a reputation for focusing more on quality of life. It’s not all about acquiring “stuff” and a huge paycheck (though who wouldn’t want both : ) ). Keeping up with the Joneses is not as much a mantra with our younger generations. It’s not wrong, it’s just different. So, don’t try to change that. Consider adjusting!
I say this, if putting in 50+ hours a week consistently is fulfilling and supports your life’s design and purpose, go for it! But don’t expect people who are happy with their modest home and enough free time to pursue multiple personal passions in life to work at your level of output. Many corporate leaders expect their staff to operate at the same level of output, and it’s not only an unfair expectation but also leads to greater challenges and burnout down the road, as we are seeing employees starting to reject that notion and quietly quitting.
Is There a Perfect Career for the Quietly Quitting?
Enter GovCon… aka government contracting. I have written a bit more about what government contracting is, as well as tips for working within the industry here. What’s important for you to know about the industry is that there is as much variety in the type of work government contractors offer as there is in the private sector, and contracting doesn’t have to mean that you are only as stable as the current contract you are working on. Government Contractors work tirelessly to add more contracts in order to maintain revenue streams and their employees!
What is it about government contracting that makes it ideal for individuals wanting to tip the work/life balance scale in favor of life a bit more? Most everyone working for a government contractor is considered a billable employee. Billable, meaning their employers collect a pre-set hourly rate off of their employees as their primary (often sole) revenue stream. The overwhelming majority of government contracts awarded restrict overtime. So guess what that means for you? A 40-hour work week! Work stays in the office. You shut down for the day, and those remaining hours are yours to use however you want, because your hours were already served that day. The reality of a call from your boss to get a last-minute deliverable to them is rare. Exceptions exist to every rule, though the reality is that your time is almost always your time, and your salary is tied as an almost direct correlation to a 40hr work week. (Click here for more insight into exempt vs. non-exempt employees)
It’s no secret that I show a great deal of affection towards government contracting. However, for you, consider that with your hours restricted to 40 per week, going above and beyond becomes your choice! If you are engaged with your job and employer, you’ll likely not just do the bare minimum. The real power in this is that it is your choice, and not the expectation of your employer or the end customer. And from experience, I can share that the government contractors I know will reward you for going above and beyond in a number of different ways to show they appreciate you.
So, Quiet Quitters, we’re over here, and we’d love to talk with you!