Mom Writes First

47: How to Find Purpose in Your Job Despite the Rise of Quiet Quitting

August 18, 2022 Jen Larimore
Mom Writes First
47: How to Find Purpose in Your Job Despite the Rise of Quiet Quitting
Show Notes Transcript

How to Find Purpose in Your Job Despite the Rise of Quiet Quitting. Are you quiet quitting? Do you know someone who is? Have you heard of Quiet Quitting, where an employee gives up hustle culture and shows up, simply gets the work done, and goes home and lives their life?

My POV-- Quiet quitting is NOT the problem. But what you do need is a purpose, even amidst the rise in quiet quitting!

If you find yourself considering quiet quitting, this episode is here to help you understand what quiet quitting is, what it is not, and the circumstances giving rise to it.  More importantly, learn how to overcome the shame and defensiveness around quiet quitting, the angst it usually brings up, and find your purpose again. I'll share a simple but powerful exercise to help you find your purpose again, whether you are phoning it in, hustling your way to the top, or quitting quietly.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • The phenomenon of quiet quitting
  • The difference between quiet quitting, low engagement, and poor performance
  • Reasons for quiet quitting, including burnout and survival mode
  • Who is to blame for quiet quitting--the employer or the employee
  • Impact of quiet quitting
  • Shame and defensiveness around quiet quitting
  • The importance of finding purpose in every day, even amidst the rise of quiet quitting
  • How to take back power and control and find your purpose every day--regardless of the job!

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Have you ever felt like you don't have much purpose at work? Have you been disconnected from your job? Do you show up each day and do the bare minimum? Did you know that this is sometimes called quiet, quitting? Now in today's episode, I'll walk you through the idea of quiet, quitting and explain what I think it.

And what I think it isn't, I don't think that workers are to blame for quiet, quitting, and I don't even necessarily think it's a problem. But what I do want for you is that you spend the precious time you have on this planet with purpose, with deliberateness, with intention. So if you are looking to find purpose in your job, even as a quiet quit, Then this episode is for  📍 you.

 Hello? My friends today, we're talking work a lot of times on this podcast, we focus more exclusively on the motherhood aspects of working mom life or on ways in which you can purposefully fill your day with joy. And today this episode is meant to dive into a workplace phenomenon. That's been getting a lot of attention lately.

It's called quiet, quitting. Have you heard of it?  quiet. Quitting has been described as the idea that you continue to go to your job day in and day out. You show up, you do the work, but you stop going above and beyond. As conversation with this idea has continued. It is also at times, been lumped in with low engagement.

Or those individuals at work who are truly phoning it in at work and don't even do the work that they're meant to be doing there. That to me is something different than quiet. Quitting. If you have low engagement, you have a bigger problem than someone who is still showing up and getting their work done.

And if you have employees who aren't doing their work at all, then you have a management problem.  since the discussion around quiet quitting first began some have lamented the idea altogether saying that it's just another example of how younger workers aren't contributing as expected or how entitled they are or about them.

Just simply not being willing to show up with any passion or loyalty at work. But let's take a step back here and think about this for a minute and maybe get a little bit more honest, who is. In this picture that really doesn't care here. If an employee engages in so-called quiet, quitting, as defined as showing up to do their work every day and doing what's required of them, but just not going above.

And does that mean that the employee doesn't care? Not to me, to me, it sounds like the employee is doing what they were hired to. They're maintaining their end of the bargain. The question we should be asking is why is the employee only doing the job that they're hired for and nothing more? Is it because for this employee, this particular job is really, and truly just a job.

It's a paycheck. They are doing the work. They trade their time for money and that's.  if that is the case, why is that a problem? That's what they're paid for. When you go to the grocery store, you don't expect two dozen eggs for the price of one. When you hire an independent contractor to do five hours worth of work for you, you don't get seven hours back.

When you get a cavity filled at the dentist, do they throw a second one in for.  why is the baseline expectation that employees will do more work than they are being paid to do? Or maybe the employee has stopped going above and beyond because they are tired. They are exhausted. Maybe they are burned out.

Maybe they are doing the best that they can. And right now doing the minimum. Required is the best that they can do. Can we all just give each other a little bit of grace here? It has been a wild couple of years, and if this is happening in droves at your workplace, then maybe you have a workplace culture problem, and you need to take better care of your people.

Or maybe the employee has stopped going above and. Because they've realized that their employer is not going to go above and beyond for them. Maybe they have a difficult micromanaging manager, maybe their ideas are squashed. Maybe they aren't empowered to do their work beyond the bare minimum. Maybe every time they ask questions or try to get guidance, they're accused of not being a team player or being insubordinate.

Maybe they've gone above and beyond for so many years only to be turned down over and over and over again for raises, pushed aside for promotions and denied the resources and tools that they need to do their job effectively. Maybe they don't see a path forward with your organization or your workplace.

And if that's the case, then the employee is not the problem. If you have an employee who you would've characterized as a rockstar before, and they are now checked out or simply doing the bare minimum and are so-called quiet, quitting, then chances are that that person has not had a major personality shift and that there is something more happen.

it's good for all of us to look in the mirror and take responsibility for the situation that we find ourselves in. But that's not just the employee's job. Sometimes the workplace needs to do that too. Ultimately, the question that we should ask is why is it even a problem? If employees are showing up to work and doing their job, even if it's just what's expected of them and not.

Is it because the workplace has collectively exploited its workers for so long that it's become reliant on that is the organization expecting six figure commitment despite paying mid fives? Is it possible that the circumstances of the last several years have left workers so incredibly drained that doing their best right now means that they can at this.

Just do what is required again, if that's the case, then it's not the worker or the employee that needs to change here. My friends I'm offering these thoughts to you because those who I have talked to about quiet, quitting, have a ton of shame around it. Shame that they should be doing more. Shame that something must be wrong with them, shame that they should want to do more, that they should have the energy to do more, that they should have purpose and connection and be driven and compelled to do more.

And even those that don't admit to shame, bring up a ton of defensiveness when trying to justify their choice about how they're showing up at. When they're doing the minimum of what is expected and when defensiveness shows up, shame is riding shotgun. The defensiveness is a symptom of the unaddressed shame.

Why does defensiveness and shame come up in discussions around quiet, quitting? Why do people feel defensive about doing a job that they're hired to. And nothing more. Why is that a problem? Why do we feel that deciding to no longer respond to non-emergency emails outside of normal business hours is a problem or means that someone's phoning it in?

When did it become a measure of our self worth as to how long are hours are? How many emails we return at night? How many projects above and beyond our normal work expectation we take.  why do we feel the need at the end of the day, to defend the decisions about what we do on our days or time off, and even during our non-work hours, it isn't surprising that shame and defensiveness abound, whenever someone tries to take a step back from their.

Even while still doing their work because so much in our culture is so heavily tied to productivity. What I want you to know from this podcast is that if you aren't feeling at your most productive, if you are wondering if maybe you should Institute some healthier boundaries, if maybe you should look into this whole idea of quiet quitting, then I want you to know that there isn't anything here to be ashamed.

you are worthy as you are, and your worth is not dependent about how much you get done on one particular day. You aren't dishonest and you aren't lazy. If you show up to work and do your job and then go home at the end of the day, without taking on more work, that doesn't make you dishonest. You're doing what you were paid to do, and it doesn't make you lazy either.

There is nothing wrong. With having healthy life boundaries and having a life hobbies, family that you see friends that you hang out with outside of work. And if you are trying now to dial back on the work you took on over the last couple of years, perhaps by necessity to help your workplace through a global pandemic or a variety of turnover or resign.

Or you're trying for the first time to create healthy boundaries for you around work. And I wanna tell you this, do it for the love of God. Do it have your own back on this? It is worth it. You are more than just a cog in a machine. You are more than the gadgets you create. You are more than the hours on your time.

all of that said, no matter where you fall on the spectrum of engagement at work, whether you're phoning it in or doing the so-called quiet, quitting, where you show up and do the expectations of your job only, or whether you're someone who is going above and beyond on the daily, on every single task.

What I want you to do know is that wherever you are on that spectrum, you can find. Purpose in the work that you do each day. And here's why that's important. If you are a working mom, there are a lot of places that you could be every day. Besides at that J O B that you have right now, you could be home with your baby or your babies.

Number one, you could be pursuing your dreams and passions. The things that you really do have a lot of purpose and light around.  you could be at a different job. Here's the deal with quiet, quitting, don't lose sight of the fact that you have a job and it is your choice to be there every day. You are choosing to come to work and exchange your time for money in that way.

Even if you don't really feel like it's really a choice because you need the income or the benefits or whatnot, it is still a. People quit their jobs every day. You could do that too. So stand in that, stand in your power around that you have chosen to be in this job. Now think about who you want to. In this job, my friends, here's what I think.

I think that there are absolutely completely and totally some jobs and some instances where showing up and leaving at the end of the day and not thinking further about the work, not taking on any extra duties, not checking emails and whatnot is totally and completely appropriate. There are circumstances where that is correct.

And the right thing to do for. . And so I offer that because I want you to know that whatever my words today are bringing up for you, whatever this podcast episode is bringing up for you, there is truly, and honestly no judgment coming at you from me. And so if you are feeling any defensiveness or shame or judgment, that's coming up, look into that.

I promise you it is not coming from me around that.  And I also offer that to you because I think a lot of working moms are high achieving. And I think that we place this idea upon ourselves that if we aren't always striving, if we aren't always pushing ourselves that there must be something wrong. And I just wanna offer to you that there are instances where it is completely and totally appropriate to not strive.

In every aspect of your life, there are also jobs where you didn't get into it to just show up. The role is not for a quiet quitter. And there are people who will not thrive in an environment where they do. They do not feel that they are showing up. Each day with purpose in that way, if you are in a place right now where you are finding it hard to love your job, for whatever reason, then I wanna offer to you an exercise that can help you uncover your purpose in the job that you have right now.

Okay. So that means you don't have to change jobs. You can find the purpose in this job right now. So here's how we do this exercise. We start at the beginning, which is where we have already talked about today, which is that when it comes to the job you're in, you have two choices. Do you remember them?

Two choices you get to keep. Or you get to drop it. You have the option. As I noted above to quit the job that you are in there may be barriers to doing that from a financial perspective. I am not downplaying those. I have experienced those as well. There may be consequences for quitting your job. They may be professional.

They may be financial. They may be personal, but it is possible.  for you to walk in the door tomorrow morning and deliver your resignation. That is an option that is completely available to you. It is really important to acknowledge this because when we don't acknowledge it, we shift out of power and we are not able to access our creativity and our wisdom.

So you have the choice to leave the job you are in, or here's your second option. Stay in the job. And find renewed purpose in that job, you can make this decision one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, whatever works for you, but own that these are the two choices that you have every day.

That means that if you are not ready to leave today, then the only other option that you can give yourself right now is that you stay and you find your renewed purpose. The easiest way that I have found to do that is with the exercise that I am about to share with you. So here's how this goes. As always, you need to center yourself and ground yourself in your body.

I like to do some breathing exercises to get me back into that mode. Once you're in that head space, it's time to call upon yourself to. Of this issue, this question you have about your job and how to find more purpose in it from the perspective of your wiser and older self. So take a deep breath and imagine yourself at or near the end of your life.

You've lived a long, incredible fulfilled, happy life. You are joyful. You are healthy. You are driven with purpose, your mind and your body, despite your age are strong and sound. What do you look like? Is your hair gray and wispy, or maybe just completely gone. What about your smile? What does that look like?

And your face? What are you wearing? Where are you? What does your surroundings look like? What are you doing? Are you sitting, are you standing and now look at your hands. What do your fingers look like? What about your nails? Are they long short? Manicur. What about the hands themselves? Can you see the veins?

Are your hands dotted with each. Do you wear any jewelry on your hands? Like a ring, maybe a bracelet on your wrist. Now picture again, that face of your older, wiser self. Look at those beautiful kind and gentle eyes. There's a lot of wisdom in there for you, as you imagine yourself at this time, 40, 50, 60 years down the.

Consider your problem. Now, this job that you're in the lack of joy and purpose that you feel around it, ask your wiser older self. How do you wish I would've shown up during this present time in our life? How do you wish I would show up at this job

 and then pause, wait for the.

you may have to do this over the course of a few days. It may take more than one time. You just have to allow it and be open to the creative aspects of what it could be. I have used this exercise personally, and I've done it with others and with clients too. So what will your answer be? Guess what sometimes the answer that you get back is going to be, I wish I would've taken my work less seriously.

I wish I wouldn't have checked emails on night long or on the weekends. I wish I would've taken a vacation. I wish I would've left at five each day. I wish I would've had said no to some projects at work. I wish I would've done. So I could have time and energy for family, friends, hobbies, and rest. If healthy boundaries is the answer that you get from your older, wiser self, if time to pursue your hobbies and passions and time with family and friends is the answer that you get then honor that sometimes the answer.

Is going to be an acknowledgement that now is the time to just do the best that you can with what you have and to take care of yourself first. And if that looks like quiet, quitting, then know that you have the blessing of your inner, wiser self on this journey. The answer could also be, showing up and getting the work done.

Being a reliable performer is.  maybe we're at a time and space in our life where we don't need to compete with everyone else right now at work. But guess what? Sometimes the answer is going to be, I wish I would've taken that opportunity so I could grow. I wish I would've taken on that role at work or that added responsibility.

There are times and seasons in life when it is appropriate to dive head first into. I know what it is like to love your job and be on fire and passionate about the work that you're doing. And that is an incredible example to set for everyone around you, including your kids. I believe that the world means more people who are in love.

With their jobs in love with the way that they are spending their time in love with what they are doing on this planet. And that is why I'm doing this whole podcast and coaching thing altogether. Anyway, I believe that in my bones. I think we are here for a reason, we're meant to do certain things and I want people to be empowered to go out and do them.

And so if this is the answer you get right now, that is okay too. Sometimes we need a season where we don't have that though, to get there. Maybe that's the purpose of the season that you're in to help you realize that you wanna be somewhere else. Sometimes the answer is going to. From our wiser older self that I wish I would've left that job sooner.

I wish I would've had my own back. I wish I wouldn't have stayed so long in a job that wasn't serving me. I wish I would've believed in my myself and made the. Wherever you land recognize within that wisdom can lie your purpose in this job that you have right now, even if the job itself doesn't seem to be fulfilling you, the purpose comes from within always purpose for your job.

When it's driven by this exercise from your inner wiser self looks different for each of us. For example, if healthy boundaries or quiet, quitting so-called is the route for you right now. Why is that is the purpose of this job right now to teach you how to do that? The universe is always going to give you what you need.

Are you learning how to take care of yourself from this job? Is this job helping you to realize how to create the life that you want? All of that. Thanks to this job that you're in right now. Maybe your purpose right now is to recognize that you are more than your job. You're not your job at all. You are much more than that.

And maybe this time and this job that doesn't really on its own light you up is perfect right now because it's helping you to light that fire from within, without the aid of any external source, like a.  if the answer is I should have left sooner, then the purpose of this job is to help you build the courage and skill set so that you can leave.

If the answer is to dive in and go above and beyond, then your work is bringing you purpose by whatever it's bringing to you. Whether it's the promise of making a difference in someone else's life, the promise of a huge financial payout or whatever. All of these are valid purposes. Every single one, even if your job's purpose right now is just to give you some place to trade your time from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day for a paycheck, then guess what?

That is okay, too. Give yourself some freedom and leeway here, free yourself from the burden of the hustle culture that says that you are only worthy. If you are productive, free yourself up to consider other consider that perhaps the purpose of this job is to push you towards something better to push you toward making a.

To push you toward learning and growing and developing healthy boundaries around work so that you can be an example to others of what is truly possible. If you can identify your purpose, then you're going to be happier and more content at work. Even if you're a quiet quitter, allow yourself to be curious here and to explore trust that there is an answer within you, and that is available to you.

I promise. It is. And I promise you that you are worthy and deserving of all good things, regardless of how much you produce at your job. Okay. Moms, this is tough work. It's not easy trying to find purpose, especially if you've lost it in a job, but as always, no one is going to do this work for you. You have to go first. 📍