I'd Quiet Quit If I Knew What It Was

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2023


In a March of 2022 Business Insider article, Ito Aki described employees who were working in the wake of the Great Resignation and were quietly dialing back their efforts. On July 25, 2022, the term quiet quitting appeared in a 17-second Tik Tok post in which a young worker, Zaid Kahn, reflected on how a person’s worth should be defined by more than their labor (Khan, 2022). The clip went viral, a media blitz ensued, and quiet quitting became a national conversation topic. At this time of submission, “quiet quitting” produced 4,220,000 hits on Google.

For our purposes, quiet quitting refers to employees choosing not to engage in discretionary work above and beyond assigned job duties and doing so without communication to supervisors or coworkers. It is noteworthy that the term quiet quitting is a bit misleading because employees are not exactly quitting. They are doing their jobs, but as Selyukh (2022) describes it, employees are refusing to go the extra mile. In other words, workers are silently making the decision to step back, which leads to frustration of coworkers at having to pick up the slack (Telford, 2022).



Publication Title

The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist