Episode 142: “Quiet Quitting” in Academia

Ep: 142

During this month, we are going to reflect on some of the trends in 2022, and how they apply to us in academia. Today’s topic is “quiet quitting”. 

MORE DETAILS

Enrollment for Navigate runs from November 25th-29th 2022, but you can get in early with a special bonus if you are on our waitlist.

We will open the doors for our waitlist folks on November 22nd. The first 15 people who enroll in Navigate get to come to our 3-day New Years’ Writing Retreat in January! This is an incredible 3-day virtual event normally only for our Amplify and Elevate participants, but the first 15 people to enroll in Navigate will be specially invited to attend this year’s retreat for free!

So, don’t wait to enroll and go ahead and get on the waitlist for Navigate! Can’t wait to see you all there!\

What is Quiet Quitting

The origin came up through the social media platform Tik Tok. Quiet quitting is about stopping doing work that people think is beyond what they were hired to do and not getting compensated for. This is really interesting, and it is a logical response to overwork and the glorification of being busy. This applies to academia; the idea that you show your dedication to your scholarly work through overwork. 

 

More Options with How We Work

The pandemic has made us revisit what is important to us and the ways we can structure and do our work. An example: 

  • I was on unpaid leave when the pandemic hit, and it had been an uphill battle to get approval to teach hybrid and online classes
    • One upside for students: they could connect from wherever they were, which was important for the population of students I was teaching
    • There came to be an expectation among students
    • From a professor’s perspective, we figured out that the majority of scholarly activities can be done from home

Think about ways that your expectations around work have changed, and your students expectations around academia, and what your university is demanding of you.

  • When I first graduated I had no idea what I could do to get paid. I considered graduate school but was unsure. So I got a job as a technical writer for a startup. I was writing the manuals and doing some marketing. It was definitely cubicle life, and the way you showed your dedication to the company was by getting there early and staying late. I absolutely hated it, and part of what I didn’t like was that I had to be there for 8 hours a day. 
    • Find your soaring state: find the time of day where you could get so much done.
    • I figured out my soaring state while working this cubicle job. I had to stay there until 5:00 no matter how much I had gotten done in my productive hours
    • My boss pulled me into his office to tell me how I could get promoted, which was to come in early and stay late; that was my deciding factor in going to grad school

A few conclusions that can be drawn from these experiences:

  • Our work culture equates more time of our day to more dedication and more production
  • For most people, you want to avoid your “slogging state” in which you aren’t productive
  • Today’s students are seeing the value in creating jobs for themselves that are on their terms

 

Quiet Quitting Translates to Academia

More hours do not equal more productivity, and people’s productive working hours might vary. Additionally, having a job that spills over so it can’t be contained in the work day is an untenable situation. 

You can design your career so that you are doing the most impactful activities. But to do this you have to :

  • create boundaries 
  • have an understanding of what your mission is
  • have some productivity and time management tools and know how to use them
  • balance activity out with rest

In academia we need to be able to contain work to what it is supposed to be and not let it flow over. We need to learn this skill! How can we work to create a job for ourselves that is sustainable, and enjoyable? How can we get to know ourselves and our working rhythms so that we use them to our best advantage?

 

The Negatives of Quiet Quitting

If you are starting to put boundaries in place and transitioning to quiet quitting you may be worried that you will not be seen as a team player. However, when you say yes to everyone, it is not the best way to be productive over the long term.

Boundaries

There are ways to create systems and processes that will hold your boundaries and make sure your time is flowing towards the work of your academic mission.

You don’t want to be the person in your department who never does service work, or who pushes work around to others in your department. So instead you want to have your service more aligned with your academic mission. When you start thinking this way it is much easier to have criteria on which to base your decisions. 

 

Next Steps

Have a good think about what you don’t want to do any more: think “I am no longer available for” as a framework and make a list. It is a starting place for putting those boundaries up.

As you are thinking about making cuts, think about how you are going to make that decision and what tools are you going to use to make decisions that will center you, your writing, and your publishing?

Need help with this process? Join us for Navigate: Your Writing Road Map

Enrollment for Navigate runs from November 25th-29th 2022, but you can get in early with a special bonus if you are on our waitlist.

We will open the doors for our waitlist folks on November 22nd. The first 15 people who enroll in Navigate get to come to our 3-day New Years’ Writing Retreat in January! This is an incredible 3-day virtual event normally only for our Amplify and Elevate participants, but the first 15 people to enroll in Navigate will be specially invited to attend this year’s retreat for free!

So, don’t wait to enroll and go ahead and get on the waitlist for Navigate! Can’t wait to see you all there!

 

Key Quotes

“The expectations around what it means to have working hours have shifted, even in academia.”

“Young people coming up and trying to envision their working life are going to be  resistant to what used to be the way you showed loyalty and dedication and passion.” 

“There is a big difference between going above and beyond in your drive/passion/ambition, and going above and beyond because we glorify busy.” 

“If we take the agency around quiet quitting and play with how it might look in our careers… I think that is worth doing.”

“Boundaries are a kindness… having structures and systems and ways that people can access your time are kindnesses because they make it so that you don’t feel frustrated.” 

“When your teaching supports your academic mission… you start to channel all your energy instead of feeling like you are pulled in a thousand directions.”

 

Connect with me:

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