Quiet Quitting: 4 Better Career Options for 2023

Businesswoman and businessman working late creative office.
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One of the most popular phrases throughout 2022 was the term “quiet quitting.” Whether you agreed or disagreed with the concept — doing just what is required in the workplace and no more — you could not deny its ubiquitous presence.

Beyond the lexicon, quiet quitting was real. Nearly 6% of 1,028 Americans surveyed by GOBankingRates said they quiet quit in 2022 as they sought work-life balance. 

It doesn’t take an expert to say quiet quitting isn’t a long-term solution for what ails anyone in the workplace. Instead of using next year to coast on a quiet quitting spree, consider looking into these better for you career options.

Figure Out What You Want

Before making any sudden decisions, like continuing to quiet quit in your current role, interviewing for new jobs or quitting without a backup plan, you can’t know what a “better” career looks like until you figure out what you want. 

How are you supposed to know what you want in your next role? Ask yourself some of these prompts to determine what matters most to you:

  • What do you want to do? What are you passionate about? Where are your skill sets? Is there an industry you’re already in that you want to stay in or do you want to join a new industry altogether? If you decide to leap into a new line of work with no experience, you may need to be prepared to go back to school for a degree and certification or start in an entry-level position and work your way up.
  • How do you want to work? Do you want to be in an office, work in a hybrid setting or be fully remote?
  • What does a dream job look like to you? Be thoughtful when answering this question. For some, a dream job is working for a specific corporation. Others may value a smaller startup where they have room to grow and expand a business from the ground up. And still others may wish to pursue becoming a small business owner and being their own boss. (Nearly 8% of respondents polled by GOBankingRates did exactly that in 2022.)
  • What is your North Star? Essentially, what are your core values? Write down everything you value in a career. This can include flexibility, a proper work-life balance, purpose in the work you do, an optimistic company culture and an exceptional commitment to DEI. As you begin a job search, look for open positions at companies where you find these values put into practice.
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Get a Side Gig

Gig workers, according to Inc. Magazine, will make up more than half of the United States workforce by 2027. 

Working a side job in an industry you are passionate about does more than provide you with compensation. This is an opportunity for you to make a leap into doing more of what you love, to gain experience for your portfolio and to essentially A/B test whether this gig is worth turning into your career. 

Love doing it and making money with this role? Amazing. You might be able to turn it into a full-time line of work or let it work as an additional revenue stream of semi-passive income. Don’t love your side gig? You can stop working it, find a new hustle to explore and don’t have to worry about losing your full-time line of work because it wasn’t on the line.

Make a Lateral Move

The remedy for being in a job where you’re quiet quitting the role or don’t like what you do is generally to quit. What is less recommended, however, is the lateral move approach.

Let’s say you like the company you work for. You believe in its mission and your peers are great. But you have been quiet quitting in the position for a while. Instead of putting in your two weeks’ notice, you might want to explore a lateral move in your department. 

This is just moving sideways rather than experiencing a promotion. You might see a job opening with a different title and slightly less pay and apply for it. True, it’s not the same title you have right now or the same pay or even the same workload. But making a lateral move can be strategic in the workplace. You’ll still learn new things and gain experience without worrying you may continue to quiet quit or grapple with potential burnout.

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Speak to a Mentor or Career Professional

Unlike being in high school or college, there aren’t many opportunities afforded to adults to visit guidance counselors for career consultations. The assumption is you graduate, go to work and stay in this line of work without ever wanting more or desiring change. 

But this is not true. According to Indeed, professionals between the ages of 18 and 24 will change jobs an average of 5.7 times. If you are between the ages of 25 and 34 years old, you’ll change jobs an average of 2.4 times. Those between ages 35 and 44 will change jobs 2.9 times. 

By the time you’re age 45, you’re likely to have at least seven job changes — in your line of work or out of it. You may be making yet another change and could really use the guidance of a pro right about now.

Reach out to a trusted mentor or a career professional. Tell the person about your situation, especially if you’re quiet quitting, and some of the ideas you have for finding a better career. An excellent mentor or professional will be able to help guide you.

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