Is Your Boss Treating You Horribly? You Might Be Facing ‘Quiet Firing’

Dharshaini Grace

Dharshaini Grace

Last updated 23 September, 2022

If you’re in the work scene, you’d know there’s a new work term called, ‘Quiet Quitting’ - it doesn’t have anything to do with quitting! Adopted mostly by Millennials and Gen Zs, quiet quitting is when you’re only doing the bare minimum of your job and not going above and beyond your stated responsibilities. No working overtime, extra duties, or taking on more without additional compensation!

Quiet quitting became popular because of concerns related to work-life balance, hustle culture mentality, and lack of potential career opportunities.

BUT THERE’S A NEW TREND, QUIET FIRING! 

While quiet quitting is trending among employees, quiet firing is happening among employers. Quiet Firing is apparently NOT a new term, instead, it's been happening for a really long time. 

WHAT IS QUIET FIRING? 

Quiet firing happens when employers intentionally treat employees so badly, through passive-aggressive tactics that the employee is “forced” to leave themselves. Other than making it hard for employees to do their job, employers would also not provide them with extra compensation, resources, or assistance.

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It’s all about making employees feel uncomfortable and undesirable to stay in the company, that they would want to leave. 

The term was first highlighted by Seattle-based recruiter Bonnie Dilber who works for automation firm Zapier. 

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In her post, Dilber highlights the signs of quiet firing that include: 

  • You don’t receive feedback or praise. 
  • You get raises of 3% or less while others are getting much more. 
  • Your 1:1s are frequently cancelled or shuffled around. 
  • You don’t get invited to work on cool projects or stretch opportunities. 
  • You’re not kept up to date on information that is relevant or critical to your work. 
  • Your manager never talks to you about your career trajectory. 

She also adds, “Eventually you’ll either feel so incompetent, isolated, and unappreciated that you’ll go find a new job, and they never have to deal with a development plan or offer severance. Or your performance will slip enough due to the lack of support that they’ll be able to let you go”. 

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While a recent poll conducted by LinkedIn News found that nearly half of the 20,123 respondents surveyed acknowledged the reality of quiet quitting and experienced while 35 percent saw it happening to someone else at work. 

Quiet firing 2WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT? 

“I’m going to RESIGN first!” 

If you’re facing any of the signs mentioned above, don’t go writing your resignation letter just yet! Here are a few things you can and/or should do: 

  • Talk to your manager. But don’t go full-on defensive mode, ask open-ended questions and raise your concerns. 
  • If you’re uncomfortable with having the talk alone with your boss, perhaps you can speak to your Human Resources (HR) manager about setting up a session together. 
  • If you have any documented receipts such as email, your evaluation report, or texts, be sure to keep those too. It might come in handy for you to build your case! 

But if nothing has changed or improved after voicing your concerns, it’s time to leave and seek new opportunities where you may be valued more. You don’t need to be in a toxic environment!