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How ‘quiet thriving’ could prevent burnout

‘Quiet quitting’ was the viral workplace trend gaining momentum last year, which described individuals who wanted to stay within their place of work, but do the bare minimum. Now in 2023, there is a new trend on the horizon, called ‘quiet thriving’.

“Quiet quitting has become a big buzzword over the last year, with the hashtag amassing 444.7 million views on the video-streaming platform, TikTok, and named one of Collins Dictionary’s words of the year. The trend has been popularised since the pandemic, as it characterises a range of different behaviours that associate with workplace disengagement.

“The trend refers to when someone stays in their role, but does the bare minimum and puts no more time or effort in than necessary, so in other words, they don’t go above and beyond. These individuals are still fulfilling their tasks, but they are not bowing to ‘toxic’ work culture, like working overtime and bringing their job home with them.

“Quiet quitting is often a sign that an individual is not happy within their place of work, or they are experiencing burnout. They use this method to set boundaries and alleviate stress.

“Quiet thriving is the latest workplace trend to emerge. The term was coined by psychotherapist Lesley Alderman and it’s all about finding new ways to engage with your work and increase your passion and productivity.

“Often, when an individual feels burnout or unenthusiastic about work, they make no effort to change this and often end up ‘quiet quitting’ without realising it. Thriving is the reverse of this and is all about challenging this mindset and finding new ways to reconnect and engage.

“This can involve a number of things, from finding new interests at work, setting your self career goals, taking a break, celebrating your achievements, building relationships within the workplace and having open and honest conversations about your job.

“You may find yourself becoming more distanced from work because you are not happy, whereas quiet thriving is about finding a way to make your job feel more rewarding and taking a proactive approach to becoming re-engaged with the role.”

When you are feeling disconnected from your role, it can be challenging to take positive action. That’s why Dr Catherine Carney has shared ways you can embrace quiet thriving and make you feel passionate about your job again:

Set new career goals and challenges
Whatever stage you are at in your career, setting goals is important to give you direction. Setting achievable goals, like working towards a promotion or improving at a specific task, can help motivate you and give you job satisfaction.

When you’re feeling low and deflated at work, reconsidering your role and thinking about where you want to be in the future is important. While finding a new job isn’t a suitable option for everyone, if you feel unmotivated, then discovering something that interests you could help you shape your current or future role into something that inspires you.

Make new friendships at work
Building relationships within the workplace is important. You spend a lot of time working, so forming a friendship can make your job more enjoyable and will even mean you’ll look forward to coming to work. While they can provide you with a social outlet and a sense of belonging, having a friend at work can help you feel more motivated and supported.

It’s difficult sometimes to not take the stressors of work home with you, but having someone to go to for advice and help can help elevate worry and pressure.

Reminder to take breaks
When you are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out it’s important to pause and reset. Being overworked and stressed can take its toll on both your physical and mental health. Taking breaks throughout the year can help you to decompress and manage stress better.

Work can take a lot of your time and energy, and can leave you feeling drained and exhausted. Resting allows your brain and body time to recover and gives them the necessary recharge they need to keep going and stay motivated and productive. Even just a 10-minute break per day can help you to become more energised at work.

Celebrate your achievements
Sometimes when we’re feeling demotivated and undervalued, we can forget to reward ourselves for our achievements. Regardless of how big or small your win is, celebrating an achievement can really boost your self-confidence and help increase your motivation.

Be open and honest
It’s often that when you feel negative in the workplace, you bottle those feelings up and become closed off to others around you. Instead of excluding yourself, be open and honest about how you feel about the situation. Speak to your manager, HR or a colleague about how you have been feeling and ask for support.

Leaving these thoughts and feelings unaddressed can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, commonly known as burnout. When we experience long-term stress, it can impact our morale and productivity and can leave us feeling deflated.

Set boundaries
It can be easy to let your job impact your work-life balance, and you may find yourself checking emails outside of working hours, and responding to messages from colleagues. However, this type of behaviour, while considered innocent in the short term, can be dangerous to your mental well-being. That’s why it’s important to set clear boundaries at work.

You can do this easily and without causing disruption to your day-to-day work life. Firstly, you need to set and stick to your working hours, secondly, speak to your team about your workload and areas in which you need more support. Finally, disconnect at the weekend or when on vacation.

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