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- Career coach Octavia Goredema shared tips on how to re-engage in your career after quiet quitting.
- Goredema told Insider it’s important for employees to reframe their mindset and make “career commitments.”
- Employees should also regularly reflect on their accomplishments and write them down, she said.
The term “quiet quitting” has generated a lot of buzz and discourse since the start of the pandemic, but it’s a concept Octavia Goredema said she has been quite familiar with in the five years she’s worked as a career coach.
“The phenomenon has always been there, but the labeling is one that has just come to the fore,” Goredema, author of the book “Prep, Push, Pivot: Essential Career Strategies for Underrepresented Women,” told Insider.
Quiet quitting refers to an employee opting to complete the minimum amount of work required without getting fired. “Quiet” has even been branded as the workplace word of the year, Insider reported, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.
Since coaching employees at companies like Google, American Airlines, and Nike, Goredema said she’s noticed this type of disengagement hits many employees at some point in their careers. Goredema said she’s even been a quiet quitter at points in her career.
“There might be things that you’re struggling with at work, or you may just be feeling lost. There can be multiple reasons that contribute to this feeling. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Goredema said.
If you’ve “quiet quit” your job, Goredema has tips on how you can reframe your mindset to feel motivated in your career once again.
Goredema advises employees to zoom out for a fresh perspective to get out of a negative headspace.
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Zoom out and reset your perspective
To bounce back from “quiet quitting,” Goredema said you must first reframe your perspective.
If you’re burned out, you’re likely focused on what isn’t currently working in your job or career, Goredema said. Maybe you have new job responsibilities, you’re working with a new boss, or you’re feeling uninspired by a project. By zooming out from a negative headspace, you can start to think of ways to move forward, she said.
To do this, Goredema instructs employees to answer a series of questions: What do you want to do more of in your career? What matters most to you? What accomplishment are you most proud of? How can your current job be a stepping stone for your career? What would make your current situation better?
“When we start to zoom out a little and ask ourselves a lot of questions, you can then start to plan, reframe, and rethink the next steps in your career,” Goredema said.
Set ‘career commitments’
Once employees have reframed their headspace, Goredema said employees should focus on setting “career commitments,” or consistent changes that reframe an employee’s approach to work.
In this exercise, Goredema said employees should think of small steps they can take to actively re-engage with their jobs. This could mean making a commitment to attend optional company meetings, setting up chats with coworkers, or building a mentorship relationship with someone whose career you admire within your company or industry.
In addition, Goredema said employees should reflect on their “career values” — what an employee may want to be known for in their career, how they personally measure success, and what initially inspired them to pursue their career path.
“It’s really important for you to think about these things especially when times are hard. It’s basically for you to remind yourself why you’re doing this work, and what was it that ignited you to pursue this path,” Goredema said.
According to Goredema, it’s important to set “career commitments.”
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Reflect on your accomplishments
Many employees may wait until their yearly performance review to reflect on successes from the past year. But Goredema said turning self-reflection into a habit and regularly writing down accomplishments gives employees a list to turn to when they feel unmotivated or lost in their careers.
“We always remember the big things. We remember getting the promotion or graduating or hearing you’ve been hired. It’s easy for us to forget the smaller things, but those things all contribute to our career growth and who we are and what we’re proud of,” Goredema said.
At the end of every month, Goredema said she reflects on notes she jots down throughout the month and adds to that list. By doing this, she said she can recall accomplishments she would have forgotten about had she not documented them.
By writing accomplishments down, employees have a list to turn to when they feel unmotivated, Goredema said.
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The accomplishments should go beyond tangible workplace skills you’ve acquired that naturally translate to resumes and cover letters. A personal success could be improving a dynamic with a coworker, or noting the extensive steps you took to solve a problem or to complete a deliverable, Goredema said.
“When you track your accomplishments and make it a regular habit, you’ll start to see trends and patterns that help cement that you are growing in your career and you’re not stagnating,” Goredema said.
Whether you’re riding a career high or hitting a slump, setting aside time to jot down personal career commitments and accomplishments can help employees feel in control of their careers — and ultimately accelerate them, Goredema said.
“Often when we’re ‘quiet quitting,’ we don’t feel like we have control, and what we have to remember is that our careers belong to us,” Goredema said.