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Opinion: I tried ‘quiet quitting’ before it had a name — and I’ve regretted it ever since

Work provides meaning in our lives — and being less engaged on the job can have consequences

By | Charles Passy |

For much of my 35 or so years in the workforce, I’ve prided myself on going the extra mile — such as trying to put in a solid 8-hour day that has sometimes stretched into a 10- to 12-hour day. And I’ve generally felt satisfaction in doing so, and earned some nice comments from employers along the way.

But I’ll never forget the time I “quiet quit” a job. It wasn’t a happy experience.

By now, you’ve probably heard about quiet quitting. It’s a buzz phrase that speaks to the idea of setting boundaries on the job, if not doing the bare minimum. The idea is that we often work harder than we need to — and we pay the price in terms of our mental, and even physical, health.

Read more: What is quiet quitting? Employees are setting boundaries for better work-life balance.

In my case, the idea of not giving it my “all” on the job came about three decades ago when I was in my late 20s and working in sales — something far removed from the career I had been building as a writer and editor. But it was an opportunity recommended to me by a friend at the company. I was uncertain whether it would be the right fit — and I dreaded the nearly 90-minute commute to and from the office — but I frankly needed the money after the company I worked for previous had folded.

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