Editorial: Reversing the Quiet Quitting Trend | AIChE

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Editorial: Reversing the Quiet Quitting Trend



If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you’ve likely heard of the latest threat to corporate America: quiet quitting. Quiet quitting — a concept that is causing alarm for some while being embraced by others — can be thought of as a new approach to setting firm boundaries between work and personal time. Employees engage with work during work hours only, doing enough to keep up with their standard job responsibilities, but refuse to go above and beyond, emotionally engage, or take on extra work. Quiet quitters are rejecting “hustle culture” — the idea that one’s worth is tied to the number of hours you are willing to put in at your desk.

The quiet quitting movement gained momentum as a direct result of the pandemic, which found many professionals in the workforce reevaluating their lives and viewing their livelihoods — and the meaning they’ve derived from their labors — through a new lens. Stories of quiet quitting have spread across social media platforms such as TikTok and Reddit. A recent Gallup poll found that quiet quitters make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce — with the decline in engagement and employer satisfaction most pronounced among Gen Z and younger millennials (those under 35 years old).

Before you consider quiet quitting your job, you may want to consider a change of scenery — i.e., a career shift.

This month’s special issue on professional development offers advice for those looking to go in a different direction with their career. The article on pp. 20–23 by Jason Balich (Wolf Greenfield) encourages chemical engineers to consider a career in the legal profession — perhaps as a patent prosecutor or litigator. The article “Should You Consider an MBA,” (pp. 26–30) discusses how an MBA could enhance your career and what to consider before pursuing higher education.

Much of the professional development advice that you often hear is targeted toward young professionals — those engineers just graduating from college, perhaps looking for their first job in the chemical process industries. With this special issue, our goal was to pull together articles that would be relevant and useful for engineers of all ages. Engineers with many decades of experience under their belts, for example, might find the article “Angel Investing in Start-Ups: Putting Your Experience to Work” (pp. 37–41) to be an interesting read.

For those considering taking the next step in their career, AIChE’s Institute for Learning & Innovation (ILI) can be a valuable resource. The ILI is dedicated to promoting lifelong learning across the profession — helping students identify industry internships, validating technical proficiency of mid-career engineers through credentialing programs, and providing career development opportunities for engineers of all experience levels.

If you’ve been working the same job for several years, you may not have considered your own professional development in some time. However, thinking about professional growth is an integral part of staying engaged with your career. And, if you are a manager, encouraging professional development in your team members is also an important part of keeping them engaged in their jobs: a small step toward reversing the quiet quitting trend.

Emily Petruzzelli, Editor-in-Chief


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