The TikToker who popularized the #quietquitting hashtag appears to have backpedaled from the idea and has quit his job because of it.
Not quite quitting: Zaid Khan, a 25-year-old engineer, took social media by storm last year with a 17-second TikTok video on the idea of “quiet quitting,” which advocates putting in minimal effort at work.
In his viral video, Khan talks about “not outright quitting your job but quitting the idea of going above and beyond.”
“You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life. The reality is it’s not. And your worth as a person is not defined by your labor,” he says.
The video, which has been viewed over 3.6 million times, has inspired content related to the subject viewed by over 864 million people.
Escaping a slump:
In January, Khan revealed in a TikTok post that after six months of quiet quitting, he officially left his remote tech job.
Khan, who now earns a living working on freelance projects, recently told Business Insider
that he eventually decided to leave his job entirely after realizing that it was the only way he could escape his career slump.
“It wasn’t until I made the decision to actually leave my job that I just felt this enormous weight lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “And it’s a decision that I wish more people could make, because I do think life is too short to be dissatisfied wherever you are. Because the reality is work does consume so many hours of our lives.”
Quitting quiet quitting: Last month, Khan took to TikTok again to share more details about why he quit and acknowledged the limitations and challenges of “quiet quitting.”
In his video, Khan shares that he found himself plagued by the fear of being exposed as an underperformer and also grappled with existential questions about the purpose of his life.
“What tends to accompany that ‘jobless employment’ is two feelings,” he says. “Firstly, this looming fear that you’re going to be found out and fired, and secondly, this broader existential dread of, ‘What am I actually doing with my life?'”
Khan then tells his viewers that poor management is to blame for disengaged employees, noting: “If you don’t feel like you’re part of a team or in some sense connected to your work, of course, you’re gonna be alienated. You are not the problem.”