Humans spend more than half of their waking hours working. Being unfulfilled at work means being unfulfilled in life. Unfortunately, only 32% of Americans are engaged at work, and 18% are actively disengaged. The proportion of engaged to disengaged workers is the lowest in almost a decade. Why is this happening?
Indeed part of the blame is poor management. Employee expectations have changed, and companies have not adapted to a new (hybrid and remote) work. According to Gallup, the percentage of engaged employees under the age of 35 dropped by six percentage points from 2019 to 2022. And during the same time, the percentage of actively disengaged employees increased by six points. Fully remote and hybrid young workers dropped 12 points in strong agreement that “someone encourages their development.” Disengagement at work is creating the "quiet quitting" trend when employees put the minimum necessary effort into their work. Gallup also found that more than half of the US workforce consists of "quiet quitters."
There are other human reasons for these alarming statistics. Our instincts favor survival. Finding a job that gives us financial security drives the career decision of most of us, especially at a young age. Unfortunately, financial security alone doesn't bring engagement, happiness, or fulfillment. Daniel Pink's research has shown that fulfillment at work is driven by mastery (fulfilling our potential gives us a sense of self-worth and personal growth), purpose (working on something that goes beyond the self and making an impact in this world ), and autonomy (having control of the direction of one's life). The Japanese make no distinction between "life purpose" and "work purpose." For them, work and life are one and the same, and not finding purpose in work is not finding purpose in life.
Everybody is a genius in something and has a reason to be in this world. It is our role not to "quiet quit" but to find our genius and make the world around us a better place. Of course, leaving the financial security to find a career where you flourish is hard and scary, but the alternative is leaving secure... and miserable. Giving up on your purpose at work is giving up on half of your life. We all have a reason to be in this world. Don't give up on finding your reason. Quiet Quitting is half-suicide.