Quiet quitting – the silent enemy

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A variety of different factors – from cost-of-living uncertainty to the pandemic – have made a lot of people examine their work-life balance with forensic detail. What suits one person will not suit another, as everyone’s personal and working lives are different. One of the trends that has emerged is the concept of ‘quiet quitting’. It is associated with both work and home life, and can impact both. It is also causing problems for employers, managers and HR professionals, as this ‘silent’ change revolutionises the way people look at their careers. 

Balance or imbalance?

‘Quiet quitting’ refers to employees who elect only to work the specific hours of their contract and fulfil the remit of their roles to the letter – no more, no less. Any extra input, or rather output, from them will need to be paid for. It’s been attributed to a number of factors, such as overwork, employee burnout and mental health issues around stress and anxiety. But it is part of wider trend of people wanting to extend the flexibility and convenience of working from home, or the hybrid part-office/part-home working that many companies have adopted. Apparently, 60% of UK employees value their improved work-life balance and job flexibility over a 10% pay rise.

The lack of structure when working flexibly is being found to be detrimental to some employees though. There are factors such as not knowing when you are going to see colleagues, or when others will be in the office, which can itself cause uncertainty for staff. Some people need structure, uniformity and surety. The nine-to-five routine and ‘who is in the office when’ on any given day matters to them. Many workers now feel disengaged from the workplace, which may mean they also feel disengaged from their roles too. As a result, motivation and productivity have dropped and there has been a wholesale disengagement from working life. Some employees are not even sure of what is expected of them in work and what exactly their roles are for the company. 

The need to reengage

The drop in engagement began in the latter half of 2021 and has particularly affected younger workers. The social aspects of work – communication, chat, popping out to the shops or for lunch – have also been disrupted or supplanted altogether by working from home and the ever-changing routine of any given working week. This has led to over half the UK workforce now reportedly contributing to the quiet quitting trend.

If you don’t feel valued at work, are unsure of your role, or will only do the ‘bare minimum’ of what’s required of you, then this is partly due to poor management. Managers need to make sure their staff are aware that they are part of a wider company. They must feel supported and genuinely valued, and must be provided with a place to work where people can learn and grow, engage with other staff and collaborate to create great teams. Isolation and disengagement should never be felt by any employee and only if managers address this will ‘quiet quitters’ be encouraged to reengage once more.


Bouncing back – wellbeing in the workplace and the importance of resilience

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We are all faced with challenges and difficult situations at work every day, many of which are out of our control. The important thing to address is how you bounce back from them. We are taking a look at the importance of resilience and creating wellbeing in the workplace.

Promoting wellbeing

We all want to work in the right environment, where individuals and organisations can thrive. Wellbeing starts with the office and facilities available to the workforce. The office space needs to be designed with the employees in mind and should incorporate wellbeing measures.  Nobody wants to work in a cold, clinical or shabby office, it should feel inviting and fresh to help boost morale and productivity. You don’t need to spend lots of money to do this; you could try introducing plants, artwork or just add a splash of colour to the walls.  It’s easy to create a ‘home from home’ environment.

Be flexible

Where possible, help to promote a positive work life balance with flexible working. Many companies are now resorting to ‘hybrid’ working; not just because they had to during the covid pandemic but because hybrid working often more easily allows flexibility. Keeping healthy contributes to overall wellbeing, having a selection of fresh fruit available and different benefits like gym memberships, health insurance and cycle to work schemes can help motivate healthier lifestyles.

What is resilience at work?

Resilience can show how effectively you handle challenging situations in your personal life and at home. It is often described as the ability to ‘bounce back’ and comfortably carry-on during adversity. Resilience means facing challenges, solving problems, and recovering from mistakes.  It can help employees manage their stress levels and encourage motivation when facing challenges. Here are several ways that highlight the importance of resilience in the workplace.

  1. Helps with self-esteem

Resilient employees may have better self-esteem because they can face challenges that may be presented at work with confidence and positivity.

  1. Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism

Absenteeism can present itself when the individual is stressed, overworked, or dissatisfied with their job. They may be struggling with their physical or mental health. Promoting wellbeing and resilience can help alleviate stress and work-related anxiety. In turn Presenteeism, where an employee works longer than required or through sickness, can indicate a stressed environment where they are unable not to work. By supporting physical wellbeing, offering flexible working hours, and making sure workloads are manageable you can help to reduce absenteeism and presenteeism.

  1. Boosted productivity and supports innovation

A resilient workforce will perform. This will mean an employee will have the capacity to thrive. It helps them to adapt, cope, and respond positively. A resilient employee feels more comfortable and confident and copes better with the idea of failure. As a result of this, they will take well-informed and measured risks within the workplace by trying new things, sharing new ideas and helping to lead the team.

A workplace needs strong leadership which can demonstrate resilience to others. Learn about employers’ needs and consider resilience training. By taking on board all the different factors mentioned, you can help improve wellbeing in your workplace.


Closing the skills gap

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We are living in challenging times for some sectors, with recruitment in particular a key issue. The impact of a variety of economic changes – and the changing ways in which people live, work and shop – are playing havoc with recruiters attempting to fill roles in everything from health care to leisure. Many industries are currently struggling with recruitment and the skills gap is a real issue. How is this going to be addressed and where are the skilled people needed to close these gaps going to come from?

 Changing expectations and ambitions

The skills gap occurs when there are not enough trained working professionals applying for available roles. It can be that there isn’t the same interest or demand at the moment in certain sectors, or that they are seen as being ‘boring’ or ‘obsolete’. There is also a tendency for people to gravitate now towards places that offer the opportunity to work from home, or to work a four-day week, or both. Peoples’ preferences have changed and they often desire a greater work-life balance these days. This is particularly true if they have a young family, or elderly relatives, that may require a workaround in their everyday lives. The work from home model of hybrid routines has been the ideal solution to many workers’ schedules, but has led to certain areas – social care and hospitality, to take two key examples – struggling to recruit.

 Consequences for business

Whatever the reasoning behind the shortfall, the crux of the matter is that a skills gap has serious consequential effects for businesses. For example, companies having to recruit from other areas, or pay higher wage rates, which results in a change in the business model. The advent of the national ‘living wage’ has already made many companies examine their businesses and tailored them to accommodate this. The cost-of-living crisis and rising household bills is also making people look at taking on multiple roles, across a variety of sectors, that is forcing them almost involuntarily into ‘portfolio careers’ without really realising it. It’s detrimental to businesses growth too, with the uncertainty causing less companies to take less risks. Inflation means employees’ earnings are worth less, which is driving up wages. But the lack of skills and the competition to employ the best candidates in the bet-fit roles is also leading to improved monetary packages.

 Addressing to shortfall

Part of solving the challenge of skills gaps involves the ability to steer workers towards areas where there are shortfalls. Extra training and knowledge-sharing within your company can make a big difference to your existing workforce. Often transferable skills too can be key to filling roles – many staff see themselves pigeonholed in sectors, without realising that they can diversify into different roles with the minimum of training. It’s often beneficial both for HR managers and staff to talk to Career Consultants, to identify where they might have a shortfall in staff skills and options on where the right solutions might be found.

Confidence Boost

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Even the most confident person can feel a little daunted by the prospect of a formal interview. In today’s hybrid working environment, your job interview is as likely to be carried out online, via a conference facility, as it is to be in person. Whichever way the interview is taking place, there are various things you can do to help boost your confidence and remove some of the nerves ahead of time.

Finding your own way

If your interview is in person, take the time beforehand to find out where you are going and how you are getting there. This means if you are driving, do a practice run. If you are taking public transport, make sure you know where your stop is and how to reach your destination in plenty of time. If your interview is online, make sure you have tested out your equipment in advance, particularly your camera and your microphone. Make sure you also have somewhere tidy and quiet to do the interview where you won’t be disturbed. Knowing where you are going – or how you IT works – will help calm the nerves on the day.

Be prepared

Do your research ahead of your interview. Find out what you can about the company you are interviewing with, what the job is and who your interviewers are.   I’m often asked if it’s appropriate to look at their LinkedIn profiles and I think it’s a very positive thing to do. It shows that you are taking a keen interest to find out about them.  It’s also an opportunity to see if you have any shared contacts or past experience.

Whilst you can find out a lot of company information by visiting the website you should also google whether there is anything in the press that’s current.  Websites aren’t always up-to-date. The more you know about the company and people you will be meeting, the less unknowns you will be faced with on the day. Also think about what you are going to say, how you will answer questions and what questions you want to ask in the interview too. Don’t forget, an interview is a two-way process and an opportunity for you to find out if the company is one you would like to work for.

Dress for success

Whether you interview is in person or on-line it is important to dress appropriately. While this no longer necessarily means a suit and tie, you should still be tidy and smart. If you are looking good, then you will feel better about yourself too.

Lucky charm

You might have a routine or an item that you feel brings you luck. Don’t worry if you don’t, just remember to smile, it’s the only lucky charm you really need! A well as having the necessary knowledge and being able to answer the questions in an interview, a genuine smile, and a friendly but professional approach, will all help position you as the best candidate for the role.

Interviews can be nerve wracking and feeling a little bit nervous can be a good thing, as it suggests that you are keen and interested in the role. However, the more you can do to prepare ahead of your interview, the more confident you will be on the day. Good luck!



Welcome to the latest vlog from Career Evolution!

We are continuing to share weekly advice and updates from the industry on outplacement, career management, and coaching.

In our latest vlog, our director, Sue Thomas, rounds up some of our posts from September, including celebrating our twelfth anniversary, personal brand and onboarding a remote workforce. There’s so much more to this platform than job searching.

Watch the video below:


Watch last month’s vlog here.

And now time for something completely different…

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There are many reasons why you may be returning to work after a break – from extended holiday or illness, to maternity leave or career hiatus. It may be that you’ve had time to take stock and think about where you see your career going in the future, and where you see yourself in 12 months’ time or longer. If you are returning to work, do you go back to what you know – or is this the opportunity to try something completely different?

Career overlap

The most important thing to remember about a change of direction is that it doesn’t have to be sudden and radical. It can be gradual and considered too. Many of us have already found how one aspect of our careers can overlap into other areas of expertise. This can sometimes happen completely by accident, or it can be something we engineer. ‘Transferable skills’ are an aspect of our working lives we have often talked about at Career Evolution. This is where we can move between sectors but using our skills in different industries. It can provide the opportunity for change without a radical shift.

Moving sideways

Many office-based roles are easily transferable between sectors and it’s often the case that people who do this are the most satisfied and fulfilled in their careers. Many workers remain in the same industry their entire working lives, and they enjoy the security and continuity that brings. But sometimes it can feel like you’re stuck in a rut too, and that is where a literal ‘change of scene’ can work wonders. A sideways move to an adjacent sector can be the answer. We know from life in general that trying something new can be invigorating and if you feel as though you’re simply going through the motions, then a big career change might rouse you from that.

New horizons

One of the big plusses that has come out of the ‘working from home’ ethos is the fact that you are not geographically tied to a certain area when looking to change careers. This can mean that you can work anywhere in the UK, or indeed the world. This opens up many more options in terms of trying something new. If you’re proficient in languages, then you will have even more choice, and it can really broaden your horizons on what is available to you.