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That’s Rich: If you value growth, maybe skip the #QuietQuitting trend

This summer I worked on places, trains and in automobiles, but I struggled to find balance. It was too much time off.

October 12, 2022  By Rich Porayko

There is a new trend appearing in TikTok videos in which young professionals post about doing the bare minimum at work. According to Saundra Latham, the editor at LinkedIn, “Gen Z and younger millennials are the least engaged with their jobs of any generation and are more likely to view work as a means to an end rather than a source of purpose.” Supporters of quitting quietly say they are simply reprioritizing work-life balance by rejecting the idea of the hustle mentality. They are avoiding leaning in by doing exactly what is in their job description, leaving on time and not checking their email outside of office hours. 

Now there is just a hashtag that younger people are using publicly for all to see. Which is why experts caution that any workers doing the bare minimum could be vulnerable to layoffs. 

I reinvigorated my passion for international travel with a family trip to the U.K. this summer. I worked on planes, trains and in automobiles, but I struggled to find balance. It was too much time off. 

The eternal struggle for work/life balance reminds me of the masterpiece novel, The Alchemist by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. The tale follows a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago on his journey of personal legend to the pyramids of Egypt in search of treasure. 


During Santiago’s travels, he meets old King Melchizedek, also known as the King of Salem, who shares the story of a boy seeking the secret of happiness. In the king’s tale, the young lad meets the wisest person in the world who invites him to take a stroll around his palace for two hours carrying a teaspoon of precious oil. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill,” said the guru. 

The young man explored the palace, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours, he returned to the presence of the Wiseman. “Did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the master of gardeners took 10 years to create? Did you look at the exquisite parchments in my library?” asked the scholar. 

Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wiseman had entrusted to him. 

The elder sends the youth back to see the wonders of his world, telling him, “You cannot trust a man if you do not know his house.” Relieved, this time the boy pays attention to all the works of art that hung from the walls and ceiling. The young man sees the sage’s gardens, the mountains, beautiful flowers and the delicious food. Returning to the wiseman, he reported in detail all that he had observed. “But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?” asked the wisest of wisemen.

Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had spilled the oil. “The secret of happiness is to see all of the wonders of the world and to never forget the drops of oil on the spoon,” shared the wiseman.

As a shepherd who likes to travel should never forget about their sheep, a business consultant who dreams of the journey should never forget their clients.

The palace represents all of the finest things that life has to offer while the drops of oil symbolizes the hard work and learning we need in order to regard life as fulfilling so we can realize our “personal legend.” One can never achieve their personal legend doing the bare minimum. Work too hard and you will miss out on life. Don’t work hard enough and life will pass you by.

In the Compound Effect, Darren Hardy writes, “The reality is even one small change can have a significant impact. An unexpected and unintended ripple effect.” Small changes to your daily habits, if made consistently, will lead to exponential results over time.

Never stop learning, growing and developing. Never stop hustling. If you can’t be bothered to give your career the same focus that you give the rest of your life, then you may be calling it in in more ways than you think.

Rich Porayko is a professional writer and founding partner of Construction Creative, a marketing and communications company. richp@constructioncreativecom

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