The Gen Z Agenda: The anti-capitalist phenomenon of Quiet Quitting

By Andrea Tamba · Oct 6, 2022

It all started off with one TikTok video, as most things Gen Z do these days. One viral video on the phenomenon of Quiet Quitting and suddenly everybody is talking about it, and a whole generation is doing it. 

But what is Quiet Quitting? 

The term may be new, the subtext, not so much.

When Quiet Quitting, the employee disengages from their job, mentally checks out, sticks to the specifics of their job description and flat out refuses to go above and beyond those terms. The main idea is to treat your job as a job. 

Quiet Quitting as a movement is actively calling out the “hustle mentality” of the workplace for its toxicity. The idea of constantly trying to one-up each other to get to the top, or even just to be recognised as the most hardworking is taxing on mental health, and has been known to cause burn-out. Gen Z is refusing to subscribe to this way of working altogether, and are proposing everyone else rethink the position of productivity within their lives. 

Quiet Quitting is but another feature of the anti-capitalist rhetoric that is rampant in the Gen Z world. The first of its kind was the “I do not dream of labour” trend, which is still a trending phrase in the realm of TikTok; videos of this nature depict the stillness of a life in which one “does nothing,” has no ambition, and is content with simply existing (all curated in an aesthetically pleasing way of course). 

Not being fundamentally attached to your job to the point that it becomes your entire life, is the running theme here. It is a rethinking of what it means to have a good work-life balance, and the wider public is actually not so far estranged from this mindset. You can see it in the rising popularity of remote and flexible working environments. Quiet Quitting seems to be a call to reclaim your time, and not get caught up in the rat race of capitalism.