In the past few years, there have been a lot of different buzzwords being used to talk about the workplace and working. One of the more recent ones is quiet thriving. Coined as a counter to quiet quitting, quiet thriving is all about actively making changes and taking action to make your work more engaging and fulfilling. 

Quiet thriving can be a powerful way to be proactive, stop quiet quitting, and bring about change that helps your mental wellbeing. Practicing quiet thriving can help find purpose at work, helping you be more creative and productive.

In today’s blog, we’re going to look at what quiet thriving is, how it relates to quiet quitting, how you can embrace quiet thriving, and how it can help you with finding purpose at work.   

The Rise of Quiet Thriving in the Workplace

First, let’s take a look at where the term quiet thriving comes from and how it has come about. To understand the story of quiet thriving, you first need to understand quiet quitting. 

Put simply, quiet quitting is “checking out” from work. Instead of giving work your full attention, dedication, and going that extra mile, you just do the bare minimum to keep your job. This can mean behaviors like never getting to work early or staying late, not speaking up at meetings, not doing your best on projects, etc. 

While employers may get angry at the idea of quiet quitting, it’s understandable when you look at it from the perspective of a burnout, frustrated, or unfilled employee. They might be tired of working extra for no compensation, a toxic work environment, or unrealistic expectations. So instead of giving it their all, they do just enough to get by and limit their mental stress. 

However, the reality is that quiet quitting isn’t a great solution for employees who are frustrated or stressed. Humans want to feel fulfilled. We want to be part of something, contribute to something, and feel like we matter. Though quiet quitting may limit the stress of unenjoyable work, it also disconnects us from work. 

Being connected to our work is incredibly important when it comes to mental health and fulfillment. Disconnected teams have higher turnover, less creativity, lower engagement, and much more. Connected teams and employees are generally happier, more productive, and more creative. 

Because of all this, the term quiet thriving was created to combat quiet quitting.  It makes sense that a term would arise to serve as an opposite to quiet quitting. With so many people not finding purpose in their jobs/lives, it was only a matter of time until something came along to counter that sense of apathy.

And in 2023, it seems that quiet thriving is slowly starting to become widespread. Employees have more power now than in most of recent history, and they are using it to make changes that improve their work lives. Beyond that, mental health is a more accepted and discussed topic than ever, and employees are making changes in their own routines to make their work more purposeful and fulfilling. 

Understanding Quiet Thriving

Now that we’ve talked about where quiet thriving comes from, let’s take a closer look at the quiet thriving meaning and exactly what is quiet thriving. Quiet thriving isn’t one singular, simple thing, and it’s not just something for people who dislike their jobs and are quiet quitting. 

As mentioned before, quiet thriving is all about actively making purposeful changes to your work and work life. This is something that everyone can and should be doing at work. Even if you are relatively satisfied with your work and feel fulfilled, you can use quiet thriving to further improve things. 

A good way to think about quiet thriving is like sculpting. Your job is your job, and you can only change so much. However, there is still a lot you can do to sculpt your job and make it a more enjoyable and fulfilling pursuit. You can change behaviors, make friends, set boundaries, and more to make your job what you want it to be. 

Now, let’s contrast that with quiet quitting. Instead of making changes like with quiet thriving, quiet quitting is essentially just giving up. You don’t make changes, and you don’t try to make your job better; you just do the bare minimum and disconnect. 

Let’s use a scenario to illustrate the differences between the two. You’re working on a big project for work. It’s very important that you and your team get it done on time and do the best job possible. However, it’s been stressful. Your boss(es) expects you to get a lot done in a short time frame, and there are some conflicts within your team as well. What do you do?

A quiet quitter might stop putting in as much effort, communicate less, rush their work, and try to not get involved in things. They essentially just accept the situation as it is, give it as little mental energy as possible, and do the bare minimum to get by.

A quiet thriver on the other hand will likely have a completely different approach. The project is stressful, but they may set boundaries to keep their own mental wellbeing in check instead of disengaging entirely. They might try to focus on an aspect of the project they love. Instead of ignoring the conflicts in the group, they may make friends and make it more enjoyable. 

In many ways, quiet quitting vs. quiet thriving is like pessimism vs. optimism. Quiet quitters see the negatives, focus on them, and disengage from work to avoid those negatives as much as possible. But a quiet thriver sees the positives, focuses on the good things, and works to change the negatives so things are more fulfilling. 

Embracing Quiet Thriving

With the basics of quiet thriving covered, let’s shift to embracing quiet thriving and the benefits of it. By this point, it shouldn’t be a surprise that quiet thriving has numerous benefits—especially when compared to quiet quitting. 

One of the biggest and most obvious benefits is motivation. It’s hard to be motivated when it feels like work is overwhelming, stressful, and unenjoyable. We’ve all been there before; you dread going to work in the morning, don’t want to be there, and just want to get by so we can go home. And we all know how unenjoyable that is. 

But when you actually feel motivated to work, everything changes. That big project isn’t some insurmountable hurdle; it’s an opportunity. Working with a team is an exciting chance to build new relationships and accomplish something, not an unwanted and anxiety inducing collaboration. 

Another benefit is fulfillment. Again, humans want to feel fulfilled. We want to feel like we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves and like we are a part of something important. Quiet thriving can result in that sense of fulfillment, which has numerous benefits. 

Outside of the benefit for your mental health, it has benefits for your work too. You’ll be more motivated, engaged, and creative. You’ll want to come to work, and you’ll want to achieve your goals. You’re driven towards something and excited to achieve it. 

quiet thriving

How to Start Quiet Thriving

Lastly, let’s talk about how to start quiet thriving at work. There are a lot of different ways to start quiet thriving. But we’ll look at a few of the best and simplest ways to get started. 

Changing your mindset is an essential part of quiet thriving. Recalling the pessimist vs. optimist comparison from earlier, you want to be optimistic about work and the future. You need to find things to look forward to or feel proud about. 

What part of your job do you really enjoy? Is there a cause important to you you can advocate for via your job? Focusing on things like that can help you change your mindset and get a more positive outlook on work. 

Another way to start quiet thriving is by setting boundaries. Boundaries are more important now than ever before due to the constantly connected nature of work in the modern world. Things like putting a blanket over your workstation when the day is over can help you avoid the burnout that often leads to quiet quitting. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and stick to them. 

Building connections is also a great way to start quiet thriving. The power of work friends shouldn’t be underestimated; they can help you find purpose at work, make work more enjoyable, more fulfilling, and more fun. Team building events are perfect for learning more about your coworkers and building bonds.  

Start Quiet Thriving at Work With Team Bonding

Quiet thriving is a term that popped up in recent years to counteract quiet quitting. Instead of checking out and doing the bare minimum, quiet thriving is about making changes to your daily work so it’s more purposeful, fulfilling, and engaging. It can help you avoid burnout, better your mental health, and find more meaning and purpose in your work. 

Start quiet thriving at work with Team Bonding. Team building is a great way to build relationships and start quiet thriving. We have years of experience in team building, and we have numerous events that are perfect for making the changes quiet thriving depends on. So get in touch with us today and start quiet thriving at work!

Amanda Deiratani

Team Contributor


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