At this point, you’ve probably heard of “quiet quitting” — the trending phrase that just means only doing the work in your job description.
On top of panicking that employees no longer want to drag themselves into the office to celebrate birthdays in the lounge, according to the pages of the Wall Street Journal, employers are apparently concerned we might *gasp* only do the things they pay us to do.
As someone who has pulled a solid amount of all-nighters in my career, and is also the daughter of a Black mother, who in no uncertain terms told me I had to work ten times harder than any white person in the room, the concept of pulling back is terrifying.
But, I want Black women to consider that maybe there are ways we can maintain our peace and maintain our jobs. All around us Black female icons like Beyoncé, Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, and Simone Biles are telling us it’s ok to focus on ourselves.
If you’re also a Black woman in the workplace, I don’t need to tell you that burnout is a serious issue. According to a Gallup poll released in 2021, Black women were the least likely group to say they were “thriving” at work. And, the least likely to say we’re treated fairly by our colleagues or employers.
I also want to let you in on a little secret. According to Harvard researchers, many of the ways women in the office are expected to go the extra mile may actually be hurting us when it comes to getting promoted.
A study in the Harvard Business Review found that women were more likely to take on what’s called non-promotable tasks – things like organizing office parties, filling in for coworkers, and serving on low-profile committees.
The researchers argued that these tasks harmed women in the workplace financially because they took time away from revenue-generating activities and often weren’t considered relevant when it came to handing out promotions.
So why did women take on these tasks? Well, women in the study were significantly more likely to be asked to take on these non-promotable tasks and (likely due to societal pressure) more likely to volunteer.
I’m not going full-Beyoncé and telling you to “release your job” (certainly not in this economy). I also don’t recommend slacking off on your responsibilities (I’d be a hypocrite because I certainly don’t consider myself a slacker.)
But, I’m of the opinion that drawing healthy boundaries where you can, is good for the soul, and if those researchers are right, maybe, even good for your wallet.
However, if creating boundaries with your job is too hard, for the love of god, at least don’t sign-up to bake the office birthday cake!