From The Straits Times    |

Credit: Netflix

First it’s quiet quitting, the next moment it’s quiet hiring, and then it’s all about conscious quitting. Is it just us, or does it seem like a new work-related buzzword pops up nearly every other week? 

While some catchphrases might seem OTT (that’s over-the-top, for those of you who are late to the game), some experts believe that these buzzwords can help people make sense of their career experiences, especially in times of great uncertainty, like a pandemic or mass layoffs. 

With so many trendy slang terms that spread like wildfire through platforms like TikTok, it can be hard to keep up with the latest lexicons in the workplace. It’s a good thing that no one is quiet quitting here, for we’ve gathered some of the most trendy work buzzwords to help you keep track of them. 

Lazy Girl Jobs

Popularised by TikTok influencer Gabrielle Judge, the term “lazy girl jobs” refer to jobs that offer both minimal stress and substantial compensation. You’re not necessarily lazy while on the job, but instead, the work itself is less demanding, so much so that the job offers better work-life balance and keeps stress in check at work.

Shift shock

A phrase that would resonate better with those that do shift work (for example, retail staff and food service employees), shift shock is used to depict the sense of bewilderment encountered by workers when their work hours change unexpectedly. Such instances occur when employees are abruptly required to assume a different shift or are assigned added tasks without prior notice. This phenomenon can significantly contribute to employees’ stress levels, potentially resulting in diminished job contentment and suboptimal performance.

Chaotic working

Chaotic working, sometimes termed “malicious compliance,” revolves around employees leveraging their work positions to assist customers or clients, often at the cost of their employer. Despite potentially involving rule-breaking, employees may undertake this behaviour without apprehension due to their frustration with their job, employer, or the prevailing work atmosphere.

TikTok user The Speech Prof explains: “The basic idea is that you use whatever power you have in your role to do random acts of kindness for people because you don’t care if you get in trouble for it.” Examples include offering customers employee discounts or providing complimentary upgrades with no proper reason.

Quiet quitting

The idea of ‘quiet quitting’ created quite a buzz last year when the term went viral. No, it doesn’t mean to literally quit – quiet quitting refers to doing the minimum requirements of one’s job and putting in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary.

Quiet hiring

Hot on the heels of quiet quitting is quiet hiring, where employers fill in workplace gaps without actually hiring new full-time employees by training and giving existing employees more work, or hiring contractors  to cover certain roles and responsibilities.

Conscious quitting

Literally means quitting your job.

The Great Resignation

A trend that started in 2021 in which employees were voluntarily resigning from their jobs en masse after the pandemic.

The Great Regret

When the people who quit their jobs are now second-guessing their decision.  

Copycat layoffs

A term that rose from the mass layoffs, mostly within the tech sector, in 2023, which followed after the job cuts that started in the second half of 2022. Coined by Stanford University professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, some see the copycat behaviour as an explanation for the en masse firing.

Rage applying

Similar to rage applying (but replace the rage with worry), career cushioning refers to when one keep tabs on various job opportunities and seriously consider them whilst still being employed in your current position.

Goblin mode

The Oxford word of the year for 2022. It is defined as  “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations”.

Bare Minimum Mondays

On Mondays, we do the bare minimum. As its name suggests, Bare Minimum Mondays is all about doing the least during the start of the week. It’s a way to reject the Sunday scaries and the pressure that most workers get at the thought of having to hit the ground running every Monday.