Wade, who is co-founder of specialist HR, finance, and accountancy recruitment firm Wade Macdonald has first-hand knowledge of what a recessionary period can hold. He believes that so called ‘quiet-quitters’ will be in for a shock when the harsh realities of tightening budgets kick in, and their sense of ‘automatic entitlement’ comes back to haunt them.
Although Wade concedes that the term ‘quiet quitters’ also includes those who may be making a conscious decision to ‘act their wage’ in protest of working to a standard that their salary can’t or won’t match, he believes it also refers to those who feel entitled to a higher pay simply for turning up and doing their job.
He suggests: “Cost-of-living motivated pay rises are understandable, but what is being forgotten is that recessions notoriously squeeze everyone, including businesses. It’s far harder to accept that an employer isn’t giving you a pay rise simply because they’re not financially in a position to do so. It takes that person’s agency away and it is far more satisfying to fight against the injustice of ‘the man’.
Inflationary salary rises that companies can neither afford nor sustain, are feeding the demonising rhetoric that companies are simply being tight. Some might be but many are trying to remain profitable and keep their businesses afloat. When you have salaries to pay, profitability isn’t just about making money, it’s about other people’s livelihoods, too.
Wade suggests “Taking a backseat approach at the start or in the earlier years of your career can be damaging. It is a critical time when talented workers should be gaining as many skills and reputational points as possible to set up a long and fruitful career. If you have this sort of attitude and work ethic this early on, it’ll be hard to bounce back from it.
Employees who have this sense of ‘automatic entitlement’ bubbling away, may be in for shock when the harsh reality of recession redundancies land. If an employee is grasping every opportunity to help out, learn and progress, it shows a willingness to be developed as an individual and to take the next step up the career ladder.
When tough decisions come down to the wire, value judgements have to be drawn, and whether fair or not, employees who are going above and beyond won’t be the first choice to go. Assuming that these determinations are made based on how late an employee stays is rather missing the point, it’s about the value that person brings.”
Wade advised “As we enter a recessionary period, instead of coasting along at work, savvy and ambitious employees should be pulling out all the stops to prove themselves and progress faster while the competition’s heads are down. If you are quiet quitting, then you may as well resign or go elsewhere because you won’t get a pay rise or a promotion that way.”