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'Quiet quitting' is so last year. Here's what's next.

From “quiet hiring” to “career cushioning,” here are the workplace trends that could dominate 2023.
Photo illustration: Partial view of a woman in a suit levitating above a work desk against the sky in the background.
The term "quiet-quitting" took over TikTok – and the entire internet – in 2022. Anjali Nair / MSNBC; Getty Images

Last year, the term “quiet quitting” took the internet – and many of our work conversations – by storm.

It describes the act of doing the minimum requirements of a job and declining to go above and beyond the duties listed in your job’s description.

There’s no doubt that “quiet quitting” has changed the way we think and talk about work. The term may not be going away anytime soon and there are some new career trends emerging right now.

On Thursday's “Morning Joe,” ForbesWomen editor Maggie McGrath and 30/50 Vice Chair Huma Abedin recently laid out what could be the workplace buzzwords and trends of 2023:

Quiet hiring

Quiet hiring is when an organization needs to hire for a new set of skills, but instead of creating full-time positions, the company finds contractors or encourages employees to upskill themselves.

While many employees are looking for stretch assignments, “if they are given these extra responsibilities and not a commensurate increase in pay, they could feel undervalued and underappreciated,” noted McGrath. “Those feelings could lead to burnout, and burnout could lead to the quiet quitting trend we saw in 2022. So, proceed with caution.”

Job cuffing

Job cuffing, a term borrowed from the dating world, is when you tie yourself to a job for the winter months. The goal is to hunker down until the spring when there is (hopefully) a better job market.

But according to a recent study cited by Forbes, many people during their so-called “cuffing months” are having second thoughts about starting a new job. The study said 72 percent of workers are committed to staying in their current jobs for a year, despite almost 60 percent saying they are struggling with burnout.

“I think the takeaway from this survey is essentially we are on the cusp of two-and-a-half years of a job market that has changed, said Abedin. “The future is totally uncertain and now people are thinking about economic security are thinking ‘maybe we’ll stay in our current jobs and see if we can figure out how to adjust…’” Abedin added another takeaway is employers must proactively address burnout.

Career cushioning

Career cushioning means planning for an alternate job in case your current job falls through. That means keeping your resume up to date, learning new skills or perhaps taking on a side gig that has full-time potential.

“We know people are afraid of an impending recession,” said McGrath. “…But whether you call it ‘career cushioning’ or what I call ‘being prepared,’ I think that’s what we are seeing right now.”