Meet Michael, who had been going through the motions at his job for quite some time. But as the months went by, he realized that his disengagement didn’t actually give him more time for the things that truly mattered to him. In fact, he felt increasingly unhappy at work, and something needed to change.

Quiet quitting became a prominent topic in the news cycle during the summer months. Google Trends data showed a surge in worldwide searches for the term starting in August 2022. It seemed to strike a chord with both employees and employers. Some articles even encouraged workers to embrace this practice, doing the bare minimum required by their job description. However, quiet quitting, defined as true disengagement where one only does what it takes not to get fired, isn’t a new concept, and it’s not a sustainable solution.

We all go through phases where life outside of work becomes overwhelming, barely leaving us time to stay afloat. Many of us have also experienced the hardship of being stuck in a toxic workplace or having a terrible boss. But quiet quitting isn’t the answer. As the economy evolves, people are starting to reconsider the idea of becoming indispensable at work once again.

If you find yourself in a state of disengagement, here are some tips to help you re-engage or consider finding a new job where you can truly feel engaged.

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that quiet quitting is detrimental not only to your mental health but also to the overall well-being of the company. As Humans we are wired to give our best, find pride in work, and feel a sense of connection with colleagues. When that connection is lost, morale suffers, and your negative attitude can affect those around you. It’s like rowing in the opposite direction of your team’s boat, and this behavior doesn’t go unnoticed. Your own performance will suffer, and your coworkers may start to feel resentment and passive anger, which can eventually reach a breaking point. Each team member has a social responsibility to prevent spreading toxicity to others.

To address the issue, it’s crucial to understand what led you to this point of disengagement. Unless there was a significant event that triggered it, there are likely multiple factors that have gradually pushed you away mentally. Career experts recommend retracing your steps to identify the unmet needs related to your manager, colleagues, leadership, compensation, company culture, type of work, or work processes.

Don’t hesitate to seek help and support. Once you acknowledge the negative impact of your disengagement on your daily life and morale, taking the first steps towards change will immediately boost your spirits. Remember that you don’t have to face this alone; there are people who genuinely want you to succeed. Consider reaching out to a career coach, a trusted colleague, a mentor, your boss, or even a therapist. When preparing for the conversation, present the facts about your quiet quitting, explaining how it has affected your productivity and the team. It’s also helpful to come with potential solutions to propose.

Following your discussions with trusted advisors, develop an action plan to address the situation. This plan should include short-term and long-term goals to remedy the issue. In the short term, you may need to make peace with your less-than-ideal present, while the long-term plan may involve seeking a new job if the current company, role, or manager isn’t aligned with your career aspirations. Establish a clear timeline for all the actions you commit to.

Additionally, career experts suggest enriching your personal life as part of your action plan. Dedicate your weekends to activities that allow you to disconnect from work and revive hobbies you may have abandoned. This will have a positive impact on your work life and overall well-being