Since the pandemic began in 2020, our workforce has seen many shifts in behaviors and approaches.

Suddenly expressions like the great resignation, rage-applying and quiet-quitting appeared to define those shifts.

Today we will look at one such phenomena in comparison to some old school thinking called ‘True Grit.’

Quiet quitting, where many employees and sometimes rightfully so, took the approach not to go “over and above” in the performance of their job, focusing instead on the bare minimum.

Although this is understandable when employees are undercompensated or
overworked, quiet quitting diminishes long term prospects for a tenured employee interested in advancing their career path. And it will most certainly hurt a new employee who does only exactly what is asked of them.

As a former hiring manager at a large enterprise software company and someone who helps place employees in technology, advertising and manufacturing roles, one of the most important soft skills a person can possess is grit.

The definition of grit is “firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck.” It also means being tenacious, bringing your “game face” and showing resolve.

Having always said I’d prefer to have a team member with less experience but who’ll take twice the
initiative to get the job done, grit is a quality I seek in job candidates.

As the “quiet quitting” term advanced through social and traditional media, the question I kept asking myself was this:

How are nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters, first responders, teachers, military personnel and others who work in protecting public health, safety and national security able to practice “quiet quitting”?

Answer: They can’t and don’t.

They regularly practice true grit to perform their jobs to the best of their ability for the sake of their mission and to honor their values, while protecting the greater good.

True grit has been recognized by hiring managers since the beginning of time.

Now, after a wild hiring market goes through a correction and as the market
begins to shift back to more of an employer-centric model, it’s important for job seekers to demonstrate grit as they approach the application and interviewing process through the following practices:

– Carefully read and understand the job description
– Research the companies where you’d like to apply and then keep records
– Be prepared before speaking with recruiters and hiring managers to ask the important question
– Be diligent when communicating with recruiters and make yourself easily accessible
– Show good, positive energy at each touch point during the process

Demonstrating true grit absolutely gets you noticed and can make a huge difference in how you are perceived. So, practice True Grit and forget about Quiet Quitting.