I over achieve but you don’t have to
I’ve recently seen a lot of conversations about quiet quitting, a phenomenon where people seemingly give up and do the minimum because they’re disengaged. This to me seemed problematic, it could be seen as saying “if you don’t over achieve then you’re not doing enough”.
I’m here to say that it’s okay to not do the extra. It’s fine to do your day to day job.
I know I over achieve; I do extra testing stuff outside of my job role. Yes I blog and I host testing events and talk at conferences, but that’s my choice. I do it because I have the free time and energy to do it and I like to help my fellow testers by sharing the knowledge I have.
When you’re a part of the testing Twitter bubble it can seem like everyone is constantly blogging / attending conferences / having these massive testing epiphanies all the time. Remember that on social media people curate a view of themselves and that this may not represent their real life. Personally I put maybe an hour a week into extra-curricular testing stuff.
But as I said above, that’s my choice to do. I don’t have children or any other things in my day-to-day life that I need to put my energy in to, so I have the time to do these blogs. If I became busy with other things, my talks and blogs would be the first thing to go.
Same with being at work. Sometimes I have the energy to do extra things (glue work supporting communications or writing processes, researching new tools, training people) and sometimes I don’t. When I don’t have the mental energy to do extra it’s not because I’ve checked out or don’t care (and it’s certainly not because I’m unhappy and want to quit); it’s because I’m busy doing the day-to-day and living my life.
I wanted to write this post because I wanted to reassure people that I know it seems like a lot of people blog / do talks but that’s not the normal. I don’t expect all my colleagues to be constantly giving talks or creating new models of testing (although if they want to, I’m more than happy to support them).
The concept of not doing extra work means that you’re giving up sets unrealistic expectations of people and also diminishes the efforts of those who do extra.