I Was 'Quiet Hired' At My Job & Here's How It Drove Me To Quit
I was extremely underpaid.
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
"Quiet quitting" was a recent trend that spread like wildfire on TikTok when people were finally able to coin a term for burnout, deciding against going above and beyond the tasks they were hired for.
Now, we have "quiet hiring." Although the video app is making it a movement this year, it has been around for way longer.
Trust me. I have experience.
"Quiet hiring" is the idea that employers are adding more tasks to your role, rather than hiring people for new ones or moving you into a new, more laborious position without a raise or promotion.
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The first time I saw one of these videos on TikTok, I couldn't believe it was just being talked about now. During my first three years after college, I was a television news reporter. I thought I was living the pipe dream everyone aspires to... that is, until I saw my offer and was too naive to realize I was being taken for granted.
In my first job as a weekend anchor/weekday reporter, I received $23,000/year. I was excited to be working my dream job because I knew I would make it to where I wanted to go eventually.
What I didn't realize was how much of a grind it was just to hold on to that dream and how it wasn't sustainable to live.
At the time, I could have qualified for food stamps, and I know I wasn't the only one. I just didn't realize the toll it would take on me.
On top of being underpaid, I was extremely overworked.
On paper, I was an anchor and a reporter, but they didn't mention that I would also be a camera operator, a video editor, a producer, a copy editor, and I would run my own teleprompter at the anchor desk. The only thing I didn't do was push the buttons in the production room because I physically couldn't be in two places at once.
When I went to my next market, it wasn't much better. I got paid just under $31,000/year, and during this time, they "quiet hired" us to be digital reporters on top of television reporters.
Now, we had more equipment and were required to do extra tasks on-air, so we could have social media coverage as well. Nobody's salaries changed because "that's just the way the news cycle is going."
I wanted another skill set and added my own project to my to-do list for a lifestyle segment. Luckily, the segment got approved, but our media sales team wanted to sponsor it. This means — if sold to a sponsor — I was putting money in everyone's paycheck.
However, my salary stayed the same, and now I was required to keep the segment going on top of my regular reporting tasks.
All I got was a mere trophy from the Broadcasters Association in the state, which I chalked up to a win.
With all of this taken into account, when it came down to re-signing my contract, I desperately knew a better quality of life meant way more than suffering until I made it to a news station I might not have even wanted down the road.
The burnout vs. the unfair payment was unbearable, so while I was "quietly hired" for countless tasks, I knew it was time to loudly quit, or nothing would change.