I Was 'Quiet Hired' At My Job & Here's How It Drove Me To Quit

I was extremely underpaid.

Florida Associate Editor
Associate Editor Jenna Kelley reporting the news. Right: An empty cubicle.

Associate Editor Jenna Kelley reporting the news. Right: An empty cubicle.

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.

Jenna Kelley
Florida Associate Editor
Jenna Kelley is an Associate Editor for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on trends and celebrities in Florida and is based in Miami-Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
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