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Scientifically, I’m classified as an introvert. I prefer quiet over crowds. An evening in is more frequent than out. I’m more a house cat than a social butterfly. I prefer anonymity over celebrity, even in the blogging world. 

For me, quiet thriving is more than my comfort zone, it’s life as I know it.

What is quiet thriving?

Quiet quitting includes doing the bare minimum to prevent getting fired, quiet thriving is at the other end of the quiet spectrum. Instead, it’s more like “taking specific actions and making mental shifts that help you to feel more engaged on the job” states the psychotherapist, Lesley Alderman

Long before I was introduced to the fancy word combo, I’ve been quiet thriving. Many of the suggestions provided in the quiet thriving listicle, are habits or environments I’m actively cultivating at work. 

Instead of work plants, I feed and tend an accomplish list. 

A accomplish list is a to-do list with a fancier name and dates. As I go about my 8-5 workday, I plug and play what’s on the list and the range of demands, from gearing up for a program at the library to finishing training to creating a contact list. 

Once the deed is done, I put a date by the finished item. 

The bold beauty of this is that I have a list of accomplishments to provide for my evaluation, suggestions for resume updates, and data for award applications. 

Also, it’s a morale booster when I feel under-accomplished or when rejection rears its angry blemish.  

An accomplish list is how I can use data to advocate for present achievements and future opportunities.

I’m devoted to baseline boundaries.

My work has inherent boundaries. My position is 100% in-person. No sweatpant commute for me! 

My computer lives at work. My work phone is old (circa 1980s or older) and doesn’t send messages to my email. Instead, messages stay on the phone which stays at work. With intention, I haven’t mingled my work with my personal email either.

Once I leave work, I’m off the grid. 

I haven’t had the “boundary” talk with my supervisor. I have mentioned, with annoying frequency, that I’m an introvert and my recharge comes from quiet time. 

Instead of an overt, in-the-wild kind-of conversation, I’ve mentioned it enough that he understands my mental health boundaries. 

Fostering friends at work because I spend more time with them than my actual family. 

Some of the best people I know are the people I work with. Truthfully, the only people I know are the people I work with. 

Little too much sharing!

I work with a gaggle of volunteers who I have varying degrees of friendship with. Some are casual with simple salutations, others are full hug hellos. I love the spectrum and appreciate how quick they are to care. Perhaps it’s because they average 70 years old and don’t have time to build a decade’s worth of friendship. Either way, I celebrate their caring ways. 

I’ve cultivated their friendship by visiting them outside of work because work keeps conversations short and covert. When it comes to casual conversations at a home where food is involved, that’s where bonds are established and maintained. 

I’ve been working since I was 14 and have had plenty of practice at building work friendships. I start with noticing their work self. If I like them at work, then I ask if they’d be interested in lunch, dinner, or whatever their comfortable with. If they say yes, the relationship shifts from casual to comfortable.

I build friendships with work as a conduit because it’s easier to go to work when your friends are there. 

The best supervisor is a supportive one.

Somewhere on the interwebs, it suggested, a good supervisor is equivalent to a $10,000 raise. 

I’m uncertain if that’s accurate, but I agree with it.

I’ve had bosses intentionally downgrade my potential, refuse professional development, and yell at me like I tried to tackle a toddler. I’ve had oozy doozy bosses. 

My current boss isn’t even on the same planet as those poor versions of a supervisor. He’s the best boss I’ve ever had.

Probably because he’s the best human I know, a bold statement from someone who has worked the customer service industry for over 20 years.

He wasn’t always my boss. Instead, I encouraged him to take a leadership role when he would have preferred otherwise. I saw his potential and ensured he knew, when asked, how I felt. 

Everyone needs an advocate. Being an advocate for someone else is how to turn a wish into reality.

Celebrating causes as they come. 

I work in a field that is devoted to supporting natural resources. As a self-imposed nature nerd, I took what is a hobby for many and turned it into a career field for one. 

Working in an industry that aligns with my values is how I turbocharge the mundane. Every job has less glamour duties, from irate customers to dirty dishes to meeting drudgery – the full spectrum of lame is there in all professions.

It turns out, that when the mission and values align with my own, the mundane is still there, but it’s less draining. In my current industry, it’s easy to find alignment with protecting public land.

In other instances, I’ve had to use a different lens. Sometimes the shift was small, like helping a stranger with a problem or being chipper when everyone is a downer. 

Small impacts can still create big ripples. 

One time, I got a bag of kettle korn from the mail lady. She gifted me a little note of thanks because of my enduring chipperiness.

Before the kettle korn incident, I hadn’t said more than a handful of words to her. The only thing I did was smile and say hello, which I do 90% of the time. 

I wrote her a thank you note for the popped treats. As she was expressing her appreciation, she started chatting. She shared that she’d been out for over a year with health problems from blood clots (yes, multiple!) to an emergency hysterectomy. 

I had no idea she had gone through so many healthcare scares. She seemed like a healthy gal whenever I saw her. My friendliness during her struggle was enough to result in a gift and all I did was smile and be friendly. 

Who am I to judge what a simple act can do for others? 

The case for quiet thriving isn’t a mystery to be solved. It’s turning small joys into a joyful life. 

I didn’t intend for my professional life to be a textbook case for quiet thriving. I had just worked in enough places to know that I wanted to work in a place where I didn’t feel like quitting daily.

I’m working on early retirement. It’s 14 years from reality. I spend 40 hours a week at work, which equates to spending more time at work than anywhere else. There are many things I have no control over and there are a few things I do. 

If I can get my head and heart onboard, that’s a guarantee that no matter where I show up, I’ll thrive. 

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