The term „act your wage“ refers to behavior that is similar to, but not identical with quiet quitting. „Act your wage“ means that employees act in a way that corresponds to their salary. According to this code of conduct, those who earn only the minimum wage also work with minimal commitment.
In contrast to internal resignation, employees usually like their jobs and started their working lives with high hopes. But at some point they had to realize that they were just being taken advantage of. So they consciously decided not to work overtime or to show excessive commitment in other ways.
„Act your wage“ is a form of counter-movement to the exploitative behavior that is becoming more and more widespread among employers: they pay disproportionately low salaries and deliberately calculate the extra effort of employees in order to make more profit.
What is and means „Act your Wage“? Meaning, definition, explanation
„Duty by the book“ is not a new work attitude. It has existed for centuries. Employees use it to express their displeasure with working conditions. Generation Z also no longer wants to put up with exploitative behavior, as they also have the burn-out lives of older employees who have done everything for their jobs before their eyes. With the „act your wage“ strategy, they adjust their workload to their salary.
Those who earn little only work the bare minimum, while those who earn a lot also work more. There are numerous gradations between silent resignation and „act your wage“. In 2023, the trend is emerging that the big career is the primary goal for fewer and fewer people. You don’t want to sacrifice your life time exclusively for the job – especially if overtime is not paid. They are perfectly willing to do a good job, but only within the contractually agreed working hours.
How employers position themselves on this says a lot about them
Silent withdrawal reveals more about managers than about employees. Supervisors reveal that they have factored in the extra work. Employees are no longer willing to go along with this quietly, especially since the cost of living has risen sharply, but wages have not risen to the same extent. Those who do not even earn a sufficient wage will not do the work for two. „Act your wage“ in no way means that those in question are doing worse work. They just don’t want to invest more of their time and energy than necessary. They set limits when they feel burned out.
Disadvantages for employers
For employers, the employee strategy has consequences. They can no longer assume that employees will contribute more because of a hope for recognition. They contribute only what is contractually agreed upon. Supervisors are forced to offer more. They must either hire more staff or pay better salaries if the person is important to them.
Disadvantages for employees
Keeping one’s work commitment to a minimum is uncollegial, because it automatically imposes more work on others. If you do not prioritize work in your life, you can cope with this attitude. The possible consequences should always be considered. Not every employer appreciates this attitude towards work and will punish the lack of motivation. He will not offer a better salary to the person in question and may dismiss him. That is why „act your wage“ is criticized even in its own ranks, for example on TikTok.