Gen Z or Gen ‘Zzz’?

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Could the ‘lazy girl job’ trend spark a revolution in the work place? Or, is this fad destined to be cast into the ‘dustbin of history’? Such questions arose following the release on TikTok in late May of a video coining the term ‘lazy girl job’ by the self-proclaimed “Anti-Work Girlboss”, 26-year-old Gabriella Judge. “Your work-life balance should feel so awesome that you almost feel like you’re being lazy” said Judge in her post which has since received around 350,000 likes whilst the hashtag #lazygirljob has accumulated over 18 million views. A typical lazy girl job constitutes menial tasks like sending emails, can be done remotely, ends exactly at 5 p.m and has a decent salary of around $60,000 – $80,000 a year. Digital marketing associate, customer-success manager and office administrator are a few examples. This enables women to “have other goals” challenging the philosophy that one’s career should be central to their life, which has previously been followed by Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials.

The term ‘lazy girl job’ is somewhat misleading as it is not literal, but rather a clever, eye-catching phrase designed to incite debate. What the ‘lazy girl job’ really stands for is workers receiving sustainable salaries and appropriate working conditions whilst preserving their mental and physical health.

Most lazy girl jobs are mind-numbingly dull.

The problem is that most lazy girl jobs are mind-numbingly dull. They tend to be administrative or middle management jobs which means that the employee is not essential to the company and so can spend their time online shopping because no-one notices, nor cares. It is for this reason that the anthropologist David Graeber has called them “bullshit jobs” as they are “a form of paid employment that is so completely pointless […] that even the employee cannot justify its existence.”

Thus, as a member of Gen Z myself, who has dreams and aspirations, what baffles me about the ‘lazy girl job’ is this glorification of stifling ambition.

On further research, I discovered that this trend may actually be indicative of much broader systemic issues found in our post pandemic world. The pandemic sparked a great deal of pessimism and hostility towards the workplace and employment, as is seen by the “Great Resignation” so-called after the exodus of people leaving the workplace. In America alone 25 million people resigned towards the end of 2021. This, alongside the recent rise of the Anti-Work movement on Reddit, which condemns “capitalism and the state” as economically exploitative and serves as a forum for hundreds of thousands of people to complain about the toils of work; and the fact that, according to an article on presenteeism by the BBC, there have been cases of people working remotely who feel immense pressure to work beyond their scheduled hours in order to impress their employers who can track their working hours online, mean that it is perhaps difficult to view the workplace as an appealing or motivational environment for Gen Z who are beginning to enter it. Workers appear to be overworked, burnt out and enslaved to their corporate overlords. It therefore makes more sense why this generation regard jobs, and capitalism, as obstacles to their general wellbeing and happiness, as opposed to just a customary feature of life.

Gen Z have taken it upon themselves to have a duel with capitalism, and only history can tell us what the outcome will be

Yet I am someone who is ever in need of a raison d’être and I believe that everything should have a purpose. Life is short and thus requires being put into perspective if only to decipher what is meaningful, and should be preserved, and what one can do without. To my mind, fulfilling a pointless job only to gain a comfortable salary and free time feels like a nihilisitc cop out. Not only do I think that one should be ambitious and take risks, especially when they are young, but I also think it is a crucial part of life to put in effort so as to achieve a goal and push yourself forwards. This enables you to discover and reach your potential, and, above all else, gain from the experience. So the maxim goes: knowledge is power, and the wiser and more experienced one is about the world, the easier it is to find fulfilment within it. Lazy girl jobs sound like a very safe and easy bet if you are okay with the fact that a door handle is probably more beneficial to humanity than your career. Gen Z have taken it upon themselves to have a duel with capitalism, and only history can tell us what the outcome will be.

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One thought on “Gen Z or Gen ‘Zzz’?

  • It really depends on your outlook and this can change over the course of your working life.

    Ultimately the ‘lazy-girl jobs’ voice is important in terms of bringing current issues to the fore and making them a part of cultural zeitgeist. Should it not be enough to do a reasonably skilled graduate job for a decent salary without the ‘hustle’ of working additional hours on the hope of a promotion/pay rise or even just a salary that pays the bills.

    Perhaps the ambition and risk taking you speak of can come from other areas of life- hobbies, relationships, self-improvement etc. It doesn’t have to be zero-sum game of capitalism vs lazy girl jobs.

    Also over a long working life (if you start work after graduation at 21 and don’t retire until 70 it’s the best part of 50 years) sustaining ambition, growth and hustle is difficult (perhaps impossible) as lifestyle changes impact our ability to focus this energy on work and more goes towards caring for children, ageing relatives or dealing with physical/mental health issues)

    I guess what we are really looking for here is balance- a job that pays enough to have a reasonable standard of living (in whatever form that looks like) without having to always be doing more to justify our position. That seems a healthy goal to me.

    Reply

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