Lazy girl jobs: TikTok workplace trend popular with Gen Z explained as experts say it is 'insulting' to women
Some women have described these roles as their “favs” but other women say they reinforce “deep-rooted gender biases”
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There’s one thing that everyone can agree on when it comes to the culture of work, and that is that we all work so that we can earn money in order to live our lives - be that paying our bills or pursuing leisure activities.
But, there are many different approaches to what exactly the working environment should look like. Gone are the days of the traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, as a universal approach to all workplaces and workers. Some people, for example, work a four day week, and may also work from home. There’s multiple changes happening in the modern workplace, including hush trips, summer hours and mental health days.
Social media is also fuelling some workplace trends. TikTok has already been used to promote the concepts of Bare Minimum Mondays, where people ease themselves into their weeks by doing easy tasks on a Monday, and QuitTok, where people quit their jobs live on the platform. Now, there’s a new trend, which seems to be focused entirely on women, called ‘lazy girl jobs’. But, just what exactly is this trend, why do people want these roles and is the trend problematic for women? NationalWorld has spoken to several experts to find out.
What is the lazy girl job trend?
The ‘lazy girl job’ TikTok trend refers to women who have roles that require little effort and engagement but pay well. Videos of women discussing their ‘lazy girl’ jobs have over 50 million views on TikTok - and that number is growing daily. In the videos, these self-proclaimed ‘lazy girl’ workers talk about their jobs positively and say they are happy with them. In some cases, they appear to be boasting about their easy working days. They say, for example, that they are able to take lots of breaks during the day, don't have to engage much with others and can listen to music while they do minimal work.
One video shows a girl sitting at a desk. The caption overlaid on the video reads “lazy girl jobs are my favs. All I do is copy and paste the same emails, take three to four calls a day, take my extra long break, take more breaks and get a nice salary”.
Why do people want lazy girl jobs?
“I can absolutely see the appeal of ‘lazy girl jobs’. It seems like a dream scenario. Especially if you’ve watched other people slog away at jobs for little recognition or reward,” the Career Elevator Coach Sinead Sharkey-Steenson told NationalWorld.
Behaviour Psychotherapist Dipti Tait told NationalWorld that the ‘lazy girl jobs’ trend appears to appeal to individuals seeking a better work-life balance, those critical of hustle culture which promotes the idea that working long hours and intensive working is he only way to succeed, and also those looking for relatable content that celebrates a less demanding work environment.
Liese Lord, Director of the The Lightbulb Tree, a coaching and consulting practice, says the trend has been gaining momentum for many years, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. She told NationalWorld that a close friend’s daughter, who has just finished her GCSEs, has declared a ‘lazy girl job’ as her career aspiration. She adds: “I’m seeing a Covid impact in terms of people’s willingness to go above and beyond or, in some cases, even do the basic expectations. Those that went through furlough tell me that they found it hard to change up gears when work resumed and are still finding being motivated and engaged hard now. I can see a shift in their priorities towards their life versus work”.
Although the videos on TikTok seem to portray young women from Gen Z, it’s women of all ages who are looking for ‘lazy girl’ jobs, according to Lord. She says: “I have friends, in their 50s and younger, who are openly admitting that their views on work have changed dramatically since Covid and they are actively looking for work that pays well with less demands”.
From a behavioural perspective, these are the reasons Tait believes people want these roles.
Desire for work-life balance
Many women today seek a balance between their personal and professional lives. The portrayal of these ‘lazy girl jobs’ may resonate with women who value their leisure time and prioritise activities outside of work. It taps into the idea that you can have a fulfilling life without sacrificing their personal interests or mental well-being.
Reaction against hustle culture
There has been a growing critique of the prevalent hustle culture, which glorifies constant productivity and long work hours. The ‘lazy girl jobs’ trend can be seen as a reaction against this culture, where women feel able to celebrate jobs that allow them to work comfortably, take breaks, and engage in activities they enjoy.
Novelty and relatability
The ‘lazy girl jobs’ trend offers a fresh perspective and breaks away from traditional notions of hard work. It presents a relatable and appealing concept, particularly for those who desire a less stressful work environment.
Why are people posting about their lazy girl jobs?
Tait believes that people who post videos promoting their ‘lazy girl’ jobs are likely to be looking for social media validation and connections with others. She says: “When these women share their experiences of enjoying a job that requires less effort, they might receive positive feedback and support from like-minded individuals. It creates a sense of community around the idea of finding happiness and fulfilment in jobs that don't demand excessive work or effort”.
She adds that people may also be aspiring influencers seeking to build a following or gain attention by capitalising on the trend. In addition, the content may attract attention from viewers due to the desire for escapism from the pressures of demanding and disempowering jobs.
Sadie Restorick, Global Workplace Wellbeing Expert, and Co-Founder of Wellity Global, told NationalWorld that social media platforms like TikTok have given rise to a culture of quick fixes and hacks, where people are constantly looking for shortcuts to success. She says, however, that it is important to critically analyse this phenomenon.
What are the potential issues with the ‘lazy girl’ jobs trend?
While the videos on TikTok show women discussing this trend positively, experts have raised several potential issues with it. Sharkey-Steenson says that finding these “mythical roles” may be the “unicorn of the job seeking world” and they are not easy to find in reality.
The trend risks perpetuating the unrealistic notion that people can achieve financial success and stability without putting in significant effort or acquiring valuable skills, says Restorick. She adds that this undermines the importance of hard work and commitment and may also discourage people from pursuing meaningful careers.
There may also be a detrimental impact on a person’s mental health. Restorick says engaging in work that requires little effort and lacks challenge can lead to boredom, stagnation, and a lack of personal growth. “Many people actually find fulfilment in their careers when they are actively using their skills, facing challenges, and contributing to something meaningful. Pursuing ‘lazy girl jobs’ that offer quick and easy money may provide temporary comfort but, in the long run, it can lead to dissatisfaction and a sense of unfulfilled potential”.
Jane Morton Driscoll told NationalWorld that she thinks the trend has been given a “terrible name” to describe women who are strategic enough to create a business that enables them to have a healthy balance in life. Morton, who runs her own calligraphy business, says that working less and earning more is intelligent business, not lazy. She set up her company, The Oxford Calligrapher, in 2020 to gain a better work/life balance and spend more time with her son. She says: “I struggle to understand why people aren't saying ‘good for you’ rather than rolling their eyes and calling women lazy for doing this. Rather than 'lazy girl jobs' how about we just call them successful business women?”
Is the lazy girls jobs trend sexist?
There doesn’t appear to be a ‘lazy boy jobs’ trend on TikTok to mirror the ‘lazy girl jobs’ trend, which has led some professionals to tell NationalWorld they believe the trend could be sexist.
Restorick says the trend's focus on women rather than men may reinforce societal stereotypes. “Historically, women have been associated with certain roles that require less physical or mental effort. This can be attributed to deep-rooted gender biases that have shaped traditional gender roles, but it is important to recognise that these stereotypes are outdated and do not accurately reflect the diverse skills, abilities, and ambitions of individuals, regardless of their gender”.
Driscoll adds that she thinks this trend is “insulting” to women. “I think it's completely unfair to centre this trend around women. In 2023, women are still usually the main caregiver for their dependents and spend far more time than men on unpaid care work. To then criticise women for choosing to make a living in a way that allows them to dedicate time to what's most important is frankly, insulting”.