The concept of a “lazy girl” job is the latest employment term trending on TikTok. Similar to “quiet quitting”, it’s an idea that tends to resonate with many Gen Z and younger millennial workers, and can be seen as a response to the “girl boss” ideal prevalent in the past decade.
“Lazy girl” jobs typically consist of work that is not challenging and often remote, and that doesn’t offer many growth or promotion opportunities. However, it pays the bills and provides a comfortable enough life that you have time and energy left over for pursuing fulfillment outside of work.
However, this trend has been criticized as another way younger workers seem entitled and lack a similar work ethic as previous generations. In July, ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 668 millennial and Gen Z workers to find out how many identify with this idea.
- 1 in 3 workers in this age group have no desire to achieve a high-level role at work
- 1 in 7 Gen Z and millennial women identify with the “lazy girl” jobs trend
- Similarly, 1 in 7 Gen Z and millennial men identify with “quiet quitting”
- More than 1 in 4 say their career is a small or non-existent part of their identity
- 1 in 7 would prefer a non-challenging job, even if it means missing opportunities
1 in 3 Gen Z and Millennial Workers Staying Out of the C-Suite
Respondents were asked to rate their aspirations for achieving a “high-level” job role, such as CEO, Vice President, or Senior Management. Sixteen percent of respondents say they have never aspired to achieve this type of role, while 18% say they used to have these aspirations but no longer do.
When asked why they no longer want a high-level job role, the top reasons respondents gave were a desire to focus on their family and that achieving this type of role requires too many sacrifices.
Forty-seven percent of respondents say they do aspire to reach a high-level role, while 19% have already achieved such a role.
Results were similar among Gen Z respondents (age 18-27) and millennial respondents (age 28-43), as well as respondents identifying as women and respondents identifying as men.
“The pandemic likely contributed to this sentiment among Gen Z and millennial workers,” says Career Coach Carolyn Kleiman. “After being forced to stay home and do things remotely, this group likely said, ‘hey I can still get things done without leaving the comfort of my couch or wasting time traveling, perhaps this is the way it should be.’”
“The flip side,” she continues, “is the pandemic also led to an increase in anxiety, which I think is a strong contributor to people wanting to stay home and have a less demanding job with limited responsibility.”
1 in 7 Gen Z and Millennial Women Identify With “Lazy Girl” Jobs
Respondents who identify as women were asked if they identify more with the idea of a “lazy girl” job, being a “girl boss” (someone who is ambitious and successful in their career), or neither of these. Fourteen percent of women chose “lazy girl” jobs, 70% chose being a “girl boss,” and 16% say they don’t identify with either trend.
Again, results for this question were similar among Gen Z and millennial respondents. Reasons respondents identify with the “lazy girl” trend included statements such as:
- “I have a family. I’d rather focus on them than on slaving away so some rich fatcat can get even more money.”
- “I prefer to protect my mental health rather than sacrifice for a job that sees me as replaceable.”
- “I don’t really care about having that much money, my main focus in life is just to be happy. I’m not going to spend it focusing on money and a job, life is about so much more than any of that.”
Reasons respondents provided for identifying with the “girl boss” trend included:
- “I am intelligent and driven. I worked hard to overcome poverty growing up in a small rural town and I want my career to reflect my value and all I am capable of.”
- “I want to show my daughters a role model.”
- “Unfortunately, this world wants to be lazy, but I don’t.”
Among respondents who do not identify with either of these trends, reasons provided included:
- “I feel I want to grow at my job, but don’t have to be top dog.”
- “I work hard but my work isn’t my identity. I’m passionate about what I do but don’t want to move up to a high-level role.”
- “I don’t like what the connotation of girl boss has evolved to – it’s overused and leans too heavily on feminism and stereotypes.”
1 in 7 Gen Z and Millennial Men Identify With Quiet Quitting
Among respondents who identify as men, a similar number say they relate more to “quiet quitting” (doing the minimum job requirements and nothing else) than “hustle culture” (an intense focus on success at work).
Fifteen percent of men say they identify more with “quiet quitting”, 61% identify more with “hustle culture,” and 24% say they don’t identify with either trend.
“Trends like ‘lazy girl’ jobs and ‘quiet quitting’ are popular amongst Gen Zers because it feeds into their need to have more time devoted to life outside of work,” Kleiman adds. “These generations in particular saw their parents working long hours, heard them complaining about work, and therefore, want something different. They lack an understanding of why older generations prioritize work. Some also may have an immature and idealized vision of what work and life look like.”
More Than 1 in 4 Say Career is Small or Non-Existent Part of Their Identity
When asked how much they consider their career a part of their identity, more than one-quarter of respondents say it is a small part of their identity (20%) or not a part of their identity (8%).
Forty-one percent say their career is somewhat part of their identity, and 31% say it’s a large part.
Respondents were also asked how challenging of a job they would be willing to accept, assuming a more challenging job leads to growth opportunities. Only one-third of respondents say they would be willing to take on a very challenging job, while 54% say a somewhat challenging job, 10% say a not very challenging job, and 4% would prefer a job that is not challenging at all.
Additionally, when asked how important achieving promotions is to them, only 45% of respondents say this is very important. Forty-one percent say promotions are somewhat important, while 12% say they are not so important and 1% say they are not at all important.
“One potential consequence of a ‘lazy girl’ job or ‘quiet quitting’ is the possible long-term ramifications. If you have not been engaged in progressive employment after several years, it can be difficult to pivot into a more substantial role,” finishes Kleiman.
This online poll was commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com and conducted on SurveyMonkey Audience starting July 27, 2023. Respondents consist of a national sample that was randomly selected from a U.S. panel.
Overall, 668 respondents, including full-time workers, part-time workers, students, or those looking for work, completed the survey. All respondents were between the ages of 18 and 43. Learn more about SurveyMonkey’s methodology or contact [email protected] for more information.