On the heels of several other workplace-related terms coined by Gen Z influencers on TikTok, the term “lazy-girl job” was born sometime this past summer. Like the confusing catch phrase “quiet quitting,” which doesn’t refer to actual quitting at all, lazy-girl jobs are not actually for lazy girls.
They are, however, jobs that allow young women to work reasonable hours in the comfort of their own homes, take breaks throughout the day, work independently without being micromanaged, log-off when their work is done, and enjoy free time to relax or pursue personal interests.
This recent trend is fueled by young professionals who are taking a stand against a “hustle culture” where they believe overwork has been glorified. Instead of accepting that low pay, long hours, and hard work are simply part of a normal rite of passage that will pay off over time, these young influencers and their followers are challenging the status quo.
Many of them spent their college years studying or working from home because of the pandemic. Some may have also witnessed their parents or other role models suffer stress, anxiety, and burnout due to their jobs. Instead of falling victim to a bad boss, toxic culture, or the proverbial “rat race,” these so-called lazy girls are actively seeking jobs that allow them to make a good living, but also enjoy their lives.
Admittedly, I’m still a little undecided about the term and the concept. At first blush, #lazygirljob seems to be sort of a first cousin to #quietquitting. As an organizational leader, both trends seem to encourage workers to withhold their talents from their employers and to intentionally utilize less than their full capabilities.
After forty years of gainful employment, the concept of purposely not doing my best remains foreign. Call me old-fashioned, but I wholeheartedly believe that there’s infinite value in working to the best of your abilities. And there are countless employers who hire, develop, and reward employees who do.
Although I respect and share the desire to achieve work-life harmony, I’m uncomfortable with the lazy-girl term and feel it could do more harm than good in an era where women are fighting for respect, status, opportunities, and equity in the workplace.
Young men are also part of a growing on-line, anti-work movement, but #lazygirljob has more than 35 million views and is garnering a great deal of attention. The influencers are even recommending specific job titles, such as account manager and digital marketing associate, which they deem worthy of lazy-girl status.
So, after much reflection on the lazy-girl trend, my recommendation to employers is that they assess how they can support women (and men, of course) so that people are motivated to be their best selves and do their best work.
Your assessment should include ensuring that employees have reasonable workloads, receive frequent feedback, feel supported by their manager, have opportunities to learn and develop, are offered flexibility, and are encouraged to utilize paid time off.
These are admirable goals worthy of exploration and consideration by every organization committed to providing a healthy workplace culture for talented people.
And with any luck, the lazy-girl job trend will be replaced soon by another passing fad.