Lazy Girl Jobs: Gen Z’s alternative to Financial Independence?

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Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash from PuppyHero

Now that I’m an elderly Millennial, I’m no longer cool enough to start trends or incite revolutions. All my pop culture references are “cheugy”, my beloved Harry Potter books are “for old people”, and my Instagram account is so 2019. So now I have no choice but to look to Gen Z for inspiration when it comes to trends. And the newest one trending on TikTok, with 17 million uses, is the #lazygirljob.

Being the ignorant Millennial that I am and not being on TikTok (sorry China, you’re not stealing my data), I had to go down the online rabbit hole to find out what this latest trend is all about.

Started by TikToker 26 year old Gabrielle Judge in May of this year, Lazy Girl Jobs are the anti-thesis of the Sheryl Sandberg and Sophia Amoruso’s ethos of “Leaning In” and “GirlBoss”. Instead of “leaning in”” LGJ’s are all about “leaning out” and work life balance. Described by Judge as “a flexible remote position that’s non-technical, high-paying and doesn’t require extreme efforts or difficult performance goals”, she says you can expect to make around $60-80K/year. Examples include “customer success manager” and “marketing associate.”

I had no idea what the hell a “customer success manager” was and had to look it up. Zendesk defines it as “supporting your customers as they transition from sales prospects to active users of your products.”

I’ve read this sentence multiple times and yet I STILL have no idea what this role is all about. And to me, if you can’t explain what you do to a two-year-old, that job is probably not going to be around for too long. Not only that, these LGJ are supposed to be 1) flexible 2) easy and 3) high paying, which pretty much sounds like a fantasy, and if it’s really that great, everyone would be competing for one, which means they are rarer than unicorns, or prone to replacement by AI. 

Now, you may disagree with me, especially if you have one of these LGJ’s. And here’s the thing,  what caught my attention more than this type of job was the jaded anti-work sentiment of Gen Z’s.  This immediately reminded me of the Tai Ping/Lay Flat movement in China. After the pandemic, I can kind of see where the next generation are coming from. Why risk your life for a company who doesn’t give a shit about you? And for what? For a paycheck that won’t pay for sky rocking rents or to ever own a home? To work for 30 years only to die at your desk of a heart attack or retire at 65, only to find yourself bedridden and no longer healthy enough to do any of things you put your life on hold for, just to make your company rich? The older I get, the more I can see which side of the capitalist equation it pays to be on: an investor, not an employee. Investors get richer, employees get shafted. That’s just how capitalism works. As a worker, you will continue to be squeezed to earn more and more profits for shareholders until you die.

So yes, I understand Gen Z’s sentiments. Why bust your ass when everything’s unaffordable and you can’t afford to ever buy a house and/or raise kids? Or you have to get into so much debt to be able to do it, you are the bank and your boss’s bitch for the rest of eternity. It’s not worth it.

My method of getting out of this mess was to go from being an overworked, stressed-out employee to a shareholder who makes money in my sleep. Gen Z’s answer is to look for Lazy Girl Jobs. Which, on the surface seems like a much more attainable solution than becoming financially independent, since the latter required me to work my butt off in a non-LGJ job for nearly 9 years to buy my freedom for the next 50+ years. Isn’t it easier to just take shortcut and get a LGJ instead?

Here’s the thing about easy jobs. They are extremely replaceable. In fact, at one point I had one of those jobs. Before it turned into 60-80 hour weeks, popping anxiety pills, and worrying about being outsourced, my last job was a nice easy job. In fact, I escape a far more stressful job to get that one and got a raise to boot. But unfortunately, because the job was so easy and well-paying, someone up top noticed, and quickly rectified the situation by increasing my workload 10-fold and then trying to replace the position entirely with developers from India making $5/hour.

But that was then and this is now. And I would argue, now is even more dangerous to have one of those jobs because of AI. Even outsourcing overseas to someone making $5/hour doesn’t beat the efficiency and cheapness of machines that never need to sleep, eat, get benefits, or get sick.

Even though AI won’t be able to replace all jobs (especially in the trades or care giving, in which you need a living breathing human being for the task), non-technical ones that are high paying (read: expensive for the company) and remote, will be the first on the chopping block. And if you get replaced and your job was too easy, you won’t have any transferrable skills to find the next job. If your job is too easy, you are easily replicable.

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42 thoughts on “Lazy Girl Jobs: Gen Z’s alternative to Financial Independence?”

  1. “Customer success manager” sounds like a renaming of “customer support” where you deal with customer complaints and problems to me. Probably because no one was applying for the positions because they suck.

    1. In theory a Customer Success Manager is supposed to do just that, help the customer use your platform to the fullest potential. That way if the customer is using the platform and seeing value in it, they will continue renewing their subscription to your product (which is one of the goals) and it sets them up to be up-sold and cross-sold as well. The really good ones have this kind of impact.

      In reality, most of them are just customer support people.

  2. I totally agree, AI is totally going to squash their dreams.

    What really gets me tho is this selfish “I want it all with little effort so I can spend even more time focused on myself” attitude! This is why we have nursing, policing, firefighter shortages, people are so self absorbed they don’t consider a career on how they can contribute to society anymore.

    Who will care for these “LazyGirls” if their condos catch fire and god forbid their Ring-Light burn up?

    Now if the goal is to work less so they can volunteer in those roles then shut me up, power to them…

    1. As someone who works in healthcare…there is a shortage of workers not willing to work under the current conditions (read: unsafe assignment loads, rude & violent patients not to mention their families…)

      1. That is totally understandable. Pandemic caused a ton of burn out in healthcare and it’s justifiable why people wanted to switch careers. It’s our loss that we have a major shortage of doctors, nurses, etc. now.

    2. Maybe AI will find a way to fill those vital job with shortages too. Then we’ll all be bowing to our machine overlords.

  3. I recently spoke to a couple of Gen Z young women at a wedding about their LGJs, which they called “Little Girl Jobs.” The “Little Girl Jobs” these young women had were being a “Girl Friday” for a real estate firm, and a social media manager, both with companies that are managed mainly by boomers and Gen Xers. The gal in the Girl Friday position said that her boss thinks of her like his daughter and wants to help her to be happy just as he wants for his daughter (and she WORKS that angle), and the gal in the social media manager position was just coasting doing what her older coworkers think of as magic. Overall, my impression from talking to them for a couple hours was that they were thoughtful, insightful, interesting young women who have a much more firm grasp on what they DON’T want than I did at their age (I was born in 1979 – so I’m either a very young Gen X or a very old Millennial depending on how you look at things). They see people their parents (my) age who want a BS job while they are semi-retired, and they just figure that they can/should skip the working hard and having a career part of that equation. As someone who has a 9-5 while fantasizing about the no-education-required jobs on, I can’t say I blame them. I also thought that these particular young women were charming and lovely and that they’re going to be just fine.

    When you complain about the next generation, you know you’re getting old. Welcome to the club. :p

    1. I wish I could like this comment or give it a star! but this is totally correct. You are getting old. Lol

    2. “When you complain about the next generation, you know you’re getting old. Welcome to the club. :p”

      LOL. I should probably schedule my hip replacement surgery soon…

  4. I’m with you. When I escaped corporate capture to become a consultant, folks would tell me they were going to do the same. But they were going to skip the gruelling part about years of slaving obscene hours and creating performance that was multiples of the others in my field. Nope, they planned to just leave and call a few clients to siphon off enough work for their enjoyment, without the nuisance of having to work with/in a team of corporate folks. That didn’t end well. The few who pulled the plug starved awhile and then struggled to find new employment. One was sued for client alienation. When you think it is easy, you are missing something. Look harder.
    This has echos of the era of the internet bubble. You are too young to remember, but there was a time that any goofball could get some VC money, buy a BMW, start to create some internet based web activity, with no idea what the path to profit would be. I was a consultant at this point, and watched with curiosity the young pups showing off their new cars. Was I really out of touch, as they scoffed at us? Nope. It all crashed and burned. Some fell back on programming skills, plenty had to start over figuring out what to do when they grew up.

    1. “This has echos of the era of the internet bubble. ”

      Oh yeah I remember this. I was still in university, but I started my degree right as it burst. The job market went from “anyone who can fog a mirror can get a computer job” to “oh shit my degree might be useless and tech jobs are being outsourced” overnight. Luckily, the tech jobs came back when I graduated. But it’s a cycle. You never know which part of the cycle you’re in.

  5. Interesting indeed. I suppose it’s all about balance. I would hope these young folks are enjoying their day-to-day lives, while also saving and investing for the future.

    1. Agreed. If they are intentional with their money they could bank the proceeds when the job is easy so that their cash machine pays them when things inevitably change later.

  6. Sigh…..yet another term for something which has existed since work has existed. There were LGJ’s as far back as the building of the pyramids in Egypt, and the Tower of Babel. Even our most distant photo-human’s had their share of LGJ’s.

  7. There are no shortcuts, it doesn’t matter the situation or generation, incompetence can only be tolerated for so long. Every industry unless it protected from change (Government work for example) is constantly trying to cut costs and increase performance.

    While work theatre is very much alive, it is always under threat. I’d suggest you have to try harder to not work than pursuing a reasonable skill and just showing up every day.

    P.S. My wife works in marketing and she slogs away. A significant part marketing is all tied to billable hours and ROI, there’s no room for goofing off when you are accountable to the minute. Unless you work “in-house” and for a small company, which likely means your whole job is a waste of time and everything you do has little impact. Those jobs tend not to pay well at all so probably don’t fit LGJ definitions.

    1. They don’t replace you because you’re incompetent. They replace you because you’re a living, breathing slab of meat who has needs. That’s all it takes. They are insulted by the thought that they owe anyone else anything, and never mind that wages are tax-deductible as a business expense. (They really are. I looked it up.)

      And then they spend all their free time gaslighting the proletariat that the latter are ungrateful and want something for nothing. Well, if it’s “nothing,” Boss Person, do the work yourself. And good luck getting AI to figure out what you want it to do when it still can’t draw hands correctly.

      (Seriously. If incompetence were the number one reason anyone got replaced, explain why there are still so many employed incompetent people out there. You know it’s true. You probably complain about them daily. I sure do.)

  8. I think in every generation, the workplace will be redefined by technology and we all have to adapt to it. As an elderly millennium, I see new generation will adapt to a new type of working environment than what I was used. There’s much better ways to make money at a higher range than what was existing to me before. It happens, that’s the impact of new technology, and all to the people who had the insights to adapt as needed.

    For the average people, I think looking for the lazy girl jobs honestly at the beginning of career might not be a good idea in the long run, it might be better to look for a job in the beginning to build up the skills and experience and mid way between 5-10 years of working transition to the lazy girl job using the skills built up, plus it adds more leverage to negotiate for a higher salary. There might be more security in the career doing this method for the average people.

    However, some people have all the luck in the world and can get those lazy girl jobs with high pay, if that’s the case milk it for all its worth!

    And between 10-15th years of work, Be Fire and leave 🙂

    1. ” I think looking for the lazy girl jobs honestly at the beginning of career might not be a good idea in the long run, it might be better to look for a job in the beginning to build up the skills and experience and mid way between 5-10 years of working transition to the lazy girl job using the skills built up.”

      This makes perfect sense to me. Reminds me of Cal Newports “Be so good they can’t ignore you”. You only get the “easy” job once you have enough irreplaceable skills in that field that they can’t live without you. That takes years of hard work to get there.

    2. Exactly.

      As for evolving and with technology, my job got easier with AI. For example, video editing is now done 75% very well by AI and I just need to clean it up at the end. Does it mean I am free an extra 3 hours? 😂 😂😂

  9. “As a worker, you will continue to be squeezed to earn more and more profits for shareholders until you die.”

    Seems like customers are getting squeezed more and more lately for the sake of investors too. There have been so many annoying things companies have been doing lately just to make sure their profits keep growing to keep shareholders happy and to allow the execs to keep getting their bonuses.

    As for LGJ, I kind of have one, it doesn’t pay $60k but it pays well over minimum wage and is work from home. It is highly specialized though with a lot of on the job training and experience required so no danger of AI replacing me anytime soon. We already had an automated system for composing the part the could be automated long before chat GPT came out. Most of the time it is pretty laid back, no overtime, not much stress unless we run into a particularly difficult client or project.

  10. LOL. Looks like the era of all the low-interest rate free money hasn’t percolated through the system yet. After all it’s only been a year since interest rates have skyrocketed to 5.5% from zero. Experts have been saying the day of reckoning can take 2-3 years to go through .
    I’d think within the next 12 months all the free money will be dried up and companies will slash and cut all the superlative lazy jobs out to bare bones. Just look at Twitter , 60% of all the jobs weren’t really necessary

  11. Damn! There were no Lazy Boy Jobs when I was a Lazy Boy! Just the Lazy Boy Recliner existed back then.

    I’ve missed yet one more wave.

    OK, back to work now.

    Dan V
    Taipei, Taiwan

  12. Finally, you come clean that “FIRE” walking is not easy “…work my butt off in a non-LGJ job for nearly 9 years to buy my freedom…”but, when you first started this “Millennial Revolution”, you had to market the concept as “Stop Working, Start Living”…to get the 99Percenters buy into your revolutionary idea at the time.

    If you have marketed as “…work my butt off…” you would not have the success you have today.

    This “LGJ” is nothing more than another “Shiny Object” the 1Percenters is trying to pitch to the 99Percenters.

    Not sure if this founder has the strength, the determination, the savvy and the most critical ingredient “the SINCERITY” you both have demonstrated to get to where you are today.

    To all the “99Percenters”: Success is not EASY. If you happened come across the “1Percenters” that pitch to you that Success does not require extraordinary amount of time and incredible amount of hard work, walk away because they are selling “Shinny Object” to you.

    And that you are nothing more than the sacrificial flies that attract the “shinny light”.

    1. “Finally, you come clean that “FIRE” walking is not easy”

      Never said FIRE was easy. It’s simple (the concept of 4% rule is not hard to understand) but not easy.

  13. Wow this blog really lost quality. No wonder Big ERN and RiskParityRadio are bad mouthing you guys at every turn they have…

  14. Would the solution here be to get a lazy job if possible, but become an investor to your point about the problems of being an employee – this achieved by investing as much as possible whilst also balancing with a good lifestyle?

  15. I believe AI will replace copywriters, heck even churning out presentations. So LazyGJ or women occupying might also be out looking for a higher paying partner live her dream. WHich sadly is not independent feminist autonomy at all.

    They might look backwards when they are in their 60’s and wonder why they funnelled less work energy back then.

    1. It’s not independent *human* autonomy. Men wouldn’t put up with being expected to find a rich wife.

      Sexism in the workplace is still a thing. Right now they’re doing everything they can to bring more women into IT, particularly coding. The reason they’re doing that is so they have a domestic labor pool (thus more manageable and more likely to interact well with clients) that they can pay less than they were paying U.S. men because, Lily Ledbetter Act or not, employers will always find some excuse.

      Women are human beings. We deserve the same rewards men get for the same hard work. Because they are human beings and so are we.

      These young women knew the score. Be given more of a workload and ten times the harassment in the workplace only to be paid enough less than men that they can’t make rent on their own or stay home and have less stress if they’re going to be poor anyway. Any effort to rectify the situation leads to insane “solutions” like redefining some men as women in order to meet DEI metrics. The American workplace is fundamentally broken for women, and I don’t know that it will ever be fixed now that they can just replace us with machines.

  16. Good for Gen Z. I’m seeing a resurgence of really meaningful but often forgotten jobs like construction, plumbing, utility, and carpentry getting more attention and apprenticeships because young people don’t want to do that work, but also it was discouraged as an alternative to college. With college costs crazy, and high wages for the trades, I would totally change if I went back!

  17. This reads to be dismissive of the CSM role. CSMs are really important at almost all of the jobs I’ve been at. They’re like a combination Account Manager (doing upsells and renewals) and Project Manager (making sure that the customers are using the product(s) to their full potential or helping adopt more usage). I wouldn’t call it a LGJ at all. Also, trying to leverage Machine Learning or AI for that role is still a long way off and not easily attainable. I’m all for work/life balance though. But if that tiktok trend makes it seem like you can just phone it in for for a lot of corporate jobs, the people following that will be in for a rude awakening.

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