It has been quite a year of TikTok trends, but these viral movements aren’t about fashion or the latest food hack, they are bleeding into workplaces and leaders should be aware of them. We first brought you the quiet quitting trend late last year and since then, we’ve discussed quiet firing, quiet promoting and even quiet thriving.
This latest trend isn’t quiet and although some may think it has a negative connotation to the name, “lazy girl jobs” isn’t about being lazy at all. It’s simply another trend among young people who want more work-life balance post pandemic.
The hashtag has generated 20 million+ (and growing since the Wall Street Journal covered it) views on TikTok and the phenomenon has loosely come to mean a mid-level job that can be done remotely, a boss who doesn’t micromanage, flexible schedule (though not outside standard 9am to 5pm working hours) and a comfortable salary.
What Leaders Need to Know
Despite the name, the trend doesn’t advocate for lethargy or lack of ambition. It’s about flexibility and setting healthy boundaries. Gabrielle Judge, a 26-year-old career influencer, is credited for coining the viral term said she purposely used satire in the term to “prove the point that compared to traditional hustle-culture mentality, a healthy work-life balance is often viewed as lazy.” It’s not the first time younger workers have advocated for change, and leaders need to pay attention to what their employees are saying.
It’s more proof that managing employees is not what it used to be, and leaders should be flexible and adaptable and see this trend as an opportunity to improve their workplaces.
Here are some lessons leaders should be aware of:
- Ditch the timeclock.
A company culture that focuses on productivity over hours judges output rather than a certain amount of time spent in an office. This, of course, comes during a time when companies are doing more to try to get people back into the office. We’re still in the middle of this tug of war between leaders and employees, so it’s unclear how it will be resolved, but it’s important to be flexible.
I had a career coaching client who used to work in New York City at a big ad agency in the early 2000s. She was required to be in the office every day from 8am to 5pm, with no exceptions. Even if she had gotten all her work done for the day, she was expected to sit at her desk until the clock struck 5pm. She would sneak away to the research room and take a nap to help pass the time. Is this really the best use of an employees’ time?
Leaders must trust and empower their employees as well as give them the tools and resources to do their jobs well without micromanaging or watching the clock.
2. Set boundaries.
I talk with a lot of clients whether they live to work or work to live. If you live to work, there’s a chance that passion can become a preoccupation – where a disproportionate amount of your time, thoughts and energy are devoted to your career. On the other hand, if you work to live, you could miss out on a meaningful career.
Those advocating for “lazy girl jobs” want work to be a part of life, but they want flexible work hours and opportunities for remote work.
3. Talk about mental wellness at work.
It took a pandemic for us to start talking about mental health in the workplace, but the conversation shouldn’t stop now. The number of people seeking mental health care in the U.S. continues to trend upward. Anxiety affects 42.5 million adults, while 21 million adults are living with depression.
Think about what your organization can do to help foster a healthy lifestyle for your employees. Maybe that’s making sure your benefits plan has robust mental health support, creating a meditation room, offering yoga classes once a month, or paying for fitness classes for your employees. Use a survey or have conversations with your team to see what they want and how they could benefit from a more inclusive corporate workplace.
4. Care about your employees as humans.
I often speak about creating a culture of collaboration through open conversations with my executive coaching clients. We discuss how leaders need to have “great conversations” with their employees to not only understand their motivations in the workplace but also their personal lives. These should not be one-time conversations, but rather an ongoing partnership. When employees feel like they are being heard, they are more likely to be engaged in their work.
Now that we’ve talked about how leaders can embrace the “lazy girl job” trend to make their companies more appealing to this generation of workers, let’s dive into how one can find that dream “lazy girl job.”
So, How Do You Find a “Lazy Girl Job?”
JMA’s Career Discovery Program is all about helping you find a career that fits, whether you are making a career change later in life or just entering the workforce. In this process, we help you look at the bigger picture of what you want your life to look like and how your career fits into that. We were helping people find their perfect jobs before it was trendy!
I like to use the analogy of a puzzle with clients. Before you can assemble a puzzle, you must understand the shapes of the pieces. You gather the straight edge pieces together so you can create the edge of the puzzle first. By getting to know your puzzle shape, you can then find a better match for yourself in the marketplace.
We do the work in four stages:
- First, we get to know you. We talk about your background, your work history, experience, strengths, values and interests. We also use an aptitude test called Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) to help you understand how you reason, how you approach challenges and how you learn. Did you know your innate abilities stabilize early in life by around age 14 to 15? That means they aren’t going anywhere, barring any unforeseen trauma, so the idea is go with the grain and work with your natural abilities. Sometimes we think we know what we are naturally good at, but we don’t always recognize our strengths and what is unique and special to you. An aptitude test can be helpful to highlight that. We also use a variety of other sources, such as career roadmap homework and initial ideas of potential industries you may show interest in.
- Next, we get to know the market, so as a coach, I help provide guidance and structure on the research piece of the puzzle. We discuss how to research and how to evaluate the data. This is where I find the coaching helps most, because this is often the point where people are derailed in their process. They find out one component of the job they wanted isn’t a fit, and they give up entirely. Instead, we work to stay in the discovery phase to identify both positive and negative components of any given job or industry.
- The third step is where we geek out and bring it all together. We take what we’ve learned about you as a person and what we’ve learned in the research and do a quantitative analysis. This is where it all falls into place for most clients and their clarity comes sharper into focus, confidence improves, and they truly begin to believe in themselves.
- We finish the program by helping you put a plan into place so that a transition feels achievable. We identify action steps, milestones, goals, and develop a personal brand statement. We also review networking tactics and how to build relationships to find your ideal job.
Employees are trying hard to get their message heard through TikTok, and it’s clear the days of hustle and grind are over. Millennials and Gen Z want to work on their own terms, not corporate America’s terms. It’s a wakeup call for leaders to adapt how they treat workers. By leading with fairness and kindness, workers can perform at their best, and everyone wins.