“Just when you thought Gen Z couldn’t get more annoying,” says Suzy Welch in The Wall Street Journal, it has a new trend: “Lazy Girl Jobs”. According to any number of “20-something self-styled life coaches on TikTok”, this entails not leaning into “exciting and meaningful careers”, but taking a mostly or completely remote job paying around $70,000 a year so you can focus on a life of “non-work-focused comfort”. They recommend looking for washy jobs like “Marketing Associate”, and “Customer Success Manager”, which allow you to focus on being an “amazing human” rather than boring-old career progression.
As ridiculous as this sounds, “it doesn’t surprise me”. I teach at New York University business school, and my students could easily get high-flying jobs – yet many daren’t apply because it might cause them “anxiety”. In the old days, “we might have called this stress”. Now it’s become a fully-fledged pathological illness. I can’t help but wonder whether these kids are “just dealing with adulthood, and adulthood is hard”. Sure, you want a “promotion and a big house”, but a three-day weekend would also be nice. Picking between one and another isn’t “anxiety” inducing: it’s making a hard choice, which is, “I’m afraid, what grown-ups do all the time”. My generation just got on with this – our parents didn’t mollycoddle us by, say, hiring tutors so that we didn’t experience the pain of not getting into college. We learned that anxiety can be a “beneficial” emotion, which makes us become harder-working and more resilient. Sure, tough experiences can make you feel anxious. But ultimately, “that’s better than feeling bored”.