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“Lazy girl jobs” was meant to reference well-paying jobs with flexible hours and minimal micromanagement, allowing a worker the ideal life-work balance. Instead, it has quickly become a sexist description for “do nothing jobs” that pay well and are usually held by women.

After several years of working at home out of necessity and returning to the office, many workers have come to value flexibility, work-life balance, and family time more than before. The reassessment of priorities has caused many people to put work into perspective. Recent surveys show how deeply people embrace the new attitudes, but those who try to implement them in their jobs receive pejorative labels. “Lazy girl job” is the latest slam, with a sexist twist to it.

Where The Concept Of “Lazy Girl Jobs” Originate

The term lazy girl job was coined in May 2023 by 26-year-old career influencer Gabrielle Judge who praised jobs that afforded work-life balance. Such jobs paid well, required less than 40 hours to complete, and included minimal micromanagement from bosses to get the job done. Knowing that the term “lazy” would start conversations, she called such a career path a “lazy girl job.” She was not talking about slacking off on duties but, instead, about having a job that made fewer demands on her lifestyle. 

Woman attending to her work-life balance

Lazy Girl Jobs And Quiet Quitting

“Lazy girl job” is a successor to the recent office buzzword, “quiet quitting.” In the words of the Wall Street Journal, quiet quitting means “not taking your job too seriously by going above and beyond at the expense of your personal life.” 

It doesn’t mean twiddling your thumbs at your desk all day, yet the term quickly morphed into the equivalent of working on autopilot and just doing the minimum. In a viral TikToc, Zaid Khan said the concept meant, “You’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond” what you are paid to do.” In other words, it means not making work the most important thing in your life.

Like “quiet quitting,” the term “lazy girl job” quickly became a negative concept. The usual person with a lazy girl job is a Gen Z worker in the early years of her career. 

What Are Lazy Girl Jobs

As portrayed in the TikTok video, jobs that fit the definition of lazy girl jobs are non-technical and low-intensity. Typical duties include emailing and taking a few calls, while the benefits include having minimal interaction with others, extended breaks, and plenty of time to online shop and listen to music. These “jobs” are portrayed as the antithesis of long hours overfilled with tedious tasks.

Gabrielle Judge envisioned career paths where “your work-life balance should feel so awesome that you almost feel like you’re being lazy.” However, the stereotype portrayed on TikTok does not really capture what the concept behind lazy girl jobs was meant to suggest. Especially before the pandemic, many people were working themselves to death at the office, so their work-life balance was off. Movements like the so-called lazy girl job phenomenon emphasize having a job that does not overtake your personal life.

As TikTok coach Danielle Roberts notes, the trend is to slow down and let people take more control of their lives. Technology, and now AI, has also made the 40-hour week outdated as workers can accomplish more in a fraction of the time. The time savings should benefit them, but many bosses believe in the butts-in-seats concept to keep them tied to a desk for 40+ hours. Movements like quiet quitting and lazy girl jobs empower workers to earn a fair wage without getting burned out on the job.

Work-life balance the goal of lazy girl jobs

The Innate Offensiveness Of The Lazy Girl Label

“Lazy girl job” has a particularly sexist twist to it. Men would be considered “smart” to find a job situation with low micromanagement, high flexibility, and high pay. Does “work smarter, not harder” only apply to men who enjoy the opportunity to play more golf? Why is a man with a high-paying job with minimal responsibility not considered a “lazy boy”?

Especially since the pandemic, even older women realize that jobs requiring less are better for their mental health. So, the concept of the lazy girl job goes beyond young workers. Women who work outside the home typically have caregiving responsibilities that eat into their time off work and put them at particular risk of burnout. Those in the workforce may try to do it all, but they need to earn a living without killing themselves. A less intense job that pays well may help them do that.

Working man vs woman

Drawbacks To Lazy Girl Jobs

Although the opposition to lazy girl jobs comes from a questionable place, there are some legitimate concerns.

1. They Are Unrealistic

Not everyone can get a lazy girl job as promoted on TikTok, nor do they want one. Just jobs trivialize the nature and function of work. It’s a mistake to think they are readily available get-rich-quick schemes for any job seeker.

The idea of lazy girl jobs is akin to watching underemployed people look for pricey homes on House Hunter. Memes on this subject show abound. “He’s a free-lance hamster trainer, and she works part-time tuning harmonicas, yet they have a $1.3 million budget.” Or, “I rock climb for a living, and my wife sells umbrella insurance. Our budget is 1.3 million,” too!

This is unrealistic in real life, as is the likelihood of most job seekers landing a cushy “lazy girl job” without putting in some serious dues. 

2. They Are Often Elitist

Less than 40% of all jobs are suitable for remote work. 

Even those not regarded as icons of the working man, such as Elon Musk, noted that it was fundamentally unfair to allow some people to work away from the job site. Even without buying into his argument, it is indisputable that jobs in food service, transportation, public utilities, manufacturing, retail, etc., may not pay well (or have salary caps) and have minimal flexibility with locations or hours.

Lazy girl jobs do not meet many needs of society, yet may offer bigger rewards than some essential jobs.

3. Meeting Your Potential

Many people are trapped in lower-level jobs where they feel they are not using their talents. The position may have a lot of wasted time built in where they must attempt to look busy to make their hours.

Moving into a lazy girl’s job might give them better pay, more control, and more flexibility, but not be satisfying. Ideally, job seekers should aim for a job that reflects their passions and makes them feel fulfilled and useful. To do this may require periods of hustling to meet goals.

Woman goofing off on lazy girl job

4. Impact On Your Career

Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle notes that those who choose lazy girl jobs in their younger working years may regret it later. Many who work remotely often miss out on some of the mentorship and feedback that those in the office may gain from coworkers.

Those making good money at lazy girl jobs that require minimal hustle may not consciously plan out their career and set their sights and something more in the future. As life progresses, there are mortgages to pay, kids to send to soccer camp, high school, and college, and retirement to plan. Some in low-stress, seemingly well-paying jobs may be sorry they didn’t work more aggressively to get ahead and earn more at a time they particularly needed it.

5. Long-Term Job Instability

When the economy turns bad, lazy girl jobs may also be the first to be cut. At a time when AI is likely to make changes in many jobs, many of these jobs may be performed overseas with AI help at less total cost to employers. Gabrielle Judge may keep her job, but other lazy girls may not.

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The need to seek lazy girl jobs, or any job that offers an ideal life-work balance speaks more to the job landscape and employer expectations than to personal ambition. Smart employers try to prevent worker burnout by limiting demands to what is reasonable for what can be accomplished in a day for the rate of pay they give the employee.

Woman enjoying work-life balance

At a time when many employers are trying to mandate a return to office policies, they often find that workers are resistant to go back to the old ways. Those who want to keep workers happy talk to them about expectations and make some compromises to ensure a happy productive workforce. Branding workers who want a well-balanced life as lazy or unmotivated won’t mask a long-term problem in the workplace

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Carol Farrish

Carol is a lifelong writer and marketing specialist who has worked remotely for over 15 years. She started doing administrative projects and customer service work part-time, but became 100% remote when her last brick-and-mortar job ended. Not only has working at home been flexible and interesting, but it has also exposed her to wonderful coworkers.

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