Searching for career advice for women? Get a “lazy girl job.” That’s the advice of Gabrielle Judge, whose TikTok video sparked a high-profile debate. Is it a good idea? Let’s examine this career advice – whether lazy, crazy, or deserving of praise!
Judge advises women to get a lazy girl job, which she defines as:
- Flexible – It’s asynchronous, remote work, so you work where and when you want.
- Sustainable – It pays you a living wage to cover your bills.
- Enjoyable – It’s something you like to do.
Parade.com provides several examples: Data entry worker, public relations coordinator, transcriptionist, virtual assistant, freelance writer, social media manager, graphic designer, translator, and online tutor. “There’s a lot of jobs out there where you could make, like, $60-$80K,” Judge said. “Pretty comfortable salaries [while not doing] that much work and be remote,” is her career advice for women.
According to Yahoo! Finance, “Her approach to employment appears to reflect the so-called ‘soft life’ that is emblematic of the quiet quitting movement that has gripped the nation’s younger workforce.” So, is getting a lazy girl job a good idea? Let’s dive in and examine this career advice for women.
Career Advice for Women #1: Be Aware that Technology has Compressed Wages and Eliminated Many Lazy Girl Jobs
If you’re looking for attractive compensation, a lazy girl job such as those described above may not cut it. That’s because technology continues to reduce the time and skill required for tasks associated with lazy girl jobs. Therefore, the compensation has fallen sharply. Labor arbitrage sites such as Fiverr also allow employers to access a global labor pool for many of these tasks, such as data entry, content writing, and graphic design. Many employers have discovered “virtual assistants” who can manage social posts for less than $10 an hour. So that means many of these lazy girl jobs will pay low hourly wages and not offer benefits.
Career Advice for Women #2: Pay Attention to Job Obsolescence
Advances in technology are not just compressing wages, they’re also eliminating lazy girl jobs. So if you have a not-so-taxing lazy girl job, beware of FOBO – the Fear of Becoming Obsolete. Generally speaking, FOBO is on the rise. Gallup has been tracking data on how much US workers fear that technology will replace them. For many years, less than 15% of people had this concern. Then in 2018, this concern began to grow. As of 2023, 22% of US workers acknowledge FOBO.
FOBO, therefore, is a real concern with lazy girl jobs. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and system-to-system integrations through Application Program Interfaces (APIs) are the killers of lazy girl jobs. Data entry jobs are disappearing faster than cell phones are replacing landlines.
Career Advice for Women #3: Learn on the Job; Feed Your Soul on the Weekends
If you are an early careerist – someone who has many years before planned retirement – you need to think long term. Will a lazy girl job position you for long-term success? Maybe not, unless you are learning a lot on the job, says one Stanford University expert.
According to William Burnett, executive director of the Life Design Lab at Stanford University, we often hear younger workers say they want jobs with meaning, purpose, and impact. Burnett believes it’s a lot easier to find those things outside the workplace. Burnett favors being happy with a “good enough” job – one that fits your values and positions you to learn. He believes you shouldn’t view your job as the major source of meaning in your life. Rather, at work and elsewhere, “find meaning by expressing yourself in the world.” It’s what you do at work or outside work – or both – that give you purpose.
Career Advice for Women #4: Consider a Lazy Girl Job for the Short-Term or After a Layoff
By July of 2023, employers had laid off more than 11 million workers year to date. It appears that in 2023, we’ll see a return of layoffs at pre-Covid levels. A lazy girl job may be right for you after a layoff. You may need something just to keep your bills paid until you find a better role.
Career Advice for Women #5: Consider Winding Down Your Career with a Lazy Girl Job
Whether a lazy girl job is right for you may also depend on how much longer you have until retirement. At IMPACT Group, we have hundreds of outplacement coaches that serve thousands of people each year with their job search. Our coaches work with many people over 50 who don’t want to extend their traditional, full- time job. Some want part-time work, gig work, or consulting. Some want to become self-employed. Many who have never worked remotely before want to do asynchronous work-from-home jobs that they love and can make good money at. (But we’d never call them lazy!)
The point is, we help many Baby Boomers reinvent themselves. One executive worked for 35 years in a supply chain role at a Fortune 500 organization, taking on progressively more demanding roles throughout her career. At age 58, she decided to teach computer classes to seniors.
Seniors – especially those with college degrees – are successful in finding new roles.
The AARP reported that, today, more than 20% of adults over age 65 are either working or looking for work, compared with 10% in 1985. That’s probably because fewer of today’s seniors are relying on physically demanding jobs to stay employed. The share of working adults over 65 with a college degree is about 53% today (compared to just 25% in 1985). The average income of these retirement-age workers today is $78,000.
Lazy or Crazy?
Is Gabrielle Judge really all that lazy or is she just sharing a different perspective? A typical work ethic of the 1980s – when many people worked crazy hours, had crazy commutes, and in many cases, made crazy little money — led to unhappiness both at home and at work. Back then, many people worked non-stop and often prioritized work over a healthy lifestyle. Those were crazy times for many.
While “lazy” is an effective, provocative word for a TikTok influencer, it’s not an accurate one. You’re not lazy just because you don’t want to sell your soul (which is crazy) or work 50 hours a week (which is crazy) or work without adequate compensation (also crazy).
Many professionals working remotely agree that “remote” does not equal “lazy.” Washington Post Columnist Megan McArdle is such a person. She says she works remotely and puts more time into her craft because she isn’t commuting.
Lazy Girl Jobs May Be Better than Crazy Girl Jobs
Perhaps lazy girl jobs just need to be rebranded as “Non-Crazy.” For decades it was typical for salaried office workers to be expected to put in 50-hour (or longer) work weeks. And many bragged about late nights and weekend work – all year long. Those were crazy jobs.
Does your job let you work asynchronously or remotely or without putting in unpaid overtime? Then maybe it’s a job for sane people who prioritize larger life pursuits – like physical and mental health, family, and other passions. Finding balance in your life takes some thoughtful introspection and planning.
You can think of the workplace as a marketplace for your talent. Generally speaking, the more an employer perceives the value you create, the more you are likely to be compensated. Two final words of career advice: Keep learning and acquiring new skills so that you can create value. Second, know yourself. That means know your strengths and know your value. Look for roles that let you put your talents to work.
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