22 April 2022 on Vox

by Terry Nguyen

“I don’t have goals. I don’t have ambition. I only want to be attractive.” This apathetic declaration is the start of a TikTok rant that went viral for its blatant message: to reject hard work and indulge in leisure. Thousands of young people have since remixed the sound on the app, providing commentary about their post-college plans, dream jobs, or ideal lifestyles as stay-at-home spouses.

Over the past two years, young millennials and members of Gen Z have created an abundance of memes and pithy commentary about their generational disillusionment toward work. The jokes, which correspond with the rise of anti-work ideology online, range from shallow and shameless (“Rich housewife is the goal”) to candid and pessimistic.

“I don’t want to be a girlboss. I don’t want to hustle,” declared another TikTok user. “I simply want to live my life slowly and lay down in a bed of moss with my lover and enjoy the rest of my existence reading books, creating art, and loving myself and the people in my life.”

….Nobody wants to work in jobs where they are underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked — especially not young people….

Today’s young people are not the first to experience economic hardship, but they are the first to broadcast their struggles in ways that, just a decade ago, might alienate potential employers or be deemed too radical….

Many zoomers entered the workforce during the pandemic-affected economy, amid years of stagnant wages and, more recently, rising inflation. “My dad got a job straight out of high school, saved up, and bought a house in his 20s,” said Anne Dakota, a 21-year-old receptionist from Asheville, North Carolina, who earns minimum wage. “I don’t even think that’s possible for me, at least with the current money I make.”

Naturally, this has major consequences for social attitudes about work — and the viability of performing labor in times of crisis. What sets zoomers apart, according to common narratives, is their determination to be fulfilled and defined by other aspects of life. They expect employers to recognize that and promote policies and benefits that encourage work-life balance…

“I think people are realizing that we just want better for ourselves,” said Jade Carson, 22, a content creator who shares career advice for Gen Z. “I want to be in a role where I can grow professionally and personally. I don’t want to be stressed, depressed, or always waiting to clock out.”

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SOURCEVox

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Clearly the younger generation(s) see that the economy is stacked against the workforce. Even when against all odds workers succeed in gaining official recognition as a union there is a move to set aside the union election. So why struggle? Most of the good jobs have been offshored. The best paying job for a HS grad now is the US military. All you have to do is sell your soul and kill the enemy du jour. As the late, great George Carlin said,”It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.”

    • His genius is truly missed. Not sure the current generation would fully appreciate his insights. But, they should.

  2. Congrat´s to the younger one´s, finnaly a generation with a free mind and who the filth didn´t brainwashed till the submition to their own enslavement. Why would one want to be a slave for he´s entire live if not for the fact that they made the economy a weapon against the worker´s?

    • Who’s going to pay their college loans? Mortgages? Car payments? Many of us thought there was a way out of the Matrix back in the 60s. Nope. “What you gonna do about me?” (Dino Valenti)