What’s lazy-girl jobs? The TikTok work trend tech companies should know about

Lazy-girl jobs aren’t necessarily for lazy girls, explains Nicole Kobie. In fact, these jobs could be filled by anyone who needs real work-life balance, male or female, young or old.

Have an easy role, work when you want and be paid plenty for it. Some might simply call this an unreal dream, but one TikToker has dubbed it the “lazy-girl job”. (We have a whole separate article about what’s behind TikTok’s work trends.)

Gabrielle Judge has 157,000 followers on TikTok, where she calls herself an “anti-work girlboss”. She coined the term “lazy-girl jobs” to describe a role where “quiet quitting” is the default: you don’t need to work hard, but you’ll be well paid and can work where and when you want. There’s little stress, little striving, and if you want fulfilment then you’ll need to look outside the nine-to-five for a hobby, family or social life – but that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? 

This latest viral term isn’t about being lazy at work, but choosing a role that’s inherently easy, as well as secure and safe. There’s no starting early, staying late, no heinous physical demands. In a lazy-girl job, a worker simply completes tasks as they come in.

“Most of them are non-technical tech roles,” Gabrielle explains in her video, with titles such as “marketing associate”, “account manager” and “customer success manager”.

Lazy-girl jobs: careers for carers

This style of work, says Judge, is particularly suited for people with caring obligations, be it young children or older family members. Unfortunately, Judge gave the term a gendered phrasing; of course, men can and do have “lazy-girl jobs”, whether they know it or not.

But core to her idea is that flexible work is particularly useful for those with caring responsibilities, and that remains a largely female burden – research shows women are twice as likely to work part-time on lower pay, and be unable to pursue promotions, because of caring obligations. “It’s having a job where you truly can exercise work-life balance, and not just start work at 10am instead of 9am because you have a dentist appointment – that’s not true work-life balance,” says Gabrielle.

There are other routes to flexible work, of course. But this viral idea is an acknowledgement that not everyone who desires work-life balance can start their own business or go freelance – some people need a regular pay cheque. And Judge offers a $10 course on how to get a “lazy-girl job”, so she’s not beyond the hustle herself.

Not for everyone

Some might argue that “lazy-girl jobs” are a nostalgic fantasy. Plenty of TV shows feature people hardly working but getting paid enough to thrive, be it Friends or Seinfeld or Mad Men – imagine a role where you had the time to drink and philander at your desk.

Advocates of ditching hustle culture and protecting your mental health, however, might argue that all work should be more like lazy-girl jobs. It’s one thing for A&E staff to be stressed all the time and have to work in a specific location, given the nature of their work, but shouldn’t technology enable a more relaxed way of living for those in more digital roles?

A few caveats for so-called lazy girls, though. These jobs don’t offer great career progression – there’s often nowhere to go and, without the opportunity to differentiate yourself from other lazy girls, sideways moves inside a company may prove a challenge.

How to manage “lazy girls”

How do managers deal with ideas like “lazy-girl jobs”? Unlike “quiet quitting”, this isn’t a sign that an employee hates work, but that they have chosen a role that suits their lifestyle.

Though the work is remote and flexible, avoid surveillance techniques that track mouse movements or keep staff on screen – that removes all of the benefits of these otherwise unfulfilling jobs. Instead, find ways to monitor performance, ensuring tasks are completed in good time to the expected standard. And leave it at that. These staff are cogs in the machine – that’s what they want, and good cogs are worth keeping. 

Of course, it’s worth understanding whether an employee wants to be a cog or just fell into the role. Good managers will take the time to get to know their “lazy girls” as individuals, understanding if some of them would like the opportunity of more challenging, demanding roles. Reward those overachievers with promotions, but don’t punish the rest who are happily churning through basic tasks. You need both in your organisation, after all.

One final thought. Don’t take this TikTok trend to mean younger generations won’t work hard. Instead, realise that it’s a reflection of self-awareness about what some want from their jobs: fair pay, flexible hours and set tasks. Okay, some might be lazy – but at least they’re honest about it.

Nicole Kobie
Nicole Kobie

Nicole is a journalist and author who specialises in the future of technology and transport. Her first book is called Green Energy, and she's working on her second, a history of technology. At TechFinitive she frequently writes about innovation and how technology can foster better collaboration.