Updated: Nov 11
Attention, Capitalism! #LazyGirlJob is absolutely a thing. A movement, in fact. And non-girls might want to get in on it too.
You might have noticed it isn’t the 1980s any more and that all the rat-race hustle on earth won’t guarantee your socioeconomic success. Don’t get me wrong: it will still deplete your energy, strain your family relationships and raise your blood pressure as much as it did in the heyday of Gordon Gekko; you just won’t necessarily have the seven-figure savings account to show for it.
Women - and many men - are so over this that it’s become an entire ZIP code of TikTok. We’re tired of multitasking ourselves into early graves. We actually want work-life balance. We suspect you do too. In fact, I personally know that both men and women are eager to get off the corporate hamster wheel. We’re just scared of what it means to actually do it.
Recently, I chatted with a man with 15 years as a sales manager in SaaS. He was desperate: he’d been trying to find a job for six months and was getting nowhere. “What am I doing wrong? I've submitted hundreds of applications and only got one phone call,” he said, in a tone of desperation that still gets me even after twenty years of doing this work. “I don't want to be VP of Sales. I don't want the politics, I don't want the hustle-culture. I want a life outside of work, I just want a job that I can be fantastic at and not have to struggle for six months and submit 200 applications to get."
This man is not alone (and PS, if this is you, get help! Career coaches can help get you unstuck.)
What he’s looking for is a #LazyGirlJob.
How do you define a lazy girl job?
A “lazy girl job” doesn’t mean a job you’re half-assed at, and it doesn’t mean a mindless grind with no fulfillment that delivers a meager paycheck twice a month.
“Lazy” makes an eyecatching hashtag, but it doesn’t really cut to the heart of this. What we’re talking about is a job for someone who wants to be remarkable in their role but does not want the hustle and pressure of constant ladder-climbing. They despise workplace politics enough that they aren’t gunning for the corner office. They want to do great work, be recognized accordingly, and enjoy stability and balance in their lives. As Gabrielle Judge, 26-year old OG lazygirl and originator of the hashtag said, that “your work-life balance should feel so awesome that you almost feel like you’re being lazy.”
But surely being lazy doesn’t get you paid?
I know a lot of people think a lazy girl job implies “low pay.” Let me dispel that right now. I know a woman who wants a lazy girl job… as a director of communications. She could be a VP with all of her experience, but she doesn’t want that kind of stress. A director of communications in her part of the world pays $150,000 a year. It did take her 15 years to have that kind of credibility—but she has it, and she’s opting to leverage it for the elusive but ideal “work-life balance.”
I also know a 28-year old makeup influencer on TikTok who makes $50,000 just through her online work. She is also a project manager for a global real estate firm so she can travel around and be part of cool new location openings. That pays her $100,000 a year. Do the math.
Another friend is self-employed as a college advisor. She does no marketing—at all—because word of mouth referrals keep her more than busy. She knows that in her case, she is the product and that her value is in facetime with her students. By not being relentlessly focused on business expansion she can dig into her actual core competencies: finding dream-date colleges for her students and helping them crack the code to get in. If her income doesn’t grow that much but consistently meets her needs, who cares that she’s not hustling to position herself as the head of admissions for Princeton or president of the College Board? She doesn’t!
There’s no particularly obvious “upward mobility” factor in either of these positions, but there doesn’t always need to be. That’s kind of the point. If you’re happy and stable in your job as a librarian, there’s nothing wrong with you not wanting to run the Library of Congress or be head of curation for the Smithsonian.
What industries are the best to explore for lazy girl jobs?
Yeah, so there can be traps here. The work world is changing so quickly that to tell you “THIS IS THE HOT LAZY GIRL JOB” might move you into a segment that you’re totally not suited for—or worse, one that holds no interest for you.
The key to success as a #LazyGirl (or LazyGuy or LazyHuman) is simply this: do what you love. Exploit your talents and your enthusiasms. Half of this fight is figuring out how to make a living without having to fight your basic nature. Go with the current! Be creative. Find ways to do more and more of what you love. That’s what I did and I feel so lucky that I have my lazy girl job. A role out of any office, talking with amazing people every day, helping them land jobs. A role I can be remarkable at. (PS, there is nothing literally “lazy” about me! I show up bigtime for my people. I just do it on my own terms, without bowing down to a corporate hierarchy.)
Who should be considering a lazy girl job?
You might be a good candidate for Lazy-jobdom if:
You want balance
You want to honor yourself
You’re competent at living within your means
You have a guiding passion (or hobby you love)
You have a “go for it” mentality
You are married to or otherwise supported by someone with stability and benefits (this one assumes you work in the US)
You have patience and perseverance
You have conviction or “a calling.”
You might find Lazygirling it isn’t for you if any of the following are a problem for you:
You probably won’t become famous (or even infamous)
Your job might not generate envious teeth-grinding everywhere you go
You live in a family or community where constant upward job movement is so normalized and expected that your failure to buy into it will put you in couples counseling
You actually thrive on office shenanigans, political maneuvering and popularity contests. (if that’s you, no one’s judging! Get your patootie to the C-suite!)
How do you find and land a lazy girl job?
Easy. Even a lazy person can do it.
Figure out what you really love. And then take steps to get a role or build a company in that direction. Bring in advisors as needed, but mind your timing: don’t tell people too soon if there’s a chance their negativity will dissuade you from following through. Be strategic there. Consider yourself CEO of your own life and look at opportunities with both strategy and execution in mind.
The LazyJob revolution might be poised to save the mental health of a whole lot of people. Not everyone is a mountain climber, and not everyone is supposed to be. Our western society’s obsession with achievement and status has a serious dark side. And while of course there are amazing people making amazing moves in the business world, there’s also so much systemic corruption and inequity and hindrance that opting out, or partway out, is often a good idea for people with the right temperament.
So don’t let the term “lazy” put you off; laziness isn’t the point here at all. The point is to understand that you don’t have to outwardly prove that you’re “successful” by constantly looking for new ladders to climb. It’s OK to be OK where you are.