Gen Z is Discovering the Real World Where Success Isn’t Just Handed to Them: ‘That’s out the window’

By: Riley Brown | Last updated: Nov 14, 2023

Millennials and baby boomers often see Gen Z as an entitled and lazy generation, unable to handle the heavy demands of life. While that’s debatable, they might be correct, as a recent viral TikTok video shows that many Gen Zers may be unable to handle a full-time job.

Let’s explore this interesting postulation and see what conclusion we arrive at.

The Viral Tiktok That Started It All

An American TikToker recently went viral by complaining about her 9-to-5 job, frustrated with not having enough spare time “to do anything.” She kept lamenting how she wanted to take a long shower, eat dinner, and have a good nap, but it was impossible.


Source: @brielleybelly123/TikTok

According to @brielleybelly123, the TikToker, “I don’t hate my job, it’s just that the 9-to-5 schedule is crazy.” She also lamented about not having the energy to cook dinner, workout, or do other extra activities, stating, “That’s out the window.”


Discovering the Real World Never Gets Old’

Undoubtedly, the video has united boomers and Millennials with its humor, with many commenting on how Gen Z struggles to adapt to the corporate world. According to the Washington Examiner’s Kaylee McGhee White, “Gen Z, discovering the real world. It never gets old.”


Source: The Washington Examiner

Despite being Gen Z, McGhee comments on the spectacle of seeing Gen Z shocked, realizing they have to work a full-time job to make any significant money.

Who Is Gen Z, Anyway?

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Gen Z is the name given to people born between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s. They’re also called “zoomers” and are the first generation to grow up with the internet and digital technology.


Source: Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels

This generational difference gives them different values, expectations, and preferences, which can have positive or negative impacts depending on the situation.

Words of Wisdom From a Successful Zoomer

While everyone, even McGhee, dislikes working long hours and advocates for flexibility in the workplace, that routine hasn’t changed for a long time. So, instead of affirming whining and complaining, she offers wisdom to her Gen Z peers.


Source: @kayleedmcghee/Instagram

“Buckle down, work hard, and achieve what you want. Success isn’t handed to you—that’s exactly what my generation assumes,” said McGhee.

Who Is Kaylee McGhee White, Anyway?

Kaylee McGhee White is a journalist and political commentator and currently the Restoring America editor for the Washington Examiner. She primarily focuses on religion, politics, and culture while sharing her thoughts on current affairs.

Source: @kayleedmcghee/Instagram

As of 2023, she is 25 years old and married to Lane White. The couple lives in Washington, D.C. She’s well regarded as a successful woman, graduating from Hillsdale College with degrees in politics and journalism.


Blaming Gen Z's Laziness on the Pandemic

Each generation’s work ethic is a result of their environment and economic standing, and that applies to Gen Z as well. McGhee points out that the younger generation got lazier when Covid came around.

Source: August de Richelieu/Pexels

She explains that since high schools and colleges switched to remote learning, Gen Z also expects jobs to be performed remotely. The past several years of from-home obligations have made Gen Z lazy and complacent.


Companies’ Opinion on Gen Z’s Work Ethic

Conversation and debates are only helpful with proper data, and regarding this matter, it exists. A survey by Resume Builder revealed that 75% of businesses find Gen Z employees to be more difficult than other generations.

Source: SoraShimazaki/Pexels

The survey further revealed that this difficulty comes from Gen Z’s lack of effort, communication skills, and motivation, necessary qualities for occupational success.


Covid Might Not Be the Only Cause of Gen Z Laziness

While the pandemic may have contributed to Gen Z’s low work ethic, some argue it’s not the driving factor, suggesting that the generation grew up with access to the internet. This constant access to technology made them more accustomed to instant gratification and less driven with long-term goals.

Source: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Gen Z also values creativity and innovation, which may clash with the rigid and hierarchical structures of most workplaces.


Many Zoomers Are Hard Workers

Despite having a mediocre work ethic, some Gen Zers are hard-working, ambitious, and adaptable, while their peers struggle with the demands and expectations of the real world. Additionally, Gen Z consumes less alcohol, has a higher awareness of mental health conditions, and has fewer teen pregnancies than older generations.

Source: Christina Morillo/Pexels

In an ideal scenario, employers can leverage the generation’s creativity, digital skills, and adaptability in positions requiring such skills, allowing them to perform meaningful and rewarding work.


McGhee Still Not Impressed by Her Generation

As a zoomer, McGhee understands the positive qualities associated with her generation. Nevertheless, she isn’t impressed. She says that a work ethic is crucial for success, but government policies and IT administrators are teaching children the reverse.

Source: @kayleedmcghee/Instagram

She uses the controversial “student loan forgiveness” topic to support her point, stating that the government encourages kids that others will handle their debt and they don’t need to work hard.


Time to Restructure the Standard Work Day?

This viral TikTok video may confirm that Gen Z needs to be more active than the previous generation, as they struggle to meet the strict demands of the professional world. Their laziness may result from environmental factors like the pandemic and constant technological access.

Source: @brielleybelly123/TikTok

Regardless, maybe this frustration with the standard 9-to-5 is a sign of a need to restructure the corporate world to include more flexibility. Please share your thoughts with us!