Gen Z-er Got Criticized for Not Wanting to Work a 9-5, Now She’s Clapping Back

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Dec 26, 2023

In October, a Gen Z-er shared a video on her Instagram profile, claiming she didn’t want to work a 9-to-5 job and received considerable backlash online viewers.

Zoe Wunns’ video was reshared on X and went viral. It sparked criticism about both the musician and her generation. Now, the Gen Z-er has hit back at the critics and explains that she is determined to prove them wrong through hard work.

Video Gets Millions of Views

When 20-year-old Zoe shared her video on social media back in October, she had no idea that her rant centered on not wanting to work a 9-to-5 would blow up like it did.

Zoe Wynns smiles for a photo wearing a black dress

Source: @Zoewynnsmusic/Instagram

Millions of people viewed the video, in which she encouraged people to stream her music so she wouldn’t have to work a regular job.

End-Wokness Hits Back at Young Musician

During the viral video on X, formerly known as Twitter, her video was reposted by a right-winged account known as “End Wokeness.”

Woman stands in the sun draped in an American flag

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“Get ready. This is our new workforce,” read part of the caption on the account’s post, which received well over 2 million views.

Wynns Receives Negative Feedback From X Users

It’s typical for larger accounts on X to share the posts of much smaller accounts. In this case, End Wokeness has 2 million followers compared to Zoe’s small Instagram following of 2,900 people.

A woman wearing a white shirt pulls an unusual look as she stares at her phone

Source: Freepik

Zoe received heavy backlash and negative responses from X users, many of whom shared their thoughts centered on Gen Z-ers and their attitude toward work.

Wynns Out To Prove The Haters Wrong

Zoe currently studies Music and English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When speaking with Business Insider, she admitted to making the video because she’s coming to the end of her time at college.

Woman plays on the keyboard as she writes down notes in a notepad beside her wooden guitar

Source: Freepik

During the interview, the music student said she believes her generation is anything but lazy and will prove all of the haters wrong.

Pursue Passion Over Careers

Wynns argues that many of her friends are being convinced to settle for the “safe route” and accept a job instead of pursuing creative opportunities.

A woman wearing a blue shirt poses for a photo holding a paint palette and brush

Source: Freepik

According to Zoe, she “wanted to make a video talking about how I had so much creative passion, and I really didn’t want to do this thing that the system says that we should do — the 40 hours a week.”


Work Hard On Your Passions

During the interview with BI, Zoe reflected on her video and what she discussed throughout it. She claims she works extremely hard on her passions, yet it’s possible this wasn’t explained well in her clip.

Woman sitting on brown wooden chair while using silver laptop in room

Source: Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

The young student also apologized to anyone she offended in the comments section.


A Day In The Life Of Zoe

Zoe explained how she spends her days as an aspiring musician. She told BI that during a typical week, she tries to post at least one clip to social media every day.

A young female student sits at her desk as she reads over notes in her school books

Source: Freepik

This is part of her plan to get her music into the world. Zoe says she tries to continue getting good grades but will spend up to “80+ hours” a week on “music and other pursuits.”


Viewers Levae Hurtful Comments

Many viewers called the young aspiring musician “spoiled” for not wanting to work a regular 9-5.

A young female music student plays her guitar and sings into a microphone

Source: Freepik

Zoe explained that while she understands her comments may have come across that way, that’s not how she intended them to be heard. She added most people don’t know how hard she actually works.


A Little More Symptanthy Wouldn’t Hurt

At the same time, Zoe wished the online viewers gave her a little more “sympathy and empathy.”

A young student sits on the steps outside of college as she feels sorry for herself

Source: Freepik

She added, “I could have phrased things differently, but I’m a 20-year-old in college trying to chase my dreams, and I just kind of wish that that was a little more understood.”


9-5s Aren’t For Everyone

Zoe admits that there are undoubtedly pros and cons to working a 9-to-5 job, but that isn’t the way she wants to spend her life, mainly because it places a limit on what’s attainable.

Billie Eilish attends the 3rd Annual Academy Museum Gala at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California

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“You can rise through the ranks of a company, but there is more of a ceiling. When you’re working for yourself, in theory, there’s no ceiling. You could become the next Billie Eilish tomorrow,” she said.


Breaking Free From The System

According to the young student, she thinks Gen Z-ers are finding “these sometimes very creative and very interesting ways to break out of the system in their own ways.”

Three Gen Z-ers pose for a photo at a festival

Source: Freepik

Zoe understands that while the work she does, consisting of posting every day on social media, isn’t taken seriously by older generations, it doesn’t mean Gen Z isn’t a creative or hardworking generation.


Working To Prove The Haters Wrong

While the initial post to social media may have garnered a lot of negativity and hurtful comments, Zoe claims that she’s out to prove all of the haters wrong.

A young female student in a stripped shirt works hard from her desk

Source: Freepik

“If anything, I’m even more steeled now because I’ve got to prove thousands of people wrong,” she said.