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Gen Zers are waving goodbye to ‘soul-sucking’ 9-to-5 jobs as social media convinces them to ditch corporate careers

richiesd—Getty Images

It’s official: After dipping their toes into the working world and spending a handful of years on the job, Gen Zers are already over the traditional nine-to-five grind.

You may remember that TikTok video of a young woman crying over her “crazy” nine-to-five schedule—described as “Gen Z girl finds out what a real job is like”—which went viral last year.

“I don’t have time to do anything,” the creator, Brielle, sobbed on TikTok. “I want to shower, eat my dinner, and go to sleep. I don’t have time or energy to cook my dinner either. I don’t have energy to work out, like, that’s out the window.”

https://www.tiktok.com/@brielleybelly123/video/7291443944347405614?embed_source=71929437%2C121374463%2C121351166%2C121331973%2C120811592%2C120810756%3Bnull%3Bembed_blanku0026refer=embedu0026referer_url=www.businessinsider.com%2Fcollege-graduate-upset-shock-working-nine-to-five-tiktok-2023-10u0026referer_video_id=7291443944347405614

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The post racked up millions of views with many ridiculing the college graduate—but as it turns out, she’s far from alone. New research has revealed that the overwhelming majority of Gen Zers agree that traditional nine-to-five jobs are “soul-sucking.”

It’s why, according to a new study from Credit Karma, 43% of Gen Zers now have no interest whatsoever in going down the classic career path.

Why are Gen Zers over the nine-to-five?

Unfortunately for employers, there’s not just one reason behind Gen Z’s beef with Western working hours.

For starters, young workers are unimpressed by their wages. Having clocked in remotely during the pandemic, it’s unsurprising that over 65% of the 2,063 Gen Zers surveyed said they were unsatisfied that the same wage is now expected to stretch to cover their meals, commute, and work-appropriate clothes.

What’s more, female Gen Zers were 13% more likely than men to grumble that their salaries haven’t kept up with the pace of living.

Others are disappointed with their work-life balance—or lack thereof. Nearly half of those aged between 18 and 27 surveyed complained that traditional working hours harms their mental health and they don’t have enough time for other activities.

And then there’s social media. Since Brielle’s TikTok video went viral there has been a wave of anti-work content on the platform, including users filming themselves being laid off and ditching mandatory meetings to work out instead.

Just last week Fortune talked to Lohanny Santos, a young creator with a dual college degree and three languages up her sleeve, who has given up on searching for a full-time job in favor of aspiring to become an influencer.

Seeing Addison Rae land an envious Hollywood career off the back of posting on TikTok got Santos thinking: “I’m a regular girl, and if TikTok can give people opportunities like that to them, then why can’t it happen for me?”

That sentiment resonates with many of the young adults Credit Karma polled. More than 40% are watching those making a killing outside of the traditional nine-to-five and want in. Meanwhile, inspired by “social media posts about people quitting their 9-5 jobs,” a quarter have already thrown in the towel on their corporate careers.

What they’re doing to avoid working forever

Youngsters have a reputation for spending money like there’s no tomorrow and indulging on "caviar bumps," luxury holidays, and designer handbags.

But Credit Karma’s research shows that some are embracing a penny-pinching lifestyle to turn that dream of escaping the conventional grind into a reality.

For the majority (43%), this looks like cutting back on nonessential spending like shopping and dining out.

Over a third of respondents said they’d even work odd jobs to make ends meet—otherwise known as polyworking.

Meanwhile, a quarter of the youngsters surveyed would be willing to give up the adulthood milestone of independent living and move back in with their families to cut back on costs.

Employers who want to retain these workers before they quit the corporate rat race for good would do well to “adapt,” says Courtney Alev, consumer financial advocate at Credit Karma. After all, by next year Gen Z will make up more than a quarter of the workforce.

“That’s not to say companies should submit to all of the expectations Gen Z professionals may have about their role in the workplace,” Alev adds. “But they should be mindful to not misconstrue Gen Zers’ priorities around mental health and work-life balance with stereotypes that have emerged around entitlement and lack of work ethic.”

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com