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TikToker's Frustration With Corporate Work Culture Resonates With Gen Z; Here's What's Causing it

With over 476,000 likes, her video highlights a broader trend among younger generations to reject corporate chains for reasons that go beyond mere laziness
Cover Image Source: Instagram  |  Andra Berghoff
Cover Image Source: Instagram | Andra Berghoff

In a society where Kim Kardashian's 2022 statement on the reluctance to work sparked controversy, Gen Z is now echoing a similar sentiment. Andra Berghoff, a TikToker with the handle @hopeyoufindyourdad, recently gained significant attention for her video expressing Gen Z's frustration with the traditional office work culture. With over 476,000 likes, her video highlights a broader trend among young people to reject corporate chains for reasons that go beyond mere laziness.

Berghoff, a Minnesota native, recounts her disappointing experience in a marketing role at a healthcare company. She reveals being underpaid and feeling unfulfilled during the standard 9-5 workweek. Her assertion that she would "rather clock out eternally" than continue such a corporate drone existence resonates with many young individuals facing similar struggles.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Andra Berghoff (@andraberghoff)


The comments on her TikTok post, exceeding 12,000, underline the widespread nature of these challenges. One comment, supported by over 28,000 likes, points out the stark contrast between current work conditions and the past when boomers had pensions, providing them with incentives to stay in their jobs. The diminishing availability of pension plans, with only 15% of private industry workers having access in 2022, highlights dwindling employment benefits.

Wage stagnation means that the minimum hourly wage, which was $3.10 in 1980, has only increased to $7.25 today. However, when adjusted for inflation and the cost of living, the minimum wage would need to be $27.07 for Americans to have equivalent purchasing power as in 1980. This gap affects not only younger workers but also people in their 40s, as Berghoff discovered.

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A post shared by Andra Berghoff (@andraberghoff)


The ripple effect of wage stagnation extends beyond individual struggles, contributing to the rising rates of homelessness among baby boomers, reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression.

Berghoff's decision to leave her corporate role highlights a growing trend among Gen Z: prioritizing work-life balance over a higher salary, and according to a ResumeLab survey, 73% of Gen Zs share this sentiment. This inclination might be a response to the challenges that they had to face at the beginning of their careers, navigating events like the pandemic, climate crisis, and inflation, resulting in a less optimistic outlook.

As Gen Z becomes a dominant force in the workforce, companies cannot afford to ignore their demands for higher salaries and improved work-life balance. A survey from TimelyCare reveals that 36% of recent college seniors prioritize mental health benefits when choosing potential employers. This aligns with a broader shift in attitudes toward mental health, with data from Mind Share Partners showing that half of surveyed millennials left their jobs due to declining mental health.

Representative Image | Pexels | cottonbro studio
Representative Image | Pexels | cottonbro studio

To cope with the challenges of traditional employment, young Americans are increasingly turning to side hustles and freelancing. Upwork reports that roughly 43% of all Gen Zers and 46% of millennial professionals engaged in freelance work in 2022, showcasing a desire for more flexibility and autonomy.

Berghoff issues a stark warning to employers, emphasizing the need to understand Gen Z's commitment to the mantra "work to live, do not live to work." As the generation that attaches a lot of value to work-life balance takes center stage, corporations that fail to adapt to these changing preferences risk exacerbating the already strained relationship between employees and employers. Gen Z's call for change is not just a youthful rebellion; it's a demand for a work environment that aligns with their values and prioritizes their well-being.