A Gen Z employee lamented in an essay published by Business Insider that her day job at the YMCA is, while rewarding, still “difficult” since it takes up too much of her time.
Piper Hansen graduated from college in spring 2023 and while she has only been working full time for a few months, she said it is depressing to have the 9-to-5 schedule.
“How can I make sure I’m eating well and seeing my friends and taking time for my hobbies?” she asked. “How am I supposed to fit my whole life into a 9-to-5 work schedule?”
Hansen explained that she wakes up around 7 a.m. for her 10-to-7 job, but by the time she gets home, she barely has time to walk her dog and make dinner before it gets dark.
“Then I have to make sure the coffee pot is ready for the next morning, and I have something to take for lunch the next day,” she wrote. “I’m home for just a few hours before I get ready to go to bed by 11 p.m.”
Hansen mentioned the viral video of another Gen Z employee who posted a tear-filled rant where she complained about the demands of a 40-hour work week. While some viewers were sympathetic to her complaints, others believed her sentiments were a larger indication of the weak work ethic and attitude of the younger American generation.
In the TikTok, the young college graduate questioned how people are supposed to make time for friends or to date.
“I want to shower, eat my dinner and go to sleep,” she said. “I don’t have time or energy to cook my dinner either. Like, I don’t have energy to work out, like that’s out the window. Like, I’m so upset. Nothing to do with my job at all, but just like the 9-to-5 schedule in general is crazy.”
“As a Gen Z person who’s going through the same transition into the workforce as the person in that viral video, I just want to say: We know this is how it is. But does it have to be this way?” Hansen said in response.
The 23-year-old said it is “wild” how “there’s only time to work and go home to rest before work starts again,” arguing, “That’s not how humans are supposed to live.”
She explained how it’s not that she doesn’t like her job, but that it takes up most of her life.
“I wish there were more options for schedules that are conducive to actually having a life outside of work,” she said. “I don’t want my next 45 years to be the same as these last few months of going to work, coming home to eat dinner, rest, and then going back to work. I want to live my life, too.”
She said she doesn’t know if a full-time, in-person job will be in her future.
“I see other people having more flexible situations that allow them to be able to travel or enjoy other things outside of work, and I want that, too,” she concluded. “But in the meantime, I’m trying to fill that void by seeing my friends and developing hobbies — in the little free time I have.”
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