TikTok creator Andra Berghoff (@hopeyoufindyourdad) recently went viral with a video explaining her experience with corporate work and why she thinks Gen Z is finished with the way things have always been done.
The video has 2 million views and over 270,000 likes.
@hopeyoufindyourdad #greenscreenvideo @Internship Advice for Students I personally cannot stand sitting in a toxic office that’s fluorescently lit cold and cold with little to nothing to do all day. I’m glad that gen z is starting to fight back against corporate 9 to 5 jobs, especially when we have already proven that work from home jobs are just as productive and for me personally I was more productive at home than I ever was in office because in the office I didn’t feel like I need to prove that I was doing work. #genz #collegestudent #corporatelife #worklife #workfromhome ♬ original sound – Andra B
The video started with a stitch of TikToker @destinationinternship’s video about a Your Tango article titled, “Gen Zer In Their First Internship Can’t ‘Fathom’ Working For The Rest Of Their Life — ‘I’m Just Supposed To Do This Forever ‘Cause I Need Money?'”
Berghoff wrote in the text overlay of her video: “Gen-Z is finally starting to push back against corporate life.” She explained to the camera that she identifies as Gen Z and got her first 9-to-5 office job this year. It was a marketing role in a health care company, and Berghoff was excited, she said.
The company turned out to be “toxic,” she said, but “I also made the decision within only four months of working there that if I had to do this, like, corporate drone thing for the rest of my life—because I did the math, you couldn’t retire in this economy—I just, like, would rather clock out eternally.”
Berghoff added that she looked at older employees still struggling to get by and thought, “This is it? This is life?”
The creator said she tried to push ahead, but nine months in, she decided she didn’t want to live her life like that.
“I’ve sadly been happier doing odd jobs here and there, struggling to pay bills, and just living life and having fun,” she said.
Berghoff added that she’s unsure what her plan is going forward, but she knows that returning to the 9-to-5 office life would negatively affect her health.
“So say what you want about Gen Z, but we’re just finally putting our foot down about this corporate lifestyle, where you waste most of your life sitting in an office doing little to nothing. I would rather just get my work done on my time and then get to go live my life,” she said.
Berghoff concluded that if corporations don’t understand work-life balance, things will get worse for everyone.
One commenter wrote, “ngl, I’m a millennial and I can’t believe I have to work 40 hrs a week for the rest of my life.”
“I got my first 9-5 and couldn’t afford to live while my boss bought a Tesla and new house, so I quit and started my own business,” another commenter wrote.
“You’re not wrong. There are more options than corporate life or odd jobs,” another viewer offered.
Several millennials offered support in the comments section, with one writing, “Keep fighting the good fight.”
“I struggle so often with this. I cry every other day about this since im so frustrated with this. It doesn’t make sense everyone else just accepts it,” a person chimed in.
“Going to be honest, I feel like the military is a better job than most corp ones,” one comment read.
“It’s so suffocating … it’s the only option for me to afford to keep the lights on and barely afford groceries. … I feel stuck,” a viewer commented.
And another comment read: “I think this is just an American thing.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, about 30% of the workforce will be Gen Z by 2030. “On the whole, Gen Z has been dealt a difficult hand, and it’s defining how they engage in work,” Hopkins reports. The university cites factors like growing up amid gun violence, inflation, and the housing crisis as shaping Gen Z’s attitude toward work.
Like millennials, Gen Z is the cause of much cultural conversation—and a lot of pearl-clutching from older generations. According to a survey from ResumeBuilder.com, most managers find Gen Z members difficult to work with, with some perceiving the generation as not working as hard as others. That charge seems to brush right up against younger workers’ calls for greater work-life balance.
Johns Hopkins also offered tips to employers on how to work with Gen Z employees, including greater diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts; more time flexibility; commitment to equal pay; and fostering greater mental health and engagement.
This isn’t the first time a TikToker has gone viral for discussing incompatibility with corporate culture. One Gen Z worker recently joked about retirement from corporate life after nine months on the job.
The Daily Dot contacted Berghoff via email for more information.