Gen Z Worker Says His Goal Is To ‘Descend The Corporate Ladder’ To Avoid Spending His Salary On Therapy Due To Job Stress

"The only team I want to be responsible for is my plants."

Gen Z worker smiling at desk Monkey Business Images / Canva Pro

So many people feel burnt out — it’s become almost impossible to live, even with once-professional-level jobs. College educations and professional certificates often don’t provide the same stability they once did, especially for younger generations just now entering the workforce. 

It’s why so many Gen Zers express their distaste for the traditional workplace environment. The route to success they’ve been told to follow for their whole lives has fallen flat, leaving people with food insecurity, financial stress, and overwhelming dread for the future. 


One Gen Z worker, known as Aaron Yin on TikTok, expressed his distaste for “hustle culture,” sharing that he’s not looking to climb the corporate ladder but instead "descend" it. “See y’all at the bottom!” 

Yin said his goal is to ‘descend the corporate ladder’ to focus on his personal life, manage his stress, and save money. 

“Some people want to be managers, and of course that’s okay. Everyone deserves the opportunity to get chewed out by the CEOs directly,” he said in his recent video. “My goal for the next thirty days is to not wake up from a dream about my job.” 




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Instead of wasting time at his job, sacrificing his mental well-being, and seeking stress relief from burnout, Yin said he wants to keep the job that provides for him at the bottom of the corporate ladder. Whatever it might be, he’s not looking for professional validation from anyone; he's just looking for enough money to allow him to enjoy life. 

“I don’t want to get promoted, make more money, and then have to spend that money on more therapy and food because I’m so stressed about my job.” 


Instead of making his work his entire identity — including taking on extra stress — he prefers not to get promoted. 

“The only wheel I want to reinvent is work hard, play hard,” Yin explained.

Like many other Gen Zers entering the workforce, trends like “quiet quitting” and “coffee badging” are growing in popularity as more and more people realize corporate America is failing them. Job satisfaction and happiness are at an all-time low, according to a recent Gallup poll, and there are a million reasons why. 

Employers expect more from their employees in exchange for less, including low wages, unfavorable raises and bonuses, and lack of benefits. Employees give up not only financial security and freedom but also their personal time, physical health, and overall well-being. 

Gen Z Worker Says His Goal Is To Descend The Corporate Ladder Photo: Jacob Lund / CanvaPro


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Even for people who have access to time off, the effects of burnout return quite quickly — usually the day they return to the office, according to a recent nationwide survey of employees. It becomes a harmful cycle of work, where an employee's identity and livelihood are tied to how far they can push themselves for an employer. 

With increasingly high mental health struggles and poor job satisfaction, Yin's philosophy resonated with many viewers. 

“My co-worker is always stressed and has work-related nightmares,” one person wrote under the video, “but I dedicate a solid 30 minutes of my day to Wordle and Connections … we are not the same.” 

Others in the comments empathized with Yin, sharing their own experiences with leaving corporate America, adopting healthier routines, and breaking away from the intense clasp of consumerist culture. 




Many people admit that Gen Zers are experiencing an exponentially difficult transition into postgraduate life, even if they do not attend college. Not only is the reality of corporate America and the real world much more difficult to manage now than it was a decade ago, but they’re also dealing with the continuous effects of the pandemic on society. 

They’ve had to give up years of their lives, which has only made it more challenging to transition into adulthood — one filled with a mundanity, simplicity, and stress that college can’t recreate. 


“Capitalism would rather push you off the ladder than let you descend it,” another person added. “I can tell you from experience that my mental health has exponentially declined following every promotion I’ve gotten.”

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.