A #lazygirljobs hashtag has gone viral on TikTok. Women have been posting about getting paid for easy jobs or barely working at all. Instead of highlighting their ambition and productivity in the workplace, they brag about doing minimal work, often from home.

One woman posted about how to make money as a virtual friend, while one bragged about “getting paid to basically do nothing.” Another posted about how working retail on Sundays means “getting paid to do absolutely nothing because there’s no customers.”

Some Gen Z women defend this trend in the name of work-life balance. I am glad I chose something more stimulating for my first job. Hard work in my 20s has paid off now that I am a mom with young children. Working extra hours or taking advantage of professional development opportunities was much easier before I had children to care for. Hard work early in my career created more options for me.

Here are three things I am glad I did in my 20s that have helped me as a mom years later. 

I said yes to travel.

Early in my career, I tried to say yes to professional opportunities that involved travel. While sometimes tiring, traveling was much easier before children. I met lots of great leaders from all over the country. It was also fun to see new places and try new experiences. I enjoyed looking at seals in La Jolla, California and browsing the largest used and new bookstore in the world in Portland, Oregon. I now think fondly of cities in the U.S. that I might never have visited and might not visit again. And I am able to say no to some travel, relying on the experiences and relationships I built early in my career.

I attended happy hours and networking events.

Early in my career, I tried to go to at least one happy hour-type event a month that was outside my comfort zone. Many of the speakers we now invite to speak at Network of Enlightened Women events are people I met at happy hours and networking events a decade ago. While I don’t see them as often these days, I rely on the relationships I built years ago.

I invested in professional development.

I flew to South Carolina for public speaking trainings. I said yes to TV and radio interviews at inconvenient hours. I spoke at events on the weekends. These are things that are just easier to do as a single person than as a mom of young children because they involve time away from home. I am glad I worked on developing skills that would serve me throughout my career. I just regret I didn’t participate in more trainings.

Gen Z is rightly skeptical of the #girlboss hustle culture, but they shouldn’t go to the other extreme. A little extra work now might really pay off down the road, giving them a better work-life set-up when extra time is more costly. Gen Z should think about implementing some healthy long-term habits to avoid burnout, like pursuing a hobby or exercising, so that they don’t seek #lazygirljobs as an escape.