Corporate Natalie is exhausted. The 25-year-old TikToker has amassed over 400,000 followers on the app, posting hilarious takes from her actual full-time job working in the corporate world. “I’m tired after doing all this, doing both these jobs. I am tired,” Natalie tells me over Zoom. “How do I continue to find fulfillment, clean my whole apartment? I mean, God forbid I turn my camera right now and you see what my room looks like.”
While Natalie is known for her high, bubbly energy on TikTok — where most of her videos consist of funny (and all too relatable) coworker POVs and reenactments — she isn’t alone in her fatigue. In a June 2022 survey by Optimum Nutrition, a brand Natalie is partnered with, the brand found that 66% of Gen Z workers have canceled Friday plans because they’re flat-out exhausted by the end of the work week. “As a person, I try to be such an extreme worker on the weekdays and an extreme social person on weekends, and see all my friends and do all the events and be with everyone,” Natalie says. “So it was cool to see that this sentiment was not just a Natalie thing.”
Natalie’s reasoning for Gen Z’s chronic burnout? The struggle to find a work-life balance, especially with WFH in the mix. “There’s such little separation between your work life and your home life when you’re working from home,” Natalie says. There are so many perks [to remote work] and I feel very lucky to be able to be in my bedroom working, but I’m also in my bedroom where I sleep.”
Like most Gen Z workers, establishing a healthy work-life balance is still something Natalie is working on. “I’ve tried to be more mindful of every interaction I have, every community I’m a part of, everything I’m doing. Is it serving me? Am I serving the people around me?” Natalie says. “Just having that intentionality about your day lets you feel more fulfilled by the moments that you do have to yourself.”
Being a TikTok star on top of a corporate employee, though, means Natalie’s after-work routine looks a bit different. While I might unwind by pouring a glass of wine or binge-watching Never Have I Ever in bed, Natalie’s busy building a social media empire. “My five-to-nine, we’ll call it — even though it is definitely dispersed throughout the day — consists of brand deals, interviews, podcasts, and filming organic content,” Natalie shares. “Being a content creator is way harder than people think it is.”
But Natalie doesn’t want to give up the content creation side of her job anytime soon, and says her work on TikTok is a unique asset in the corporate world. “Creating content has opened so many doors for me in my own job, in my life, and especially with affording me the ability to now look for a job through the lens of, ‘Hey, I actually have so much to offer that maybe I don’t have to fit into the job description that you’ve written on LinkedIn.’” At the same time, Natalie doesn’t want to abandon the corporate world, either, having been in it for three years since she graduated college in 2019.
Natalie’s not the only Gen Zer working after work. In a 2022 survey, Microsoft found that nearly half of Gen Z has a side hustle, redefining how we approach what “work” even is. “Gen Z specifically is so passion hungry, so the thought of doing something in a rigid corporate structure for the rest of your life, we kind of reject that notion. We don’t want to believe that that’s going to be our life,” Natalie tells Her Campus. “So we’re pursuing TikTok and content creation and side hustles. It’s inspiring.”
Looking to build a side hustle out of social media, too? Natalie’s advice: “Build your personal brand and make it known and talk about it. I feel like people have so much shame — they have drafts in their TikToks that they never post or things that they’re afraid to show the world. Show the world! Everyone’s weird. Everyone’s unique. Just show it.”