Entering the workplace as a Gen Z
When asked if I associate myself with the Gen Y/Millennial population; I would say no. As a Gen Z myself, I have recognised a lot of traits within myself that correlate with that of the Gen Z populace.
To start, some strong characteristics within Gen Z and myself is our ability to use technology to help expand the boundaries of our work. Companies should take advantage of this. It’s like giving a builder a much nicer and sharper saw; they will be able to make more precise cuts with it, and get the job done much faster. If employees are given the best technology to work with; then the quality of their work will escalate as well. Secondly, it has been proven that Gen Z are better multi-taskers. This is likely a result of advanced technology. We are constantly switching from one app, platform, or device to the next. This has driven us to strengthen our multi-tasking skills. Lastly, Gen Z’s are always striving for individuality. With 92% of Gen Z’s having a digital footprint; we are all trying to develop an online persona that is individualistic and unique from others.
Some negatives within the Gen Z’s is our low attention span that has decreased since the millennials from twelve to eight seconds. As well, the Gen Z’s can have an overreliance on technology. Although tech has its advantages, it can become a burden when technology is relied upon to complete every part of a task. Having a balance between tech and the human mind is a very important collaboration in the workspace.
Personally, my main priority is finding a position that allows me to do something that I love. Although financial stability is still very important to me; if I am able to find a position that I enjoy doing, then I am building my character and my knowledge which is way more valuable than any sort of financial gains.
In a prospective employer, myself and others looks for a few major things. Firstly, I want an empowering work culture. By this I mean an environment that encourages my full potential to be extracted. Secondly, I am looking for a position that has potential for career growth. When I enter a new job, I expect to not hold that position for the remainder of my time at that company or in that field. The better that a company can support my current self as well as my future self; will make that position unequivocally more appealing.
A huge thing that attracts me to work somewhere is having a space to interact with others that is separate from the workspace. Gen Z’s have proven to be more anxious and stressed out than the prior generations. A study done by Future Workplace concluded that 66% of people have lost sleep due to work-related stress. As well, 16% of Gen Z’s have quit jobs because the stress became too overwhelming. Stress has been called “the health epidemic of the 21st century.” This has resulted in 300 billion dollars in hidden costs being spent every year. This is because of a rise in headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, and dizziness resulting in employees being less concentrated and less productive. A solution I have seen for this “epidemic” is the implementation of a large and open kitchen. Having a communal space for employees to interact with each other will allow them to escape the stress within the office. It is comparable to having recess in school; you are given a space to take a break and interact with others that is not in the classroom/workspace.
With many ups and downs of Gen Z entering the workplace; it can be concluded that if a company can be proactive in addressing the problems that Gen Z faces, and take advantage of the strong characteristics they uphold; this generation will be able to strive in the workspace of 2019.
There are a few Ted Talks/speeches that resonate well with me and, I would assume, the majority of Gen Z as well. (Links Below). The most important video to me is a commencement speech given by Jim Carrey. He speaks about the turmoil his father faced after not pursuing his dream career in comedy. His father said, “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.” This quote perfectly embodies the mindset I uphold when progressing forward in life, and into a new workplace.