Your company has just become accustomed to working with Millennials and learned how to meet their needs. Congratulations! Now it’s time to move on and get ready to meet their successors — Generation Z, those who were born between 1997-2012. Also known as post-Millenials, the iGeneration, and Gen Zs are entering the workplace.
It makes sense to assume that Gen Z is somewhat similar to the Millennials since the time gap between these two generations is not very long. However, to understand Gen Z better it is important to see how they are different:
1. Natural Multitaskers
Gen Z was raised in a world flooded with technology. If you were annoyed by Millennials constantly checking their phones while working, wait until you see Gen Z! Yes, they can be easily distracted but responding to multiple stimuli all at once comes naturally to them — and will not influence their overall productivity. Moreover, Gen Z has very blurred boundaries about where their work time ends, meaning they can work everywhere at every time.
2. Practical, Pragmatic, and Realistic
Unlike the Millennials, who were told that they were special, that they could change the world and make their every dream come true, Gen Z is far more pragmatic. They have been also taught to work hard and their representatives are more cautious and thrifty in terms of education. That means the majority of Gen Z value practical skill more than formal education.
3. Entrepreneurs and Moonlighters
Gen Z is 55% more likely than Millenials to start their own business. In fact, 72% of Gen Z would like to be entrepreneurs in the future. Author and generation expert, David Stillman states that Gen Z is very entrepreneurial and leaders will find ways for Gen Z to own their projects. However, a lot of Gen Zs figuring out how to create security on their own will pursue hobbies that can generate income. Gen Z will for sure have side hustles.
4. Independent and Competitive
Gen Z does not favor an open office workspace and prefers to work alone, in contrast to Millennials who value teamwork and a collaborative spirit. Jonah Stillman connects this strong desire for independence with competitiveness that explains that Millennials were raised by self-esteem-building, optimistic Boomers, while Gen Z were raised by tough love, skeptical Gen Xs. In addition, Gen Z grew up during the Great Recession, so they’re pragmatic, independent, and in survival mode when it comes to looking at their future careers..
5. Proponents of Diversity
Gen Z was born during the technology boom and also in the age of diversity. Nancy Briling Nessel, the founder of GettingGenZ.com, says that Gen Z is ethnically diverse and its representatives easily embrace differences.
Though stereotypes of Gen Z imply laziness, the reality is quite the opposite. Gen Z employees desire autonomy and respect — though for them it looks a little different than it did for previous generations. But that doesn’t mean Gen Zs aren’t willing to show up and put in the work.