Generation Z is Coming to Work
It’s hard to believe, but people born in the mid-1990s are beginning to enter the workforce. Having grown up in a world completely different than ours, Generation Z will bring plenty of unique traits and values to the table – some good, some bad.
While every generation bashes the one that follows, Generation Z may have been the hardest hit, characterized by many as perhaps the rudest, most selfish and coddled age group of our time, fueled by helicopter parents and widespread advancements in the world of technology.
According to Deborah Carr, chair of the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University, face-to-face communication will not be a strength among this newer group of workers. Even telephone calls, she said, may take a back seat to emails and text messages.
“Their lives have just been wholly shaped by technology,” Carr said. “They don’t know life before the Internet. They barely know life before Facebook and Twitter.”
The generation, meanwhile, has essentially been conditioned to expect instantaneous responses and results when looking for answers. Carr said their “ASAP” approach may not sit well with older colleagues who have less of a need for immediacy.
But as the years go by, Generation Z will make up more and more of the workforce.
A recent survey from Northeastern University in Boston revealed a strong desire among Generation Z members to work for themselves and paint their own paths to success.
Sixty-three percent of respondents expressed interest in learning about entrepreneurship in college, and more than 70 percent insisted colleges should allow students to “design their own course of study or major.”
Carr said it may be harder, compared to prior groups, for members of Generation Z to “strike out” and know how to handle failure in the real world. It’s a generation that’s been raised by hovering parents and received a prize or trophy for everything they tried.
However, Generation Z is expected to be more open-minded than generations past, thanks to the mountains of information and news delivered to their devices on a daily basis.
“They don’t really think about the boundaries of race or sexual orientation,” Carr said. “I think that they are accepting as a whole.”
In Carr’s analysis, Generation Z consists of people born later than 1994.