The emerging Generation Z that is slowly becoming a major portion of the world’s workforce is still somewhat misunderstood. Their habits, preferences and roadmap of life are slightly but notably different from those of the preceding Millennials, and they will make their impact on our society in several crucial ways.
Understanding Gen Z will be of the utmost importance for employers, companies and educational institutions alike, in order to make the most of their abilities and provide them with the necessary tools to advance and succeed in life.
They aspire to become entrepreneurs
As the generation growing up during the recession, they have formed multiple habits that are dictated by these unique economic circumstances, including their growing desire to start their own businesses. Much like Millennials, although in even greater numbers and with more drive, 78% of Gen Z’s teenage population strives to start their own business ventures.
With their competitive spirit and knowledge of the market, they aim to make a difference in their innovative, authentic way, by focusing on a set of values such as environmental awareness and equality that take center stage in their minds when it comes to contributing through work.
They are frugal
Another result of their growing up environment is their choice to be exceptionally careful with money, making this generation very pragmatic in their endeavours. Seeing Millennials in debt after investing in higher education and getting stuck in an unwanted living situation, Gen Z wants a different outcome for their ambitions.
That’s why they choose to start saving very early, and focusing on finishing their education as early as possible to be able to start their working journey equally fast. However, despite their thrifty money management, they are a very optimistic lot of young people with great expectations for the future.
They are thirsty for knowledge
With the rise of technology and information availability, Gen Z is constantly searching for new ways of learning, just like they are trying to make a name for themselves with providing innovative solutions for various world problems. Organizations such as Thinkswap have noted this growing need for knowledge resources, and have provided one of the many ways to quench their thirst.
While traditional systems of education still have their role in the lives of Gen Z, they are primarily focused on obtaining information and useful skills through other sources, including the Internet, networking events as well as hands-on experience and work.
They crave stimulation
As a generation that was born into the world of fast-paced exchange of information and growth, their continuous exposure to versatile channels of communication has shaped them into individuals who need a highly stimulating learning and working environment to be able to thrive.
With a much shorter attention span and a need for constant development, they are much more likely to resort to multitasking on a daily basis and use their techy gadgets to explore and promote their ideas. Despite their competitive spirit, they are eager to work with like-minded people in stimulating environments that often present them with new challenges, thus sharpening their problem-solving skills.
They seek authenticity
Although every generation has its own, unique way of pursuing personal fulfillment, Gen Z has a strong connection to the world via the World Wide Web, and is being influenced by millions of peers via social media every day. This exposure has led to an increase in this generation’s desire to leave a unique footprint, and create an authentic self-expression.
In addition to their unique entrepreneurial dreams, they are big on discovering their identities and making them stand out in this vast ocean of digital personas that make their own contribution and impact via blogs, vlogs, videos, etc.
They are less trusting
Last, but definitely not their least important quality is their ability to filter out the fake and the phony, due to their digital savvy and access to an overwhelming amount of information both online and directly from their peers. They are much more likely to trust a personal recommendation than an ad, and they will always gladly read reviews before they make a purchase.
This makes them very difficult buyers even for the cleverest of brands, because they are very critical and unlikely to blindly follow the presented image of any given product, and they are not that label-crazy. They will not only do their research before buying, but they will also make sure to pass on their knowledge to their peers.
Since they make up a significant portion of the influential online and offline community, and they seek purpose in everything they do, the existing corporate and education systems will need to make some changes in order to appeal to this growing generation of forward-thinking innovators.
Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He has a degree in marketing and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends.