With a new generation comes new mindsets. In recent years the differences between generations, such as Millennials and Baby Boomers, (and now Gen Z) shape thinking and approaches. These differences dominate the media and put Millennials and Baby Boomers at the forefront of the public’s eye, quieting the narratives surrounding other generations.
Generation X (born after 1961 and before 1980) and Generation Z (born after 1996 and before 2012) are prime examples. Gen X encompasses the latch-key era which highly influenced the independent prevalence of that generation. Generation Z is the first generation to be born into an entirely digital age, creating an attitude that social media, the Internet and sites like YouTube are legitimate resources for self-education.
Generation Z is prepped to be the most educated generation yet. Of 18- to 21-year-olds no longer in high school in 2018, 57% were enrolled in an institution of higher education. This compares with 52% and 43% among Millennials and Gen X, respectively.
In the workforce, Generation Z holds very different values than the preceding generations. While recent trends set by Millennials have caused HR representatives to make jobs seem more enjoyable; Gen Z values positions that will give them financial stability more than they value positions that will give them a sense of fulfillment. Millennials also value a collaborative work environment while Generation Z prefers independent work that still emphasizes human interaction, which has challenged what was once thought to be the optimal work place environment for young professionals. With as much as 36% of the workforce being Generation Z as of 2020, aligning attitudes to appeal to Gen Z’s preferences may be a key to success.
The oldest of Gen Z turn 24 in 2021, while the youngest of the generation will be young toddlers. This leaves a lot to learn about what makes Gen Z tick. Gen Z’s passion and unique take on the world are sure to leave a lasting impact.