As Generation Z prepares to enter the workforce, many employers are asking, “How can we prepare? What can we expect from this generation, as opposed to Millennials?” Ryan Jenkins, a columnist and speaker who helps organizations engage with younger generations says, “In many ways, Generation Z is, at once, the extreme version and the opposite of Millennials.” Some major differences he has documented:
- They’re more pragmatic. Generation Z comes to the workforce with a more practical mindset after watching Millennials struggle through the recession. They’ll be less entitled, less “pie-in-the-sky,” and ready to work to succeed. Their student debt is real to them and they understand the depletion of Social Security.
- They’re more individualistic. Having grown up with social media as a constant, they will push to show their uniqueness more than others. Their heroes, born out of gaming world and YouTube, will be activists, athletes, and hackers.
- Education vs. entrepreneurship. With their practical outlook toward money, more Gen-Zers will consider opting out of traditional higher education in favor of direct internships and starting their own small businesses. They’ll get just enough education with online courses to get to their next life goal.
- Less parented and more personal. Gen-Z’s parents disavowed the “helicopter parenting” of the generation before and are more likely to function as a coach to their children. Along the same lines, Gen-Z has watched their Millennial counterparts, the first all-tech generation, struggle to connect with others face-to-face and will hone their interpersonal skills.