Jessica Amorim ︎

Image: Reproduction.  

HRs watch out: GEN Z  is dictating the world of work

Whoever is used to saying that youth doesn’t know what they want, will have to start thinking that through, because Zers know well what they are doing, at the same time that they are not afraid of change.

Yup, there will be more texts with/about/to Generation Z! Btw, if you’re an active reader here at MJournal or even if you’re new, there’s something you need to know: the team is pretty much in love with GEN Z, Zennial aaaand Millennial as well (why not?). After all, if we’re talking about when “The End Begins”, it’s hard not to reference these generations and its connections.

Ok, but what’s the topic? Work!

Contextualizing the moment, between 2019 and 2020, the Generation Z surpassed the Millennials, and became the most populous generation on the planet, with more than one third of the world’s population. Last year, the estimative was that they would occupy 20% of the job positions - which obviously changed with the context brought by the pandemic - coronavirus.

Still, even with the “suspension of the future” that the digital natives went through, these youths have made their demands for structural changes in the field of work pretty evident. That's because Zers have a unique perspective on their careers, their dreams and also what success is all about.

Different from the Millennials that entered the work space searching for a purpose, Generation Z wants opportunities that can offer a career development plan and financial stability. And that’s not all! According to Deloitte, leader in consulting services, the criterias are broad and defined: they like independence, but not isolation, so it's okay with individual team-based tasks; they have an eye not only on the quality of products and/or services of the places they intend to work in, but also on their ethical values and social impact; they are quite critical about the learning processes, and they do not appreciate the highly valued discourse of traditional education that Generation X had; and, boo, lemme draw this here: if there is no diversity, there is no generation Z.

If you’re not a Zer, or don't live with Zers, you can even be thinking in a discouraging tone: “quite dreamers, no?. And tbh no. While they reject old advices from the Boomers and Generation X such as “get a steady job and stay there for the rest of your life”, they also find Millennials' habit of jumping from job to job or career to career very strange.

As is often the case with youths, people may try to insist that GEN Z is the “irresponsible and immature” of the time, but the Zers are so aware that they keep on moving so as not to repeat past mistakes. They are a generation that is much more risk-averse than the previous ones. Not so in order, for example, to take on debts to cover the costs of higher education, which in the end may not be of use at all.

And it’s also important to expand the idea that they are a group only addicted to screens. Being a hypercognitive generation, with a huge ability to collect and cross references from multiple sources of information, they are able to integrate the virtual life with the offline one with mastery (btw, did I hear a “hello, MJournal? lol)

And please get away with that “I’m older and I know more than you” talk. Really open to dialogue, the GEN Z have no problem with talking, disagreeing, debating, but they don’t want high positions to dictate everything without flexibility and  a proper listening. They prefer something more towards mentoring than imposing rules and paths. Even because it is wrong to think that because they are known as digital natives, this generation does not enjoy eye-to-eye interactions with colleagues. The Zers want to get involved and get inspired.

  • But hold on, this text is not a cheating tool for HR

Studies are cool and all, but if you forget for a second that the Zers youths value self-expression, reject labels and prioritize diversity, you will only be left with several dead concepts and definitions to work with. Another way in which they are known is TRUE GEN, the generation of truth. And ok, let's face it, the truth is just that: fluid, impermanent, wide, multifaceted.

And this is how the so-called “future of work” will have to start reflecting: the youths are more than ready to keep on being people with many different talents, interests and fields of expertise. And more and more aware of everything. Specially about the idea of consumption as access and not as possession. And I hope you all are ready and prepared for this conversation, ok?