BLOG: Gen Z vs. MillennialsJanuary 29, 2019
Gen Z and the Workplace
Written by Shaelyn Stone
Account Coordinator, 2019
These days, it seems anyone over 16 and under 40 gets incorrectly labeled a “Millennial.” In fact, there’s a whole generation of us who often get looped in with millennials—and we’re called Generation Z. By definition, a Gen Zer was born between 1995 and 2012, and we’re just starting to enter the workforce. Millennials, on the other hand, were born between 1977 and 1994¹, and they’ve been part of the work scene for a few years.
Some of the biggest telltale signs of a Gen Zer appear when discussing what we look for in a work environment. As a Gen Zer, I can tell you that opportunity for growth, variety in work, and generous pay and vacation time are some of the top things we want from a job.
Rise in the ranks
Gen Z is very ambitious and entrepreneurial. In fact, we’re 55 percent² more likely to want to start a business of our own than millennials. So, in our workplace, we like to know that there is room to grow professionally and there’s a clear path to greater responsibility. It’s important to us that we keep reaching new heights with new titles and added responsibilities in our career. This means we’re attracted to companies that can show us a trajectory of promotions to look forward to in a reasonable time frame. To fulfill our ambitious spirit, allow a Gen Zer a healthy dose of self-management and they will most likely exceed your expectations!
Jack of all trades
Typically, Gen Z can multitask better and process faster than other generations because we grew up as digital natives, raised on Apple watches and lightning-fast desktops. We’re great at juggling multiple projects, and we have several different skill sets we can switch between to accomplish a wide range of tasks. This makes us a less-specialized workforce than millennials because we want a piece of everything in the office. Fearful of being pigeon-holed into one type or genre of work, we gravitate toward jobs we know will offer variety in our day-to-day schedule. We want to know—or be learning—how to do everything in our company. Trust me, we light up when our supervisors offer to let us try our hand at something new.
Starting salary and paid vacation time are important factors for every employee. But because Gen Z is so incredibly active and adventurous, these hold a special place on our check list. Besides our career, some of our top priorities include recreational travel and spending time with friends and family. Even if we really love our job, we still want to experience and enjoy life outside of the office. Therefore, Gen Z is drawn to a workplace that offers generous time off and a good starting salary to supplement the “life” part of work-life balance.
In short, remember Generation Z exists and we’re different from the millennials with whom we are so frequently categorized. And if you’re looking to add a Gen Zer to your team, make sure your office has lots of room for professional growth, a variety of projects to work on and generous benefits appealing to Gen Z.