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Time’s up millennials: Generation Z are the new kids on the block

We can't get enough of millennials, but their time is up. The latest generation to hit the job market is now Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2010.

We are seeing the start of Gen Z joining the job market, and we are already witnessing some trends More than 75% of Gen Zers expect a promotion in their first year 61% of Gen Zers plan to leave their job in the next 2 years

We’re almost a year off from the end of the decade, and by now, you’ve probably heard everything there is to be heard about millennials (technically Generation Y). We reckon most of it was bad. After all, millennials have been blamed for everything from the death of the tuna industry, to the death of home ownership, and even American processed cheese.

Conversely, millennials have blamed older generations for global warming, exorbitant house prices, high levels of public debt, and generally for leaving the planet worse for wear. 

It’s safe to say that the era of the millennial was one fraught with strife and change – lots and lots of change. 

Now, the era of Generation Z is upon us, and things are looking to be different. 

What is Generation Z?

Technically speaking, Generation Z comprises individuals born from 1995 to 2010, as per a McKinsey classification that is meant to represent a loose timeline for their birth dates. 

As we are still at the early stages of them joining the workforce, experts haven’t been able to exactly pinpoint how members of Gen Z will behave and act in the professional world, but there have been some studies done to gauge their personalities and state of mind, as well as some labels prepped for the new wave of young adults.  

“Our study based on the survey reveals four core Gen Z behaviors, all anchored in one element: this generation’s search for truth,” McKinsey said. “Gen Zers value individual expression and avoid labels. They mobilize themselves for a variety of causes. They believe profoundly in the efficacy of dialogue to solve conflicts and improve the world. Finally, they make decisions and relate to institutions in a highly analytical and pragmatic way. That is why, for us, Gen Z is ‘True Gen.’” 

Indeed, Gen Zers were born during the boom of the Information Age, but also came to consciousness in an era of stagnant and challenging economic conditions, which has in turn shaped their world view. It is likely that Gen Zers will face similar problems like millennials, such as the challenge of affording a home. 

Gen Z essentially has no concept of the world pre the internet and computers, and is therefore naturally tech-literate and tech-savvy, which means it has a predilection for services and brands like Uber, Netflix and Amazon. It can be identified as a digital-first generation overly occupied with instant gratification, while searching for meaning and survival in this world.  

How do they compare with Millennials?

As famous astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “you need to know the past to understand the future,” and this is ever so true in this shift of generations. 

“The previous generation—the millennials, sometimes called the “me generation”—got its start in an era of economic prosperity and focuses on the self,” McKinsey explained. Its members are more idealistic, more confrontational, and less willing to accept diverse points of view.”

In terms of the job market, while millennials were notorious for ‘job hopping,’ Gen Zers are after job security. 

Recent reports have labeled Gen Z the ‘entrepreneurial generation’ and highlighted their desire to forsake the corporate grind for their own startups,” writes Jeremy Finch for the Fast Company. “We found that while Gen Z like the idea of working for themselves, the majority are risk-averse, practical, and pragmatic. Their supposed entrepreneurialism is actually more of a survival mechanism than an idealist reach for status or riches.”

Things have truly come full circle. Whereas millennials where trying to free themselves from the tethers of the corporate world, motivated by their rose-tinted vision of reality, Gen Zers are grounded, realizing that the troubled economic era they were born in could extend into the distant future, particularly with automation innovations bound to replace a lot of jobs. Therefore, they are looking for financial and professional security. 

As a result, they are positioning themselves to find favorable job opportunities in this changing world by future-proofing themselves and taking on news skill such as coding.    

It is still too early to envision what a Gen Z world would be like, but with them expected to represent a notable chunk of the workforce in coming years, we will get to find out soon enough.  

The ‘instant gratification’ fixation we mentioned earlier is already manifesting in Gen Zers’ professional lives. According to an InsideOut Development survey, more than 75% of Gen Zers expect a promotion in their first year. Another study, the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, found that 61% of Gen Zers plan to leave their job in the next 2 years.