Gen Z looks for these 5 things in a job and career

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Gen Z has officially taken the place of Millennials as the largest generation. Generation Z includes those born after 1996 and currently comprises 32% of the global population and 11% of the workforce. And these numbers are growing rapidly – according to ManpowerGroup, by the end of 2022, the percentage of Gen Z in the global workforce will be 24%. In 2030, it will reach 30%.

Gen Zers share a curiosity for unknown frontiers, untapped skills, and multi-dimensional thinking — and they’re inclined to take action. They are constantly learning and experimenting to grow, and steady progress is more important than immediate perfection. This generation has the potential to redefine what it means to work in a typical 9am to 5pm business – eliminating “review” cycles and heavy work (which can take weeks or months) for decisive action and impactful change. . Here are five things Gen Zers want to find in their ideal careers and businesses.

1. Purpose in the work they do

Rather than simply chasing after the highest salary, Gen Zers enjoy the mission behind and the impact of the places they work for, whether it’s a startup aiming to make menstrual products more sustainable or a ‘a software company aimed at protecting the digital privacy of individual users. In a context of rapid climate change, they also want their employers to be aware of the negative externalities of global warming and to take steps to mitigate their own contributions to the crisis. According to a The sink report, 42% of Gen Zers would choose to work at a company whose values ​​they align with over a company that offers a higher salary. In addition to working for a living, they also want to feel like they are making a real difference in their field.

Related: Gen Z Considers This Perk More Important Than Salary

2. A healthy and flexible working environment

Gen Zers appreciate companies that prioritize the mental and physical health of their employees over just their productivity. According to American Psychological Association, Generation Z is the most stressed generation. Workplaces have moved to support Gen Z by offering hybrid remote/in-person schedules, allowing employees to take mental health days and implement four-day work weeks. It is important for us to have a balance between work and family life. Once they’ve logged out for the day, they probably won’t be on their email or Slack channels unless there’s something urgent. Flexible employers who respect these boundaries are more likely to attract and retain more Gen Z talent. They may even adopt a similar mindset and change their own work habits.

Related: Workplace Flexibility Can Impact How You Attract, Hire, and Retain Talent

3. A strong sense of community

Gen Zers have grown up with the internet and recognize the importance of building relationships through online communication, especially in the era of remote working. They want to feel connected to the people they spend the majority of their days collaborating with and solving problems with. Employers can facilitate these connections by planning team-wide activities and implementing strong company values. Efforts to create authentic and healthy connections between people in the company can be just as important as the work they do. As the most diverse workforce to date, with 47% of Gen Zers identifying as BIPOC, diversity and inclusion initiatives are more important to Gen Z than they are to Gen Zers. previous generations.

They want the companies they work for to have teams and leaders representing a wide range of cultural, political and intellectual perspectives. Gen Zers also want to seek mentorship from senior executives to foster long-term relationships, receive professional guidance, and gain insight into growth opportunities within the company. They want to work for generous people who care about the personal and professional development of their employees.

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Build a Stronger Connection in the Workplace

4. Ability to have an impact

Gen Z is an action-oriented generation and wants to see how their day-to-day work shows up in the company’s end products. When I started my internship at Arise Daily, Heidi said one of her goals was to refresh the design of the website to make it clearer and easier to navigate. She asked if I knew anyone in web design, but I volunteered to make the changes myself, even though I had no experience with Wix. I went into the design portal and started making direct changes to the site, learning to use the platform as I went. When I showed Heidi my progress, she had a knee-jerk reaction – why hadn’t I laid out my plans before changing the layout? Where was my reasoning behind choosing specific fonts and graphics? I was used to diving into projects and experiments, and she was more comfortable with thoughtful, measured processes. On Zoom, we discussed his comments and made changes to the site in real time. Heidi shifted her mindset from reviewing my work to co-creating with me.

I really appreciated Heidi’s willingness to let me redo her website. It was exciting to be responsible for a feature that really mattered to his business. Gen Zers value employers who have similar growth mindsets and trust their employees.

5. Live the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation

Even though Gen Zers don’t work at a startup, they still want to work for a company that embodies the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation. They want to step away from rigid tasks and responsibilities to learn new skills and wear many hats. Since many of them are new to the job market and are still figuring out their unique skills and interests, they want to find employers who embrace multi-dimensionality, try new things and take a different approach. practice. They want to feel a sense of empowerment in their careers and seek out companies that allow them to express what interests them and offer them opportunities that match.

This article was co-authored with Arden Yum, student at Yale University and founder of Peace Project.

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