At the age of 18, I began my first internship in multimedia and social media management for a social media marketing company. Every day, I would prepare content that was specific to our brand, capitalizing on its individuality to increase our following and engagement. I was constantly juggling between my cell phone and laptop, and I would stream music while drafting the newest round of social media content. It wasn’t until I reflected on this internship experience later that I realized how much being a “Gen Zer” influences my approach to my career.
As Baby Boomers retire and Generation Z, which is composed of individuals born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, begins to enter the workforce, companies are reportedly growing concerned about this tech-savvy generation’s ability to succeed in the workplace. Numerous articles refer to members of Generation Z as spoiled, easily distracted, pessimistic, entitled and so on. Not to mention, they are OBSESSED with technology – which makes sense, given that they’ve never known a world without the internet. In fact, companies have recently had to change the way that they recruit new employees due to Gen Z’s reliance on technology.
But are these actually bad personality traits for the workplace?
Generation Z’s focus on the latest trends can keep companies on their toes and push them towards innovation. Combined with an inherent competitive nature, Gen Z employees can help their companies become industry leaders. In addition, Generation Z values diversity more than any generation before them, which will introduce new opinions and perspectives to the workforce.
Another major concern about Generation Z is that their dependence on technology has negatively impacted their interpersonal communication skills. However, research has proven this to be untrue. According to a poll conducted by generations expert Ryan Jenkins, Gen Z actually favors face-to-face communication over all other channels in the workplace. This desire for personalization points to Generation Z being more likely to tailor messages and content to their audience – a valuable asset in the workforce.
The introduction of new thought processes and behaviors can be uncomfortable, but sometimes it’s necessary to evoke change. As it was for millennials before them, Generation Z’s integration into the workforce will cause a revolution in the business world – likely one that will result in positive change. In order to remain on the cutting-edge of their industries, it’s essential that companies not only hire Gen Z employees, but also assimilate aspects of Gen Z culture into their own – or risk getting left behind.