Generation Z: Our Future is Upon Us

Who is Gen Z now?

If you wonder what the future will look like, ask the Gen  Z. Overtaking the Millennials by total number, the Z community doesn’t seem to shrink anytime soon. Who are they? Gen Z representatives are those who were born from 2000 to 2020 and are looked upon as the main strategic resource of the future. Why? Simply because each new young generation indicates the path for further world development and shapes every inch of the new reality. Digitally fluent from birth, they don’t acknowledge anything as impossible, concentrating the power of the past and present to create the future.

Key Generation Z Statistics

They Represent The Biggest Cohort Worldwide

The boundary between the Millenials and their Z successors is still disputable. But generally, 2000 is considered the new generation milestone. Over the past 20 years, the cohort has grown into a huge social layer. In 2019 Gen Z outran the Millennials by 0.5% for the first time, and that’s not yet the limit.

They Are Powerful Influencers

Thinking of Gen Z as of kids is no longer relevant. Time flies by, and those kids have taken over the world trends’ influencer stage. Not only do they start making their own money and spending it at personal discretion, but Gen Zers also have a massive impact on how the older ones empty their pockets nowadays. Following the offsprings, most parents give in to their unconventional tastes and choices, changing the whole purchasing strategy. In such a way, the new generation holds about $600 billion guiding their ancestors’ buying behavior.

They Are Highly Diverse

With the number of ethnic intermarriages increased over the past decades, the new generation is so bright and diverse, like no other previous generation. According to the statistics, 47% of Gen Z are representatives of national minorities. So the market has to solve the problem of providing unmatched equality and variability to cater to every single member of the Z -community.

They Don’t Choose Between On- And Off-line

If the Millenials had to get acquainted with the digital world in their school years, Gen Zs didn’t know the pre-digital times at all. Using technologies and being online is a simple but integral part of their life. Not an addiction, but a daily routine. The tendency shows the growing number of hours spent online with every coming year. The studies say that now 50% of digitally-raised young people are online almost 12 hours a day, which means they spend an equal amount of time on- and offline.

They Are Determined Money-Makers

Although Gen Zs are surrounded by countless stories about their smartphone addictions and terrifying distancing from reality, an impressive proportion of them is surprisingly down-to-earth. According to the Global Gen Z Report US, 56% of them want to make a fortune, and 52% seek social independence from their parents. The numbers are the direct consequence of the free-of-limitations upbringing and educational concept. That’s why Zs know what and how much of it they want to get.

They Think Differently

It includes their thoughts on education. Inspiring examples of Steve Jobs and other lucky talented people who managed to succeed without sitting classes at colleges or universities made Gen Zs believe that higher education is not the only way to Olympus. 75% of the Z - cohort is sure that stepping into debt to afford costly education is nonsense. This immense trust of the young generation in equal opportunities by means of diverse ways to personal success is truly admirable.

They Are Target Online Shopping Customers

From the above said, it’s clear that online shopping increased its chances for success among the post-Millenials. Since every Gen - Z representative has a mobile device, they are the principal growing pillar for e-commerce. The study shows that they are twice more inclined to make online purchases than the previous cohort. Time and effort saving obviously outran the Millennial worries about safe transactions. On the other hand, Zs appear to be highly demanding. It’s better not to make them load an online shop page for more than 5 seconds or puzzle over its navigation - otherwise, they’ll never visit the website again.

As the market, or now it’s better to say e-market, is always more about the customers than about the product, understanding the needs of Z people is crucial for any evolving or veteran enterprise. What do we know about them? We know they already concentrate on immense purchasing power. What kind of products and services will they be looking for? The sooner this informational gap is filled in the entrepreneurs’ minds, the bigger their profit will get.

Gen Z Types

Even in such a diversified cohort, certain general types of Gen - Z personalities can be isolated. No previous generation has seen a more polarized mix of individuals, resistant to generalizations. Still, the EY researchers have tried to name 5 major groups of the new generation representatives.

Stressed Strivers Bloke

The modern pace of life resulted in the stress-state increase. No wonder Stressed Strivers are the most numerous Z group. They strive to make their bright way in the world, be active, successful, and self-sufficient from a young age. However, solid future expectations and the need for constant development tend to cause major stress and anxiety. They are always on the scene - university leaders, high-school excellent students, young startuppers, and influencers. 

Big Plans, Low Energy Type

Of all the other types, “Big Plans, Low Energy” is the only one that resembles the Millenials most. Dreaming big, they don’t go all the way to the aim but lose motivation somewhere in the middle of the work and switch to another dream. They can imagine “what”, without thinking about “how”. This cohort also wants to be successful and wealthy, with the only difference that they aren’t ready to sacrifice pleasant pastime for the sake of future opportunities. 

Authentic Activists Minority

With the abundance of global social issues, we need those who are ready to speak out and draw attention to their tackling. Authentic Activists are exactly the type of Gen Z willing to take action when others stay in the shadow. Emotional, highly empathetic, and proactive, they believe a single person can make a difference and change the world for the better. And here advanced social media usage skills come in handy. 

Carefree Constituency

Stressed Strivers and Authentic Activists should have a certain base of followers to lead after themselves. The Carefree group is not against being influenced by these and are relatively easy to cooperate with, as they don’t aim at taking the top positions. Placing emphasis on the present, they don’t stress much about the shiny future. Life is not a constant struggle for them because of calmness and certainty in a good ending of anything they face.

Secluded Perfectionists Unit

Sharing the equal part of representatives with the last 3 Z types, Secluded Perfectionists is a curious mix of each described cohort. They are strong-willed and motivated, willing to do nothing but the things they enjoy. They can also be Authentic Activists if their enterprise requires showing a strong and active social position. The Carefree constituency has given them the point that it’s no use squeezing yourself out trying to get desired things. However, they enjoy perfection and can’t stand mediocrity in whatever they do.

What Differs Gen Z From The Previous Gens 

The major factor that segregates generations and makes it possible to define newcomers is the closeness to technology. It is easier absorbed by kids than by adults. That’s why Gen Z are much more advanced and creative in the digital field. But how has exactly technology affected the Z cohort and made it so different from their predecessors? 

Gen Z VS Gen Y

Financial Behavior

Gen Y

Gen Z

Millennials were brought up by Baby Boomers in the times of the Great Recession and the massive technological boom. It made technology available for anyone. The economic struggles of their parents made Gen Y careful about their financial plans as they tend to postpone major purchases like homes, expensive cars or weddings.

Seeing the financial difficulties caused by constant economic instability, Gen Z try not to get into debt and rely on real sums they have at disposal. Money is considered a major stress factor. Thus Post-millennials tend to be more pragmatic about it, diving into finance self-education from a young age.

Media Presence

Gen Y were in their teens when the digital world started to take over society. They distinctly remember watching TV and doing okay without the Internet. As a result of being tech pioneers, they are less media-active than Gen Z, but still quite advanced in social media, having multiple accounts in Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Brought up with a smartphone in their hands, Gen Z don’t remember the non-online times and therefore perceive digital devices as a major tool to explore the world. They are native internet users, so TV is majorly seen as an outdated and less honest source of information.

Shopping Habits

Millennials tend to rely on traditional solid brands that usually cost more than the young ones but are more trustworthy from their viewpoint. Traditional shopping prevails in their daily life; however, online purchasing is also gaining popularity, depending on the product or service needed.  

Online shopping is a daily routine for Post-Millenials. They appreciate the convenience, diversity, and individualism modern brands can provide. Online transactions also don’t seem like something unreliable or are covered by the other e-commerce advantages.

What Gen Z Is Like?

The three essential pillars of a post-millennial person is motivation, individualism, and social consciousness. Powerful practical education and a solid career are the two main motivators for the majority of Gen Zers. Along with the fact that they’d do whatever it takes to achieve the goal, they are true justice warriors and won’t stand any kind of human rights violation. They don’t ignore political life and vote for democracy and liberal changes in society. Scepticism and distrust for administrative institutions and for the concept of “American superpower” are the leading  Z convictions.

As for personal traits, individualism and competitiveness dominate in the educational and work sphere. Being individualistic resulted in the choice of career, where the private sector wins. Gen Z are enterprising, thinking more of launching their own startups than working for someone else. 

IGeneration doesn’t tend to stick to a single workplace, trying out new options and not being afraid of ending up jobless. Thus, conservatism in its many manifestations is definitely not in their blood.

Gen Z Education

“Is education really worth it?”. This is a forever question. However, following the Millenials, Gen Z believe that higher education is the surest way to future success and having an education is always more beneficial than not having one. According to the Thrive Global, only 20% of post-Millenials think that education is of no importance in acquiring a great job.

How Do They Learn?

With every new generation, demands for education become more and more sophisticated. Unlike the previous gens, Gen Z knows what they want from education and what it should look like. Their abilities for self-education and quick information processing make them look for more challenging and advanced tasks to do.

Gen Zers have figured out what they want - learning by doing. Research, collaboration, interactivity, and practical career-orientated tasks are the key-points Z-students go for in the modern education system.  Among the wide variety of in-class activities, 64% of Gen Z prefer expromt or prepared problematic discussions on controversial topics as the most effective way of learning. According to the research, 51% of students learn through doing practical tasks, and the other half - by reading necessary materials. As for the collaboration with groupmates, it is seen as a powerful tool for bridging gaps and making studying more challenging and enjoyable.

The key-element that has taken over modern education is the use of ed-tech. It opens up a whole new world of interaction and motivation among the learners, the absolute majority of whom say that websites with studying materials and smart boards are the tools they love using.

Gen Z Popular Majors

The balance between price and quality of education, its future stability and a chance to apply for a more than a well-paid job are the key points for Gen Z entrants. They don’t just pick a random college and then look for the field they like, Gen Z uncover their aspirations in advance. Here are some of the most chozen Gen Z majors:

  • Business Administration 

Provides access to a wide variety of job fields, ensures opportunities to build a successful career and is perfect for young entrepreneurs.

  • Sociology

Flexibility and interconnection with a range of positions in economy, law, business, marketing and management makes sociology a safe and promising major to apply for.

  • Computer Science 

Developing the digital world and working on world-changing innovations is appealing to a great share of school graduates, offering jobs in the growing tech market  and an impressive starting salary.

  • Environmental Science

Being brought up with the ideas of eco-friendliness and sustainability, Gen Z believe they are here to make positive  changes and to find their vocations by helping humanity tackle global issues and earning good money. 

  • Customized Major

Understanding their limitless opportunities, Gen Z prefer not to concentrate on a single-field major, but would rather create something unconventional, a mix of subjects to cater for their personal tastes and plans.

Self-Education

The world has welcomed the most self-educated generation of all. The information accessibility and the cost of traditional education made Gen Z turn to alternative options. Studying new subjects and developing profitable skills through YouTube, educational apps, massive online courses that offer a brand new skillset like Coursera, Khan Academy or eDX, and through distance learning educational establishments shows that DIYing studies is a new Gen Z trend. Adding something extra to a basic education is a must for looking competitive on the modern market. 

What Do They Plan To Do After College

As building a successful career is a primary life goal for Gen Z, it’s no wonder that 59% of them want to be financially stable and find their dream job after college. The curious thing is that unlike the Millenials, Z graduates are more targeted at finding an enjoyable job than a stable one. Being more realistic than their predecessors, post-Millenials don’t wait for the highest salaries at once but want the growth opportunity from their first job experience. In terms of job-hunting, Gen Z rely more on personal connections than the Millennials but also do not neglect online job-boards and university career centres help.

Gen Z And Work

Here are the times when Gen Z start entering the workforce. What do they think? What do they expect? And how to deal with them for the maximum results? Here’s an insight into the answers.

What Do They Think About Money

  • Usage

Clearly, money is the primary Gen Z concern. However, impressive 36% of Z representatives say they’re not yet ready to make all the financial decisions themselves. But the majority is already sure about their future spendings - 91% would like to buy a home, 69% care about retirement savings, 66% worry about being able to pay education loan. 

  • Sources

The question about the source of money for the Z generation is a curious one. Apart from allowances, both younger and older representatives earn money at side gigs and part-time jobs, but what’s more important - 32% of the older Z community is self-employed. 

  • Payment Type

The widespread use of cashless payment appeals to the post-Millenials for clear reasons. However, only 28% are ready to call off cash completely, while others prefer to have both variants at hand. 

What Gen Z Think About Work 

Pragmatic and materialistic Gen Zers tend to chase two major points when it comes to job hunting. These are pleasure and high pay. Therefore, in the list of the factors to choose a certain job, good pay, flexible schedule, and convenient location are at the top. IGeneration sees jobs not as the final stop but as a trampoline to something really big. For this reason, they rarely hesitate to change jobs to require new useful skills and competences. 

What Do They Want From The Workplace

The enterprising, motivated and self-educated essence of Gen Z appeals greatly to the employees. But how to make them want to do their best at work? Majorly by understanding their needs and expectations.

Balance 

Despite the fact that Gen Z appreciate high salaries, they also care about work-life balance. They won’t dedicate additional time to extra work if they don’t feel like that or if the working atmosphere doesn’t contribute to their mental well-being. So if you ask for quality work, be ready to provide the necessary benefits and environment.

Work Importance 

Gen Z will never put effort into something with an unclear purpose and questionable result. They want to be sure the work done is important and therefore worth doing. Thus, precise instructions and output expectations are crucial to get the best from a Z employee.

Area Of Interests

People are always interested in growing and developing areas. For now, Gen Z are hoping to find their place in business, tech, medicine, or finance as they provide a diversity of jobs and branches to work at.

Gen Z At Work

How do Gen Z behave at the workplace, and what kind of work do they prefer? According to the statistics, almost equal parts of the post-millennials prefer live communication (72%) and doing work on their own without much communication (69%). It is curious that 77% of Gen Z strive to work more efficiently than older generations, and 75% are for multitasking. As a result, we have a devoted employee, ready to be proactive and manage several missions at once. Isn’t it every employer’s dream? 

Recommendations For Employers

To attract and keep great Gen Z workforce, posting a vacancy on a job board is not enough anymore. Surprisingly, the salary isn’t also the crucial factor. If you target the digitally-brought up generation, you should look appropriate. Moreover, there must be more than just smart looks. You need the resources for Z employees’ long-term commitment.

Attraction

  • Apart from looking smart and digitally-advanced, a company should encourage diversity and inclusiveness in all aspects.
  • As 37% of Gen Z responders say, they’d like to work for a big or mid-sized company with a name. Thus, brand recognition and competitiveness encourage employees’ interest.
  • Gen Z not only looks for a workplace but for an environment with understandable priorities and a clear concept, both sides would benefit from. They will join a community, not just some business.

Recruitment

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  • Just like the Millennials, Gen Z appreciates stability and work security. Make sure you have enough tools to provide Z employees with a safe working environment.
  • You can’t recruit a Gen Z without being represented online. The first thing they look at is your website, social media, and users’ reviews. Try to be digital from the core, not only at the front.
  • Although Gen Z are sceptical and individualistic, they need quick feedback on their work. Mostly because they hate wasting time going in the wrong direction and would appreciate it if you speak out every detail to make their work more efficient.

Retainment

  • Gen Z are eager to learn and develop their skillset 24/7. Providing them with such an option will increase the duration of their commitment. Tuitions, courses, educational business trips are highly attractive for the post-millennials.
  • The above-mentioned balance is crucial for sticking to an employer for longer. Thus, making the working schedule more flexible and employee-approached will pay off.
  • Promotion plans. Gen Z is one of the most purposeful and determined generations. They will never go for a dead-end job, deprived of an opportunity to grow up into someone big. They always need to know they’re on the promotion list.

Conclusion

Gen Z has already overtaken the Millennials by number. Now they are entering the workforce, which means in a couple of years they will set the path for further world progress and development. They will build the future. The controversy and diversity, high career aspirations, social consciousness, and will for freedom and individualism are all embraced in one generation. Therefore Gen Z can’t fit in what is already built, they need revolution, reorganization, and effectiveness. And if they can’t find it, they will create it on their own for sure.

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