Hello Generation Z! – Embracing a new approach to the changing world of work

News Feature

By Lori Jazvac.

There is a new generation that is only beginning to scratch the surface of the workforce and leave a profound mark on prospective employers and career practitioners alike – Generation Z. While we often can pinpoint the distinct differences between Generation X, Y, and the Baby Boomers, leaving behind a trail of a steady 30+ year career progression, Generation Z offers a different twist. Unlike their Generation Y counterparts, the age bracket born between 1994 and 2010 is distinguished for employing an entrepreneurial, self-motivated, and innovative approach to spearheading their careers.

Generation Z is actually less motivated by money than Generation Y and expects to work for fewer companies in one lifetime than Generation Y.

What does this mean for prospective employers?

In order to retain this unique talent, employers will need to integrate incentives for loyalty and opportunities for growth and training over compensation. This means that Generation Z’s expectations concerning the world of work are rather high. However, they represent a fiercely take-charge breed that aims to etch their own authentic brand in the workforce. During the last few years, Generation Y has vied for money rather than meaningful work, due to the burden of increasing student loans and a competitive economy. Employers then must encourage and support opportunities for mentoring, feedback, and challenging project based work for Generation Z in an atmosphere of cooperation.

Generational Perceptions

Generation X and Baby Boomers are prone to viewing Generation Y’s as being entitled and unfocused, whereas Generation Y’s often view older generations as being wise and primed with abundant expertise. Perhaps it is the conflicting perceptions of the generations among each other that determine how they leverage their strengths to harmoniously work together. Exhibiting a positive attitude and collaborative approach can signal a better transition into the workforce and career success for the earlier generations. The values of the younger generation as being entrepreneurial, technologically savvy, while learning to manage their own careers, will enable them to rise more quickly in their career.

Implications for Jobseekers

Nonetheless, each generation must embrace the values of the other while learning from one another some valuable lessons through experience, persistence, and adaptability. We must see the different generations as allies who can collaboratively work together in a spirit of mutual respect, compassion, and integrity. Jobseekers must then differentiate and reinforce their personalized career brand. With a refined attitude, they must evaluate their value system and keep furthering their career development, while continually enhancing their skill set and maintaining their competitive edge.

Attend Lori Jazvac’s session on Managing your Career for the Future at Career Professionals of Canada’s Beyond 2014 Summit. The FREE event is taking place during Canada Career Week – November 3 – 7, 2014.


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