The Struggles of Gen Zers at Work
Who are the Gen Zers?
According to the Pew Research Centre, generation Z refers to the people who were born between 1997 to 2012 . In America alone, they have become the largest generation, constituting 27% of the US population . The Gen Zers are often stereotyped as tech-savvy, anti-social, “influencers”, “Tik Tokers”, and “social justice warrior” given that they were raised in the digital era of the internet and social media . Several influential Gen Zers include iconic quirky goth-meets-rave Billie Eilish as well as environmental activist Greta Thunberg and many more .
Generation Z has emerged as a population worthy of attention and many people have expressed interest in understanding Gen Zers as they are now entering adulthood and in the recent years, they are making a debut into the workforce. According to Sue Bhatia in her article “Make Way for Generation Z”, it was noted that by 2020, the Gen Zers makes up 20% of the workforce and the upcoming generation is expected to bring about a sea-change in the workforce landscape due to their values and culture . Various social science researchers are observing the trend and gaining insights on the differences that the Gen Zers have in comparison to the other generations in terms of their demographics as well as their characteristics and their implications at the workplace.
Similarly like the other workers from generations X and Y, they also face certain struggles at their workplace. Their difficulties might also be heightened due to the fact that they had to brave through a period of financial insecurity in life and complete tertiary education during unprecedented times of pandemic as well as encounter uncertain future expectations of their employability after they have started working amid the endemic.
Jason Wingard from Forbes wrote in his article, “‘The Great Resignation’: Why Gen Z is Leaving The Workforce In Droves…And What To Do About It” noted that from 56% of those ages 18-24 among 5500 workers wrote in Adobe survey that they are planning to switch jobs in the following year . Not only that, according to the research conducted by Microsoft and Bankrate, it was reported that 54% and 77% of the Gen Zers, respectively are thinking about quitting .
What is causing this phenomenon called “The Great Resignation”?
According to the same survey by Adobe, 53% of them had expressed that they would like to spend more time at work pursuing their passions . In addition, the remote workers had noted that they have been experiencing burnout due to their employers’ expectation to “look busy” which then leads to 44% working longer hours and 37% skipping lunch breaks, as well as one-third of their workweek, was spent on mundane, repetitive tasks, with 86% stating that the tasks got in the way of doing their jobs productively . For that reason, the patterns in the workplace cause burnout which consequently leads to disengagement and reduction in the number of employees .
In another survey conducted by the Workforce Confidence survey, it was noted that 65% of the Gen Zers have either switched industries or are considering doing so . This workplace exodus is happening as they are seeking greener pastures. There are several reasons which are factored in when looking for better career prospects such as better compensation, better alignment with interests or values, more opportunities to move or increase responsibilities, better benefits, better job stability, and more flexible working hour . However, some of them stay in their current industries due to some of them actually enjoying their work nature and some would like to build their industry expertise as well as they would like to continue to apply, hone and grow the skills that they possess .
Furthermore, The Great Resignation might occur due to the Gen Zers’ choice to work based on their cultural fit rather than based on the job description . Usually, what Gen Zers look for in their future employer is whether the company’s values align with theirs . Last but not least, several Gen Zers stated that they are more likely to start their own company when they think that a business or company is not providing the work culture that they wanted . Hence, as a result of their difficulties in finding the suitable industries or the right career match in their next workplace which they will set foot in, they are often left in the dark about what kind of helpful framework that they can draw from that is able to assist them in making well-informed decisions about their career pathways.
Are you a Gen Z who is clueless about your own career potential and inborn skills that you can apply at your workplace? Are you curious about what kind of work culture that you could fit in your next workplace?
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