Career Outlook: A Gen Z Perspective
July 15, 2021
As more Gen Zers hit the job market and enter the workforce, they are looking for companies not only to understand the values they hold, but also to embrace and reflect them in the workplace. Gen Zers don’t want a job for the sake of having a job – or for the sake of a paycheck. They are looking for holistic work environments where they can show up completely as themselves, be valued, and know that their beliefs align with the company’s.
Kahlil Greene acts as an ambassador for his generation in an article published in the Harvard Business Review. A senior at Yale University, the school’s first Black student body president, and a social media influencer, Greene shares what is important to Gen Zers and speaks to changes companies must make to recruit, and retain, this generation of workers.
Emphasize diversity for the right reasons
Greene extolls the importance of a real commitment to DEI in companies – not just jumping on the bandwagon because it makes sense from an economic perspective. If candidates can’t see themselves in upper management or the C-suite, they know they are just checking a box.
Gone are the days when companies can stay neutral when confronted with social movements and racial justice. Whatever their political leaning, Gen Zers want to see companies take a stand and show that they are committed to justice.
A little compassion and understanding go a long way
More than ever before, first generation, non-traditional, and minority students are entering higher education and elite Ivy Schools. While their accomplishments and accolades speak for themselves and prove they can be successful in the workplace, they don’t always have the social skills to navigate a corporate office environment. Having the compassion, understanding, and patience to work with them and build interpersonal skills will go a long way towards levelling the playing field and helping these graduates feel accepted and valued.
Today’s generation lives online. Gen Zers keep their friends and followers updated on Instagram and TikTok. These platforms have become a part of everyday life. So putting a damper on their creativity and self-expression during office hours – and outside the office – is not going to create a Gen Z-friendly work environment. Gen Zers feel that their personalities are part of what they bring to the table as valuable team members and that they should be embraced, not quashed.
Encourage active engagement in the community
Gen Zers want to make a difference in society. From the community level to worldwide, Gen Zers are actively involved in working to solve problems and promote inclusivity and justice. They want their employers to support them and incorporate these efforts and leadership skills into their professional portfolios.
Read Kahlil Greene’s article here.