Generation Z- Avoid Becoming a Stereotype in the Workforce

Caitlyn Marchand
We’ve all heard of the labels that accompany each generation, and “Gen Z” is no different. Today, the oldest members of Generation Z are finishing up college and entering the workforce, while millennials comprise the majority of the workforce and baby boomers are slowly working their way towards retirement. If you’re a member of the latest employable generation, here are some tips for defying some of the common stereotypes to make yourself stand out in the workplace.

“Generation Z is obsessed with social media”

Despite claims that teens and college students today focus more on texting and tweeting than getting work done, Generation Z’s early access to technology can serve as a huge advantage in the workforce. While younger generations all use technology pretty equally across the board, Gen Z’s social media usage is especially helpful in terms of mobile marketing and online advertising. An awareness of the impact of social media presence, online influencers, and trending topics is what will set Gen Z apart from past generations in the workforce today.

“Generation Z would rather talk through email or text than on the phone or face-to-face.”

Though there are times when mobile communication is the go-to means of getting a message across for many of us, studies show that nearly two-thirds of Generation Z would rather interact with their coworkers face-to-face than through an online platform or over the phone. The Millennial generation may have paved the way for programs like Slack to improve online communication, but our youngest workers still find value in communicating in-person as well as through a screen. Without being annoying, Generation Z workers should make it a point to have these personal interactions with coworkers and managers in order to foster open lines of communication.

“Generation Z is difficult to coach.”

Older generations with much more experience in the workforce might find it difficult to mentor their youngest employees, but this is primarily due to gaps in technology and educational experiences. According to Inc., two-thirds of Gen Z workers feel that their work requires a much different skill set than was required in past generations, and as a result, nearly half of Generation Z prefers to learn new concepts independently. If you’re entering the workforce and worry about being micromanaged, be sure to communicate with your managers and mentors when you feel that you can handle things on your own while respecting that, as the new employee, you will have a lot to learn from them. 

“It’s impossible to hold the attention of Generation Z.”

Oftentimes, we hear that the youngest generations of workers have the attention span of a goldfish, and this has been attributed to a rise in social media usage as opposed to reading full-text documents, newspapers, and other lengthier mediums. However, evidence suggests that the average attention span is not declining- rather, people are becoming more selective with what they focus on in order to sift through the abundance of information thrown our way each day. It is important for young workers to be mindful of this negative stereotype and take extra steps to provide full and undivided attention towards workplace activities. This can be displayed through taking notes during meetings, maintaining eye contact during conversations with management, and staying focused on one task at a time to ensure full completion. 

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