What's really going on with Gen Z?
I love a good reel that shows what Gen Z doesn’t know about my childhood. It’s a hilariously torturous and lighthearted way of saying…we old! In the same vein, I’ve never really tried to understand the passions that lie with those who will one day run this country of ours. So, you can’t have a podcast that talks about “geriatric millennials” without having a little fun and partnering with the next generation. While we had a blast interviewing several Gen Zers ranging from 17-26, we were reminded that they once enjoyed their parents’ cell phones, have no idea what a Walkman or MTV’s TRL is, and Beyonce withstands the test of time.
After all that fun, what unexpectedly occurred was an incredibly rich and insightful conversation about their passions, strengths, and career beliefs.
Here are a few things we learned:
They all unanimously felt their generation was incredibly accepting. Note – these interviews were conducted separately, no one knew what the other interviewee stated, but the overwhelming response was that there’s more love and acceptance for others.
They reinforced what we’re seeing in research, that flexibility in the workforce is a real thing. I studied this a little further and even Deloitte recently published a 2022 Survey on Millennials and Gen Z that stated these generations seek out positions based on pay, flexibility and environmental/sustainable impact.
There is deep passion in being respected and wanting previous generations to understand the respect they have for others.
They embrace life. Working to live not living to work feels like a real thing, one in which took me a long time to embrace myself.
They live under a microscope, and some feel quite violated for that. Making a mistake is always and forever stamped in the virtual world.
Each generation has its strengths and challenges. It will be interesting to see what Gen Z and Gen Alpha creates in the future. Maybe the show The Jetsons was on to something with technology. Maybe Millennials might be on to something by embracing beauty in their own way -how we embrace our aging process or being open about surgeries, injections, and our imperfectly perfect bodies. The biggest question is are we paving the way for what societal norms could be or is Gen Z taking the bull by the horns and forging a path that is like nothing we’ve seen yet. Only time will tell. Until then, we will reminisce on our favorite things from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s and feel forever young in our hearts.