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Is Gen Z Speaking for More than Their Generation?

The workplace is in flux. As Gen Z makes their presence known, businesses want to know what to expect from the newest demographic. This curiosity is not anything new. Several years ago, there were many articles about Millennials and their various wants and needs in the workplace.

While it can feel efficient and tidy to sum up a generation, most of us do not appreciate an over-generalization of our own generation. True be told, such articles often prove to have both some truth and some falsities. Generations are also impacted by factors outside of their control. Events such as the pandemic and inflation are a catalyst for workers of all demographics to rethink how and why they work.

New Twist?

An article from Fast Company revealed a new take on the youngest generation in the workplace. The article posited that Gen Z employees do not want a dream job. Instead of the culmination of one job over the span of a career, the article found members of this generation are most interested in “collecting experiences.”

The author Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi, and father of a Gen Z-er, explained this younger generation is looking at their career as a series of experiences and chapters. This would eliminate the climbing of a career ladder – working up through a series of promotions before eventually retiring.

Instead, the Gen Z mentality revolves around bringing one’s best to a job and leaving the organization better as a result. This ties into a prevalent and often-repeated definition of Gen Z as employees who prioritize purpose over a paycheck.

No Age Limits

Depending on who you ask, this mindset could also be representative of Boomers, Gen X and Millennials who found themselves in an organization where they hit the ceiling. Forced to move on or grow stagnant, these employees chose to leave a job that was no longer working and start anew. Not too long ago, this was disdainfully referred to as job hopping.

This new chapter dawning in the workforce is less about the needs of a specific generation than a culmination of what workers of all generations have been striving toward for decades. Most employees want work-life balance, and many are questioning what they do and for whom they work.

Really, there should be no age boundaries on employees who want to be respected for the skills they have and celebrated for the talents they bring to the organization at large.