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Gen Z Will Hit the Workforce Sooner Than You Think

X plus Y plus … Z?
gen z
Image Credit: icelandic/Flickr

As we near the end of 2016, the first official wave of truly “digital natives” are in the process of hitting the workforce, and they’re bringing a different, surprisingly old-school set of values with them. So says a recent Monster report, Move Over, Millennials: Gen Z Is About to Enter the Workforce.

The report focuses on workplace trends involving Generation Z, which describes the generation of existing or soon-to-be workers ages 15 through 20 who have been immersed in technology since birth. According to the job board behemoth, which surveyed more than 2,000 individuals of all employment statuses across the Baby Boomer, X, Y, and Z generations, Gen Z is more drawn toward careers that embody a combination of “purpose and passion” than some of their generational predecessors.

They’re also more likely to want to be their own boss. Monster’s data show that Gen Z is likely to be the most entrepreneurial generation ever, with 76 percent of Gen Z respondents believing that they are the owners of their career, more even than Baby Boomers (75 percent). Only 64 percent of Millennials and 67 percent of Gen X felt the same. Nearly half (49 percent) say they want to own their own business someday, compared with 32 percent of all generations.

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This report also suggests that not only do Gen Z workers’ career goals differ from other generations’, but so do the lengths to which they’ll go to achieve them. Seventy-four percent of Gen Z respondents said they’re prepared to relocate for a job (versus 45 percent of Millennials and 40 percent of Gen X), and 58 percent will also work nights and weekends (compared to 45 percent of Millennials and 40 percent of Gen X).

The study found that Gen Z’s top first-job must-haves are:

  • Health Insurance (70 percent)
  • A Competitive Salary (63 percent)
  • A Boss They Can Respect (61 percent)

The survey’s findings have the potential to impact the personality of the U.S. workforce in significant ways. Generation Z’s combination of “digital-native” knowledge and seemingly traditional values describes a demographic of workers interested in careers with money, security, and stability, and the potential to make a mark on the world.

Gen Y and Gen X might want to watch out.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s your impression of Gen Z so far? We want to hear from you. Leave a comment or join the conversation on Twitter.


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