The Digitarians, iGeneneration, Screeners, Post-Millennials, Generation Z — you name it! Call them what you want; they represent the first generation that has always been connected to the Internet. They were raised with touchscreen technology since their diaper days.
They also have a bit of a bad rep, being categorized as “screen addicts,” having short attention spans, or being even more selfish and lazy than the Millennials. But the reality is, society tends to criticize any new generation that approaches life differently. The New York Times reported, “It took 10 years before most organizations identified Millennials as a talent issue on fire.” The same thing is happening now with Generation Z. Now about 35 years old, the oldest Millennials are successful business owners who are making vital leadership decisions and positively impacting the workforce. Broadview Networks predicts the same trend will occur with Generation Z.
It’s time to take a serious look at this new generation, because they are here and are already showing their impact in the workforce and demonstrating how they might challenge older generations. Here are 4 top reasons to look out for Generation Z:
1. They have strong global relations
Generation Z has always been surrounded by a network of social connections through Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, Email, YouTube, and so on. These connections have given them a sense of power and confidence that other generations never experienced at their age. They have a wider range of international connections and relationships with others of different backgrounds (religious, political, socioeconomical, etc.). While you may be beginning to establish relationships with international business connections, Generation Z has been friends on Facebook with these people since middle school! Once they join your company, they will already know hundreds of people from overseas. With introductions already out of the way, they can get straight down to business.
2. They are fast learners
These connections have introduced Generation Z to a variety of learning experiences they couldn’t access without the Internet. The ability to simply “Google it” has given this generation a new sense of control and power to engage in independent learning. They are not only tech-savvy with any sort of device, but they are smart about research. Besides the new technology focus and mission that educational institutions provide to aid students in researching wisely, the new generation has almost instinctive powers on how to go about navigating, processing, and reporting information on the web since the skill has been practically inborn. This could certainly pose a threat to some in older generations as Generation Z flies through projects and assignments faster than ever.
3. They work hard and prepare early for the job
Speaking of speed, Generation Z produces fast work because they are highly motivated. It’s no secret that obtaining a job and a name for yourself is difficult, and Generation Z is well aware of this. They are prepared to come in strong into the workforce and have already turned heads. The oldest members of Generation Z are now in college, but we now see more and more internships being seized by high school students.
Fortune states that 32% of Generation Z strives for their dream job rather than simply taking whatever job opens up. Classes and camps are offered to students as young at 6 to learn how to code and design their own video games and robots. Classes like these can introduce the generation to their passion and set them a step ahead of many Millennials. This new generation is also known for personalizing things, so they know what they want and will work hard to earn it.
4. They are not afraid to be different
Once in the business force, members of Generation Z will shake things and break away from stereotypical business environments and traditions. Old technology and ugly offices won’t fly for the new generation, so you better be ready to have the latest and greatest styles and technology, such as cloud computing and wireless advances. Generation Z will challenge older environments to become more high-tech and up to date, or they will leave. Their sense of individuality and self-empowerment directs them toward entrepreneurial business. They are seeking opportunities for growth and will not hesitate to do things themselves. Smaller start-ups could create more localization and force larger brands to make changes. As Forbes points out, marketing tactics that may have succeeded for Millennials no longer hold as powerful of an influence over Generation Z. Many brand names have begun to struggle as individuality emerges, and this increase in smart local entrepreneurial businesses will challenge big businesses and corporations.
Given their strong technical foundation and ability to look at, reflect upon, and redefine from past generations, Generation Z represents a bold,fresh perspective. The oldest members of Generation Z will soon be out of college and making their mark. They are smart, quick to learn, quick to adapt, and empowered to stand out. Changes will be made as technology continues to rapidly evolve. Generation Z is faster to adapt and implement these technologies than any other generation. The Millennials may currently be the largest generation, but Generation Z will soon surpass them in both numbers and skills.
And now, a word from the more experienced generation: Are We Boomers Still Relevant?