They’re unique and proud of who they are. They know where they want to go in life, and it might not be where their authority figures would like them to go. They’re today’s young people, Generation Z, and they’re coming to a workplace near you. What is giving them their nonconformist edge?
SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE BLOOD
Even the Millennials who were born between 1980 and 1995 have been tech savvy since the beginning, but something is different about Gen Z. Not just comfortable with how to use computers, these people establish, maintain, end and even judge the worthiness of virtual and physical relationships based on factors such as how many “likes” a post gets or how many people in their friend circle agree with a statement they make. These factors also heavily influence why, when and what they buy and how they communicate their opinions about their purchases to those they know.
ALL LIVE ALL THE TIME
A significant number of these Gen Z-ers are also not shy about recording virtually aspects of their daily lives, from the meal they just cooked to their baby’s gender reveal party. They apply make-up, discuss behavioral choices with their small children and play fiercely competitive video games for all the world to see. In response, they receive all manner of feedback, usually from friends and tangential followers to their social media feed. This opens a dialogue that can be the springboard to controversy as well as creativity.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORSHIP
Into this milieu of constant exposure and collaboration have come a group of dedicated mentors who are committed to shepherding these young people, many of whom have rejected the traditional career trajectory. Unwilling to subject themselves to the crushing debt of post-secondary education, they are looking for other avenues into the work world. In order to accommodate this need, innovators such as Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, musician and e-sports enthusiast Nick Gross launches a new lifestyle platform. Its purpose is to provide rich content, a diverse pool of information and an ever-growing network of mentors to individuals who are working to understand what they are passionate about. The ultimate goal of Gross’ paradigm is to model and promote self-discovery in the young people with whom he and his team work. Success can then be measured not by how many rungs on the corporate ladder someone climbs but instead on whether the individual is fulfilled in serving their unique purpose and mission in life.
This generation of passionate, creative nonconformists may do nothing less than shake up the entire work world and definition of success as we currently know it. Most likely, the ride they take us on in order to attain their goals will have its rough spots. Nevertheless, the rewards everyone reaps at the end of the journey will make all of the trials and tribulations worthwhile.