Ready or not, here they come: Generation Z. They’re about 82 million strong, and the eldest members of their cohort are turning 21 this year -- meaning they’re about to enter the workforce.
Gen Zers are the first generation to have grown up in a digital world, and that affects their behaviors. They overwhelmingly feel the best age to start the smartphone relationship is 13; they aren’t shy about using these gadgets in social situations, combining real-life and virtual collaboration; and they quickly adopt new media in all its forms.
They are focused and aware of the world around them, building peer groups around the world (giving them more in common with their global peers than their parents’ generation had). Undeniably, they’re one of the most -- if not the very most -- connected generations alive.
As they enter the working world, their entrepreneurial parents are the perfect resource to help them begin working toward their career goals. But first, parents must understand what makes them unique: their interests and goals compared with those of previous generations.
What’s the next-gen scoop?
Without a doubt, Gen Zers will break into the workforce with fresh goals and a new perspective.
Previous generations have held traditional jobs. With advances in tech, Gen Zers can explore opportunities to make money doing whatever they love, anytime, from anywhere (according to “Freelancing in America: 2016,” an Upwork study, 47 percent of Gen Zers are already working for themselves through freelancing).
On average, they’re markedly different from their Millennial counterparts. While Millennials have been nicknamed the job-hopping generation, Gen Zers are more likely to stick around for a while. The Chicago Tribune reports that more than 60 percent are willing to remain with a company for a decade or longer, indicating an opinion on company loyalty distinct from that of Millennials.
What motivates them at work differs from previous generations, too; about a third of them cite advancement -- not money -- as their biggest motivator. With that in mind, they’re more than interested in learning and developing themselves (and that’s where you can help now).
Fostering career passions and fueling entrepreneurialism.
For many Gen Zers, work life is just around the corner. Here’s how their entrepreneurial parents can help:
1. Let them stretch their wings.
All children deserve varied experiences, and Gen Zers are no exception. They crave knowledge from anywhere and will absorb what’s happening around them. Open the doors for them to explore subjects such as architecture, performing arts, nature, other cultures, culinary arts and more.
Let them try “adult” things, whether at home or with your business. For instance, my daughter, Sarah, helps with our furniture and home decor decisions, as her Pinterest and Instagram accounts give her tools and inspiration from top designers instantly. She’s able to apply her interests to decisions traditionally left to parents. In encouraging this, we’re letting her know we take her interests seriously (and, as an added bonus, our home is wonderfully decorated).
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