Aimfly Blog (ENG)

Gen Z: How to start your career?

Generation Z – who are they?

This generation was born from 1996 to 2010. “GenZers” was basically born with a smartphone in their hands, so they are like digital natives.

GenZers grew up with an abundance of opportunity. For example, they can enrol in a master’s program in Russia or study abroad. They can get an internship in a top company or freelance

The core thing that GenZers have not inherited from millennials are values such as stability and the desire to accumulate capital. Generation Z supports the sharing economy trend. They don’t want to buy an apartment with a mortgage or a car. Why tie yourself to a particular location and take obligations when you can rent a house, use car-sharing, or uber? GenZers need and want to be free.

5 Gen-Z Trends

Trend 1: Interesting opportunities are one of the main motivations in work for GenZers

Sounds obvious, who likes common tasks? But we are talking more about values: millennials mainly seek to earn more money, but this is not enough for Gen Z.

So, the first piece of advice to a Gen Z individual is to choose your workplace according to your values. If values differ, you won’t be able to work out your career plan effectively.

For example, you’re a follower of Greenpeace, and you are concerned about climate change. You won’t be able to hold out long enough in a company that buries waste from its production somewhere in a landfill and creates a huge amount of garbage.

How to understand if your and the company’s values are common?

1) Check out the employer’s website. Large western companies always share their mission and values.

2) Attend open events. HR branding departments hold many meetings for students and young specialists. You will meet HR employees, as well as employees from other areas. You can ask about the working day, their corporate culture and why they chose this company. Based on this info, you will see whether you could stand working there or not.

Trend 2: GenZers aren’t ready to work in the system and don’t recognize a strict hierarchy

For GenZers, the position on the business card is not a reason for unconditional respect and submission. To make Gen Z follow the leader, they must prove their effectiveness. Therefore, when choosing your company, pay attention to its value and a specific manager.

How to understand what kind of leader is in front of you?

1) At the first interview, ask your future manager what their management style is like, the way decisions are made in the team and if their employees hold a democratic right.

2) Try through networking, friends, or social nets to find your future colleagues. Ask them how they spend their out-of-work time? Do they communicate with each other or not? Are there any team traditions? This way, you will understand if the team is suitable or not.

Trend 3: GenZers do not want to work 9-to-5 in the office

A member of Generation Z wants to work anywhere in the world, anytime it’s comfortable and convenient. And our main advice here is to discuss with your manager the expectations for working together.

What to agree on from the start?

1) Ask the manager where you can add creativeness and initiative, and where you need to follow the rules. This will reduce disappointment on both sides. For example, your manager expects you to fill out a spreadsheet in 15 min and you suddenly went into developing a completely new approach.

2) Discuss the format of work. Which tasks need to be solved in the office or in Zoom with colleagues, and what projects you can work on alone at a convenient time.

Trend 4: Generation Z expects an individual approach

GenZers should look for an individual development plan that is completely justified. Therefore, our piece of advice is – the initiative for career development must come from you.

How to do it?

1) Tell your manager about your career goals. Discuss what competencies are needed for your next role, and which projects you should focus on to develop them.

2) Communicate with people, attract experienced professionals into your circle. Colleagues in the company or industry will show broader development prospects, and advise you in what directions to take

Trend 5: GenZers value openness and truth

They want to openly discuss tasks and receive honest feedback about themselves and their work. It is unacceptable for GenZers to fit in or build complex political schemes. Based on that, the best thing you can do is to talk.

How to do it?

1) Speak frankly with your boss and the people around you. Often the manager sets a task, focusing on his experience, not yours. If you feel out of sync in conversation, ask in more detail about the project. It is better to spend some time for clarification than to get the wrong result and waste time.

2) Be sure to ask for help if you need it. It is common practice in the professional world. Each person has their own strengths and points for improvement.

How can GenZers consistently achieve high results in their work?

Scientists conclude that Generation Z is strong individualists. They do not agree to collective responsibility or team results. They must understand the role they have in a particular project. And this is a place of discrepancy with the current workflow. In large corporations, most projects are for teamwork and overall results. Accordingly, the objective for GenZers is to learn teamwork, even if it is uncomfortable and offbeat.

How to do it?

1) Ask the manager how each task should be completed. Let’s say, the manager asked you to calculate data in Excel to analyze the company’s sales for the last 2-3 months. You did the job, and immediately forgot about it. If you had previously been curious about how the data would be used, you would have known, for example, the report would help the CEO make a managerial decision to bring a new product to market. You would understand your mission is far beyond Excel. It has a great impact on the company’s profit and the whole development strategy.

2) Always look at tasks in a wider perspective. Especially during the end of the routine tasks, there is not a trace of inspiration left. At these moments, it’s important to remember how each project will affect the company and you personally as a professional, what competencies it could develop. It helps to bring motivation back to work.

3) Polish up your teamwork skill. Starting from university, take part in case championships and educational team projects. The skill to interact with people and jointly achieve results is key for your career track development.