All of their communication is chat based; short, informal, and instantaneous. Things like email and a corporate job are one and the same; no fun and brutal. They’re extremely pragmatic. In other words, things are dealt with sensibly and realistically. Forget any theoretical considerations, or even optimism, sadly.
The generation we should all be watching closely; the generation after Millennials. Within the next few years, Gen Z will become the fastest growing generation in the workplace and marketplace.
Gen Z was born in 1996 or later or they are about 20 years old and younger. Ask them if they remember 9/11. If they don’t, they’re most likely Gen Z. 9/11 was the Millennials’ defining moment. The recession, gay marriage, Affordable Care Act, and legalization of marijuana are all part of the collection of defining moments for Gen Z. This generation has experienced the country in so many aggressive divisions on most topics that the defining moments aren’t done yet. The pragmatic outlook makes more sense now, right?
Social media is important to this group, but don’t criticize them for all their screen time just yet. Social media has provided them with a “figure it out” approach to education and life. If they don’t know how to do something, that’s what YouTube is for. They’re curious and resourceful, so they’re not going to wait for someone to teach them something.
Social media has also greatly reduced the size of the world for them. They love to relate to others around the world on a personal level. They view everyone as being very similar, which is probably because they are. Gen Z is the most diverse generation yet. They are a true melting pot of cultures and ethnicities.
Need another clue about their personalities and communication preferences? They believe success comes from their network and that starts online, not in person. Traditional hierarchy is unimportant and useless in their eyes. Passion and whom you know is where it’s at. Just look at the many 20 something entrepreneurs and billionaires that are today’s role models. Gen Z isn’t going to work at the local car wash or Dairy Queen over the summer. They’re going to start their own business with hopes of making it big…at 15 years old.
Misty Sanford, Founder
North of Creative