5 Things Every Working Gen Z Needs to Know
The current workforce has a significant portion of Gen Zs who’ve entered the job market during a time of remote work and “gig” economies. These young professionals have unique concerns compared to older ones.
They have different priorities in the workplace, including prioritizing their well-being and work-life balance. However, they struggle to connect with colleagues and worry about financial stability.
1. Finding Remote Jobs
One of the biggest challenges Gen Zs face is finding remote work. According to a survey conducted by FlexJobs, more than 60% of candidates prefer a hybrid or fully remote work model.¹ This preference is due to their desire for flexibility and work-life balance. However, 43% of respondents in the same survey indicated that there were no remote work options. Similarly, a survey conducted by LinkedIn in October 2022 found that 50% of job applicants wanted remote work, but only 15% of new job postings offered it.² This disconnect between what Gen Zs want and what employers offer can be disheartening.
What to do: On the brighter side, experts have predicted that remote work is here to stay.³ Gen Zs can take a few steps to prioritize companies that offer remote work options and to communicate their preference during the job search process. With platforms like strategic system inc, you can actively seek out companies that offer remote work options by customizing the search to suit your needs. When submitting resumes and cover letters, highlight your preference for remote work options and explain why this is important to you.
If your preferred industry doesn’t have many remote job options, consider other industries that are more open to remote work. Some industries that have been more accepting of remote work include tech, marketing, writing, and customer service. Ultimately, upskilling goes a long way. By building your remote work skills and experience, you can make yourself more attractive to employers who are looking for candidates with remote work experience.
2. Fostering Well-Being
The culture of well-being in the workplace has become an essential aspect of modern work culture, especially for Gen Zs. According to a survey by GOBankingRates, 42% of workers aged between 18 to 24 say that work-life balance is a key factor in their job search.⁴ However, prioritizing well-being can be challenging in a work environment that demands productivity and efficiency at all times.
One of the significant challenges Gen Zs face in prioritizing well-being is establishing boundaries between work and personal life. With the rise of remote work and flexible work arrangements, it can be challenging to separate work and personal life effectively. This can lead to overworking and burnout, negatively affecting mental health and overall well-being.
What to do: Gen Zs can set boundaries and create a work-life balance that works for them. This involves developing and sticking to a work schedule. As much as you want to get things done, leave adequate time for rest, relaxation, and socialization. This might be overrated, but designating a workspace that separates work from personal life allows you to focus on work when needed and disconnect when not working.
Another challenge Gen Zs face is managing stress and anxiety in the workplace. Workplace stress can impact mental health and well-being, leading to burnout and decreased productivity. To deal with this, try embracing self-care techniques, such as meditation, or mindfulness. You may also consider seeking support from mental health professionals, employee assistance programs, or online support groups. Additionally, look out for companies and work environments that prioritize employee well-being.
3. Overcoming Disconnection and Disengagement
According to a study by Gallup, when compared to the older generation, a larger number of Gen Zs (54%) are disengaged at work.⁵ One of the significant challenges Gen Zs face when it comes to engagement is feeling disconnected from their coworkers and the overall work culture. Remote work and the “gig” economy can exacerbate this issue, as Gen Zs may not have as many opportunities for in-person connections and networking.
What to do: Employers have a role to play in ensuring that young professionals are connected to work by fostering a culture of purpose. However, Gen Zs can also take proactive steps to engage with their coworkers and build meaningful connections. Participating in team-building activities, attending social events, and joining employee resource groups are baby steps to take. As a young professional, consider seeking mentorship opportunities and ways to contribute to the company’s mission and goals.
Another challenge you might face as a young professional when it comes to engagement is the feeling that your work doesn’t have a meaningful impact on the world. To deal with this challenge, consider seeking out purpose-driven careers and companies that align with their values. You can also look for opportunities to make a positive impact through their work, such as volunteering or participating in corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Additionally, continuous learning and development can help to stay engaged and motivated to work. Seek out opportunities to learn new skills and take on new challenges such as attending conferences, taking online courses, or participating in training programs.
4. Building Financial Stability
Financial instability remains a major concern for many Gen Zs. In Annuity’s financial literacy statistics, 30% of Gen Z are currently dissatisfied with their financial condition. 18% spend more than 10 hours thinking or dealing with issues related to personal finances, while 25% of them agreed that debt and loan repayment prevent them from adequately addressing other financial concerns.⁶
Many Gen Zs have taken out significant student loans to pay for college, leading to high levels of debt that can impact their financial stability for years to come. They’re also entering the workforce during a time of economic uncertainty, with high levels of unemployment and underemployment.
What to do: Gen Zs can take proactive steps to manage their finances and plan for their financial future. These steps include creating a budget and sticking to it, tracking their expenses and income to ensure they are living within their means. They can also prioritize saving for emergencies such as job loss or unexpected expenses, and for their long-term financial goals such as retirement.
Many Gen Zs may not have learned basic financial skills, such as how to manage debt, save for retirement, or invest in the stock market. To overcome this challenge, it’s important to seek financial education and resources such as personal finance courses, books, and online resources. You may also consider seeking guidance from financial advisors or mentors who can help you navigate your financial situation and make informed decisions.
5. Facing Job Insecurity
The rise of the gig economy and contract work has made it more difficult for younger workers to find stable, long-term employment, which can lead to financial insecurity and stress. Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the job market even more uncertain, with many companies implementing layoffs and furloughs.
What to do: In a rapidly changing job market, adaptability is key. You might need to be open to new opportunities and willing to pivot your career path whenever necessary. Building strong professional networks can help in finding job opportunities. Consider attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and connecting with
mentors on LinkedIn to expand your network.
To stand out, personal branding matters. Create a professional website or blog, publish thought leadership pieces on LinkedIn, and develop a strong social media presence to showcase your skills and experience. This way, you can show yourself as an expert in your field, while increasing your visibility to potential employers.
Gen Zs face unique challenges in the modern workforce.
By prioritizing self-care, building authentic connections with colleagues, prioritizing financial literacy, and seeking employment with companies that align with their values, Gen Zs can hope for a bright work future ahead of them.
- FlexjobsRemote Work Statistics & Trends: The Latest in Remote Work.” https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistcs/. Accessed February 27, 2023.
- LinkedIn Talent Blog. “In a First, Remote Jobs Attract a Majority of Applications on LinkedIn.” https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/talent-acquisition/remote-jobs-attract-majority-applications-first-time. Published April 7, 2022. Accessed February 27, 2023.
- Forbes. “Remote Work Is Here To Stay And Will Increase Into 2023, Experts Say.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2022/02/01/remote-work-is-here-to-stay-and-will-increase-into-2023-experts-say/?sh=1094e8e020a6. Published February 1, 2022. Accessed February 27, 2023
- Bizouati-Kennedy, Yaёl. “42% of Gen Z Prioritize Work-Life Balance Over Other Job Perks, Survey Says.” https://www.gobankingrates.com/money/jobs/42-of-gen-z-prioritize-work-life-balance-over-other-job-perks-survey-says/amp/. Published September 26, 2021. Accessed February 27, 2023.
- Gallup. “Generation Disconnected: Data on Gen Z in the Workplace.” https://www.gallup.com/workplace/404693/generation-disconnected-data-gen-workplace.aspx. Published November 11, 2022. Accessed February 27, 2023.
- Turner Terry. “47+ Fascinating Financial Literacy Statistics in 2023.” https://www.annuity.org/financial-literacy/financial-literacy-statistics/. February 3, 2023. Accessed February 27, 2023.