The oldest members of gen Z (born in 1996) are now graduating college, flooding offices across America with their cheery, five-screen-watching, can-do spirit.
Dr. Seemille says it’s a mistake to paint them with the millennial brush. “Having witnessed high levels of unemployment during their youth, this generation is very career minded,” suggests Seemille. “One might think they would be always be looking for the next move in their career path and hop from one job to the next. However, given their sense of loyalty, it is likely that they will change jobs less frequently than millennials.”
Dorsey agrees. “They’re the polar opposites of millennials, who can have the mentality of ‘I’ve been here a month, where’s my promotion?’” In a sense they are more like baby boomers, and Dorsey even says that when it comes to the workplace, “we believe that generation Z will leapfrog millennials over time.”
Gen Z is unlikely to stick to a 9 to 5 schedule. “Generation Z students, by being connected around the clock, are not likely to unplug at 5:00 p.m,” reasons Seemille. “As companies move toward more flexible scheduling, project-based work, and the ability to define one’s own work time, the benefits associated with these arrangements will certainly be even more pronounced for the constantly connected generation.”
Debi Hammond, the founder and CEO of Merlot Marketing in Sacramento, gives her insight into the marketing industry. For more from Hammond, check out “Dialing Up,” in our March issue. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll email you when it’s available online.
In some ways they might already be an economic force. A 2014 study from the ad agency Sparks and Honey estimates that the average gen Z receives $16.90 per week in allowance alone, which tallies to an annual $44 billion in spending power. So who are these kids, anyway?