Generation Z, iGen, Those Darn Kids.
Whatever you call them, Generation Z – the youngest generation is changing the rules, challenging our boundaries and recreating a generationally cohesive workforce!
My first job in high school was working at a grim bagel shop called the Bagel Baker. This was pre-Starbucks, where being a barista has an element of cache’. This was pre-premium baked goods and sleek surroundings to sip your gourmet coffee while streaming the next Youtube sensation. The place I worked was dirty, (it was later closed by the health department) the chairs were not comfortable and the tables were cracked.
My manager did not believe in building employees’ esteem. Her management style was intimidation and her idea of words of encouragement was insults directed at my appearance or my lack of ability to mop properly. As an adult, I would often compare poor work environments or management styles to the Bagel Baker. I nicked named it Bagel Baker management style. I was fifteen – the same age as the newest generation entering the workforce is now.
Generation Z, also referred to as iGen or Post-Millennial are the youngest generation in the generational timeline and are just now dipping their toes into the workforce. (My co-author and I called this newest generation the Linkster Generation in our book, Generations Inc., but for simplicity sake, I will refer to them as Generation Z or Gen Z throughout the article.)
Who Are They?
Generation Z are people born after 1996.
The oldest Gen Zs are in their early twenties; the majority of this generation is still in their teens. The bulk of Gen Z are part-time employees working around their school schedules and interns. According to Monster.com’s survey of Gen Z, over 75% are still in school. Currently, Gen Z is 65 million people strong and in four years they will be 40% of U.S. consumers.
The majority of the Millennial Generation has Baby Boomers for parents. Generation Z marks the transition from the Baby Boomer parent to Gen Xer and older Millennial parents.
Similar to Millennials, however, Generation Z looks to their parents for career guidance. Generation Z reports their parents have the biggest influence when it comes to job and career decisions and greater than 80% are striving to become leaders.