Generation Z Youth
Generation Z is self-directed, opportunistic, and eager to work for themselves. They grew up in an always-connected world and have the attention span of a golden retriever.
Their broader global experience with economic disruption, wars, and climate change has given them a sense of pragmatism. They value authenticity and want to know the truth behind things.
1. They’re not afraid of diversity
Generation Z is the most diverse generation in history. They have grown up in a world where Black presidents have been elected, same-sex marriage is legal and racial justice protests take place on a local level (unlike the national attention given to millennials’ racial justice activism).
They are deeply socially aware and prioritize fairness and diversity. They use their buying power to support brands that reflect these values, and they will challenge or boycott those that don’t.
They’ve been shaped by macro social movements and systemic issues like racism, gun violence and climate change. They are more pessimistic about their future than other generations, with a recent McKinsey survey showing they have the lowest sense of well-being and highest mental health stigma of any generation.
2. They’re not afraid of technology
Gen Z (sometimes called iGen or postmillennials) have a strong sense of self-reliance, a desire to learn about people and cultures from around the world and an appreciation for diversity. They are also pragmatic and care about other people.
Their facility with technology has made them expect on-demand access to information and prefer sources that provide it in “bite-sized” pieces. They’re often skeptical of authority figures and are unwilling to follow something just because an institution says it.
While they have a global perspective, many are pragmatic about their own future and prioritize concerns like finding a job and preparing for retirement over global worries like gun violence and climate change. They’re also savvy when it comes to using technology to make work easier for themselves and others.
3. They’re not afraid of failure
Gen Z is driven and motivated to do well. They want to succeed and feel a responsibility to their families and communities.
They’re not afraid of failure and don’t think they should be – they learn from their mistakes. They’re also not afraid to try something new and are willing to take risks.
They have a strong social conscience and a belief in making the world a better place. They expect brands to show they care about their community – whether that’s a charity project, such as Fenty Beauty supporting diverse makeup options or Outdoor Voices supporting The Nature Conservancy. They also want to see that brands practice what they preach, with fair pay and working practices and high internal standards.
4. They’re not afraid of change
Gen Z has never known a world without the internet and has high expectations of brands. They want a brand to have a clear purpose, be environmentally conscious, and offer a fair deal for their employees.
They’ve seen their parents and grandparents struggle with the Great Recession, and many have had their own financial challenges as well. Having a frugality streak, they prefer to avoid debt and appreciate accounts or services that help them do so.
They’re also very concerned about global issues such as racial justice, climate change, and gender equality. They aren’t afraid to speak out about their concerns on social media. They’re also not afraid to job-hop if they find a company that better aligns with their values.
5. They’re not afraid of failure
Gen Zers know that they’ll need to graft hard and long to get where they want to be. They have a more realistic outlook than millennials, who are often overly-optimistic.
Gen z is more concerned about the environment than any previous generation. Many are prone to eco-anxiety, a form of clinical anxiety triggered by worries over the planet’s sustainability.
As such, they care about the ethical choices that companies make. They can see through brands that don’t act with integrity and want to work with those who share their values. They’re incredibly ambitious and seek meaning and purpose in life. As such, they’ll be the ideal workforce for those companies who can give them a chance to thrive. This is a generation that doesn’t quit.