The Generation Z Workforce: What to Expect

By Jordan Hiken

I am 17 years old, going into my senior year of high school. That makes me among the oldest of Generation Z. Although typically, most 17 year olds don’t have two internships under their belt (not trying to be cocky), I feel that my attitude and outlook on work is fairly typical for most teens.  For the following few reasons, I think that Gen Z has the potential to be a tremendous workforce.

Technology, Technology, Technology: Do you think Millennials are the “Internet kids?” Think again. They grew up during the rise of the Internet; it became their second language. However, my generation is growing up in a time when the Internet and technology are central to our lives. We are natives of the Internet. This will only be advantageous in the workplace. Always being alert of my phone means I can respond to emails, text and phone calls immediately; communication is key.

“Gen Z has the potential to be a tremendous workforce.” – Jordan Hiken, Xerox intern
“Gen Z has the potential to be a tremendous workforce.” – Jordan Hiken, Xerox intern

And with more technology comes more information and knowledge. Gen Z will be the most productive generation due to the immense amount of information available to them at the click of a button. Tasks will get done faster and more accurately. Social media will also play a huge role in the Gen Z workforce. We will take full advantage of all that social media has to offer and build tremendous relationships with customers.

Altruistic: Growing up during a period of much uncertainty – the 9/11attacks , the economic recession, and changing social norms – Gen Z’s motives are not purely monetary. These society-altering events also left us a little bit insecure.

Personal contentment and bettering the world are things that we look for in a job. Research from the marketing agency Sparks and Honey  reports that 76 percent of us want to turn our hobby into a full time job, and 60 percent want our jobs to impact the world. (Hopefully in a positive way.) Rather than working for others, we have an entrepreneurial spirit; as much as we want to better the world, we want to make some money along the way.

I like to think that we are mature, self-directed, and resourceful. For GenZ, I see a very bright light at the end of the tunnel.

Jordan Hiken finished his internship with Xerox on August 29, 2014. He previously had an internship at Gabelli Asset Management for the first half of the summer. Jordan plans to major in business when he goes to a university.

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8 Comments

  1. Travis Gnehm September 5, 2014 - Reply

    Great perspective – I’m liking Generation Z already!

  2. Noah Syken September 8, 2014 - Reply

    Nice job Jordan!

    • Gregory Pings September 8, 2014 - Reply

      Glad you liked the article, Noah. I passed your complement along to Jordan.

  3. Suzy Short September 11, 2015 - Reply

    As a Boomer, conversations with my kids and colleagues offer me insights into Gen X/Y thinking about business – what they value, what they offer. With articulate and open Gen Z colleagues like Jordan, I’m gaining the next level of understanding, and I welcome it!

    • Gregory Pings September 11, 2015 - Reply

      Suzanne: A recurring Internet meme features a quote from Albert Einstein expressing concern about technology turning us into idiots. It’s always paired with a photo of a group Millennials or Z’s who are all focusing on their smartphones. My constant reply: “Looks like they’re solving a quadratic equation.” I work with Millennials and Z’s all day, and all I see are smart, hardworking people who make great contributions to our business. It does my Boomer heart good.

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