Gen Z and the Workplace Post Pandemic
With most millennials now well into adulthood and transitioning into leadership roles, we are seeing a younger generation is now taking over, Gen Z. While this generation still dominate the market, we will soon see an influx of Gen Z workers entering the workforce. Covid-19 has considerably shifted opportunities for many young people. Gen Y was able to graduate from University and enter the workforce with ease while Gen Z face considerable hurdles while getting a foot in the door to their dream jobs.
Challenges You May Face
A major challenge faced by Gen Z during the pandemic is the lack of collaboration. In an office setting, younger generations particularly Gen Z, bounce ideas off one another in real time to increase productivity. Doing this over online platforms such as Zoom and Skype doesn’t necessarily have the same feel to it. Seeking assistance from co-workers remotely may create issues because everyone interprets messages differently for example, a co-worker may interpret an email as passive aggressive or an emoji may be interpreted in a thousand different ways.
With employment rates dropping dramatically this year, this has presented a mixed response from many people belonging to the Gen Z generation. Some people are still quite motivated to get out of the house and into the workforce, while others have enjoyed lockdown and the benefits it has provided, e.g. less responsibility, more time, more Netflix etc. Either way, post lockdown the job market will be extremely competitive. Even now during lockdown the market is competitive. With more people at home and more time spent on web surfing job listings, Gen Z workers are competing with one another more now than ever before.
Lessons You will Learn
#1 Focus on Creativity
In order to stand out from the crowd Gen Z worker must focus on creativity. A generic CV and cover letter won’t stand out from the crowd. Building a website or portfolio is a polished way to share your expertise with others and stand out to future employers. Websites can be more creative and innovative than traditional portfolios and can be shared with anyone in the world.
#2 Complete an Internship
One of the most important things you can do as a student is an internship. University teaches you textbook knowledge, but nothing compares to real life and hands-on experience. Understandably taking an internship virtually is challenging and hard to compare to an in-person office environment, but the experience gained is priceless and will help any Gen Z worker with any future endeavours.
#3 - Embrace Change
Any individual entering the workforce post pandemic must have a positive mindset. It’s imperative this new generation of workers can acknowledge and accept change, not fear it. Businesses tend to spend a lot of time and energy focused on reassuring people that changes are temporary, and the future is stable, but with coronavirus nothing will ever truly stable. So, instead of spending time convincing people that changes will pass, businesses must reframe the conversation and teach people to be okay with change.
#4 - Businesses Must Prioritise Organisational Culture
As Gen Z workers make their transition into a covid-safe workforce, employers need to be conscious of organisational culture. The values, expectations, and practices that once guided and informed the actions of team members need to be rethought. Covid-safe onboarding of an entirely new workforce needs to ensure Gen Z individuals are kept motivated and enthusiastic.
As the workforce changes, so too will the ways in which companies seek and attract employees, and how these employees engage with the job market. As covid-19 becomes a normal part of everyday business operations, we can expect a surge of Gen Z workers sooner rather than later.