“I’m generally a very pragmatic person: that which works, works.”- Linus Torvalds
When we hear someone comment that Gen Z has a pragmatic approach towards life, we are sure to think as to why it is said so. So let us start with who Gen Z is. Gen Z comprises of those who are born between 1995 and 2010, with the eldest group about to enter the workforce at around the age of 22. All of us have seen Millennials grabbing the media attention over the last couple of years but it’s time we focused on the future co-workers of the Millennials, the Gen Z. Though Gen Z resembles Millenials to a great extent, there are a lot of characteristics that set the former apart from the latter. Let us dig a little deeper into the details of those distinguishing features.
i. Gen Zers are Ambitious: Born in an era where the role of search engines in enriching our knowledge is increasing daily, Gen Zers’ model of education is not confined to classroom learning. Growing up witnessing the recession taking a toll on their parents, Gen Zers are more inclined towards pursuing an educational path that can help them land a secure job that offers them immense opportunities to grow. They are more likely to adapt quickly to the corporate culture owing to the exposure they received via internships, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and the like. The fact that a major chunk of Gen Zers chose their majors based on the availability of jobs and long-term growth holds testimony to the fact that they are ambitious.
ii. Gen Zers are Motivated by Security: Harsh realities of life have made Gen Zers pick up saving-habits from a very young age. Moreover, they have gone one step further and educated themselves on the importance of investments, to start investing as and when the right time comes up. Taking up an educational loan is out of the question for them and they are always willing to pursue internships or enroll for certified courses to stand out in their domain. It has been observed that Gen Z comprises of perfectionists, is motivated more by purpose than by a paycheck, and is inclined towards making a difference. However, their ultimate aim remains to keep their future safe and secure and they are ever-ready to relocate and roll up their sleeves, as long as they have a job that keeps them financially secure, enabling them to maintain their living standards.
iii. Gen Zers are Competitive: One of the major traits by which we can define Gen Z is their competitiveness. Gen Z prefers to be evaluated based on their contributions/ merits rather than their team’s output. They are well aware of the role of constant skill development in helping them stay relevant and are willing to work hard, as long as they are rewarded well.
iv. Gen Zers are Independent: Gen Zers place a lot of emphasis on independence and prefers to have a personal workspace than an open collaborative one. The thought of managing projects independently fills them with enthusiasm as they view it as an opportunity to hone their skills and abilities. Their quest for independence is apparent from the educational choices they make and contrary to the Millennials, Gen Zers prefer skipping higher education and moving straight into the workforce. According to Gen Z, this is the best way to keep debts at bay.
v. Gen Zers insists on being catered to: Gen-Z expects the workplaces to be inclusive. From that perspective, there is some amount of familiarity Gen Zers have between the Millennials as well as the Baby Boomers. The impact of this attitude is apparent from the example of Salesforce which got U2 and Bruno Mars to perform at their Annual Conferences. About a decade or so none of us would have imagined an organization of this stature to be taking initiatives like this to keep the youngsters entertained.
Thus, we can say that Gen-Z is pragmatic in every sense. Their ambitious attitude, their quest for excellence, and their realistic mentality is indeed a trait that will take them a long way in all walks of their lives.
“Knowing yourself, knowing where you want to get, combining those things gives you the pragmatic steps.” – John Amaechi
Idea & Concept-Rajnikanth, AVP, Hedge School of Applied Economics
Content Development: Aswathi Satish, Niyog Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd.