Generation Z and Thee
Interesting discussion at the Flat Earth Society last night.
Not only did our ruling overlords withhold the indisputable fact that the Earth is not round, but the powers that be have also kept from us the undeniable truth that the first human beings on our (flat) Earth were born in 1981.
Or so it seems.
1981 is the year generally accepted in scholarly circles as the date of first appearance of the millennial. Now, there may be truth to the rumors that before the millennials, we had baby boomers (1946-1964) and Gen Xers (roughly 1965-1980); but if this is true, which I doubt, there is certainly no doubt that all we have talked about in recent years are the shopping, buying and working habits of the millennials.
I’m right, right?
How many articles have you read about the care and feeding of millennials? How to hire them, how to fire them and how to work with them in between.
Well, guess what — millennials are old news! In 1995, the millennials started fading away and, in their place, a new generation started hitting the workforce.
And so we say farewell to the lazy, self-obsessed, entitled millennials and say hello to the lazy, self-obsessed, entitled Generation Z.
Or so it seems.
As Serenity Gibbons explains in “How To Adapt To Working With The Gen Z Talent Pool,” her recent Forbes article, Generation Z is very different from the generations that came before.
For example, while millennials “discovered the wonders of mobile devices at a later age,” Gen Zers are “digital natives.” (Congratulations, Gen Z parents! Setting up that PlayStation in baby’s crib really made a difference.)
“Being surrounded by information and helicopter parents,” Gibbons explains, “this generation is tech-savvy yet doesn’t have strong interpersonal communication, critical thinking and decision-making capabilities.”
Being so simpatico with technology, Gen Z humans are ideal candidates for working in digital environments. They are less than ideal, however, when the job demands working with other humans. This is why they make excellent candidates for jobs at customer service call centers.
Gen Zers are so efficient and versatile in frustrating callers, chatters and emailers that customers will get so angry, they won’t call back.
Generation Z has other positive abilities. As Gibbons reports, “They are much more entrepreneurial and likely want to start their own businesses.” This will definitely work in your favor if you want to launch your own surefire new business but are too fond of eating regularly to start your start-up.
Make life sufficiently miserable for a Gen Zer and you can easily get them to stop working with you and start working for you. As Chief Vision Officer of Rent-A-Llama, your CVO will work tirelessly to make your brilliant idea a success. If it doesn’t work out, no big loss. If it does, you can fire your Gen Z puppet and take all the money for yourself.
(Think Rent-A-Llama is a great idea? I do, too. Shares are currently available on my Kickstarter page, Camelid Entrepreneurs Galactic. We could sell the idea to Facebook, but we will definitely want to keep all the money — and all the llamas — for ourselves.)
Interestingly, when compared to greedy millennials, Generation Z people “are not as motivated by money as they are by social cause or specific purpose when it comes to the work they want to produce.”
This could be a major problem for someone like you, who — older and wiser — has embraced the social cause and specific purpose of worshipping money.
Being indifferent to the dollar will make Gen Z job applicants catnip to avaricious employers, like you, who will hire the naive young’uns in droves. You may have the wisdom and the experience, but that won’t protect you from a bunch of eager Gen Z beavers who will work for bupkis, having been convinced that there is no higher calling than marketing kelp chips.
Fortunately, Gen Zers are also interested in having “access to more learning opportunities.”
That’s why you shift the company’s on-boarding process to a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific, where your new employees will have endless learning opportunities trying to survive for a month with only a Gameboy, a cellphone and a roll of dental floss.
In the long run, of course, you Gen Zers don’t have to worry. Once you get off the island, enjoy the pampering from helicopter managers who truly care about your noble goals. They’re not bad people, just old.
And, with any luck, they’ll be dead soon.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning, Inc. in Sausalito, California.