Gen z is a generation too big to be ignored
What does success look like in the minds of Gen Z and what misconceptions are there that we can help change
Brandcenter x Non-Fiction Project | 2 Months | Cultural Deep Dive | Rouge Research | Agency Project
Given the prompt of "what does success look like to Gen Z" we took a deep dive into the generation everyone is talking about.
Gen Z will soon surpass Millennials as the most populous generation on Earth taking up more than 1/3 of the world’s population.
Its members are on the verge of entering the workforce and spending money on the products, services and solutions.
By 2025 Gen Zers will make up 75% of the workforce.
Over the span of 2 months we were able to find some insight into this generation's wants, fears, goals, and aspirations.
We interviewed a VCU career path advisor and college professor both of whom work with Gen Zers on a day-to-day basis. This provided an outside perspective on how this generation behaves.
"I see a lot more compassion and empathy than I did in Millennials.
Dr. Maria Cuevas, Biology Professor at Southwestern University
"They are a generation of entrepreneurs and they're the ones that will make something out nothing."
Monique Sample, Career Service Advisor at VCU
Talking to Gen Zers provided a unique first-hand perspective into their view of success and how they perceive thier world.
"Success is anytime you achieve something you want to you do"
"I want to be someone who my friends and family are proud of"
"I want to be in a place where I can constantly learn and teach others."
WE took a deep dive into this generation through...
multiple interviews with people who work with Gen Zers closely
Talking with Gen Zers, of course!
Doing some online listening:
Read a ton of Gen Z reports
Binged on Netflix:
We can't fully understand gen z without looking at those that have come before
Motivated by promotions, professional development
Like having their expertise valued and acknowledge
Known for their rational mindset
Pioneers of work-life balance
Independent and entrepreneurial
Highest percentage of startup founders
Emotional and rational mindset when it comes to making career decisions
Still care about economic and career stability
Looking for a work/life balance
Emotional mindset, they are aspirational and passionate
Their career paths are a way to make, not just economical, but social change
They are creative, digital natives that are shaking things up
We did some social listening and dug deeper into who this group is. We conducted an online poll in a Gen Z Reddit thread to look at how they view success and their futures moving forward.
Reddit Poll: How do your views on being successful differ from other generations?
"You feel proud of what you have done, no matter what it was."
"Being fulfilled. I don’t equate money with success.
COVID's impact on their view of success:
"My generation will have to contend with economic uncertainty, potentially diminished educational quality and their effects on our mental well-being. Consequently, the coming years will be crucial in answering the question: Just how resilient are we?
56% Gen Zers use social apps to express themselves creatively, they are using it not just as a personal tool but a tool to excel and springboard their careers.
Gen Zers are very entrepreneurial and creative thinkers, and seem to have it innately. They are hyper-connected and highly opinionated. There's this call back to a "Renaissance Style" where they are having many interests, talents and areas of knowledge.
Want to start their own business
Say they are always striving to achieve more in life and develop new skills
Conducted quantitative research online to see what this generation is doing
Talked to not Gen Zers but people who work closely with Gen Zers
Went on a "rogue research" path and took a deep dive online where they live
Helped curate insights into who this generation is and what success means to them
They are using the tools at their disposal to achieve their goals
The core of what success is hasn't changed, but gen z has changed the how
Highly educated but open-minded
Gen Z will be one of the most educated generations, but they are open to alternative, creative routes to achieve their goals
Turning passions into careers
Gen Z use their full-time job to finance their real interest
Starting their career search early on
Thinking about their career earlier than previous generations and wanting to retire younger
Using social as a tool and career finder
Looking to people on social has expanded their view on careers and success
The future of Gen Z will look like...
Making a name for themselves
Unconventional career paths
Creating real change
while it seems like they are wanting to move fast, having a "young" identity is important
TERRIFIED OF GROWING UP
WORRIED ABOUT HOW LONG THEY CAN STAY YOUNG FOR
WANT TO BE THE "FUN, COOL, CREATIVE" GENERATION
the real "greatest generation"
Posses a "change the world" complex. They feel like older generations have failed them and they need to clean up the mess.
"Generation Z is one of the greatest generations ever that this world has seen. We are not afraid to talk about the problems that have existed for decades, and that everyone was scared to talk about. Our generation DOES NOT accept racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamaphobic, wars, murders, etc.”
- Anonymous Gen Z Reddit User
Using their powers for good, not evil
Gen Z are technology natives and cool content creators but are well aware they have the power to change the world.
For instance in the 2020 election…53% to 55% of registered 18 to 29-year-olds appear to have voted in the 2020 election...the possible highest ever recorded turnout in the modern era of politics.
"if they can do it,
we can too"
Saw their parents and older siblings go through a recession and are more aware of how they can be successful during hard times
“IMO we may survive the virus, but we will emerge from it in a second Great Depression, perhaps even worse than the first”
- Anonymous Gen Z Reddit User