In this article, we'll uncover not just the hurdles they face but also the resources they have for crafting a brighter tomorrow. Employers, families, friends, and Gen Z themselves all play a pivotal role in shaping their experiences and building a future that's not just hopeful but transformative.
1. Reflecting and Reevaluating:
Many Gen Z individuals are grappling with worries about the future. A study by Cigna reveals that 71% of Gen Z employees have been spending more time evaluating their life priorities compared to two years ago. Additionally, 34% are concerned about the future, and 24% worry about a lack of learning and job opportunities. Despite these concerns, 48% of Gen Z and Millennials (those ages 18-35) plan to seek new job opportunities in the next year.
Implication: Gen Zs should continue reflecting on what truly matters to them. Happiness is closely tied to having a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Encouraging them to explore their passions, learning goals, and the impact they want to make can be immensely beneficial. Regular reassessment allows Gen Z to take actions that align with their priorities, fostering a meaningful and fulfilling life.
2. Fostering Wellbeing:
The statistics on stress and wellbeing are mixed among Gen Z. While 91% report feeling stress and 98% experience burnout, 59% also claim that their wellbeing improved in 2022. Moreover, 78% of Gen Z prioritize wellbeing at work as much as their salary.
Implication: Stress is a significant experience, and it's essential for Gen Z to be aware of it and seek help when needed. At the same time, they should acknowledge that some stress can be constructive. Happiness doesn't equate to constant contentment, but rather to the balance between challenge and capability. Encouraging Gen Z to embrace challenges, develop resilience, and grow through difficult situations can lead to a more fulfilling life.
3. Expanding Engagement:
Engagement in the workplace has declined, particularly due to remote and hybrid work arrangements. Only 32% of people report being engaged, while 17% are actively disengaged. Culture plays a vital role in employee experiences, with 39% of Gen Z workers believing it significantly affects their decision to stay with their current employer.
Implication: Work is more than just a means to an end. It's where individuals express their talents, contribute to their community, and learn. Gen Z should seek work aligned with their interests and values. Employers can support them by providing inspiring leadership, meaningful feedback, and opportunities for growth, fostering greater engagement and job satisfaction.
4. Connecting with Colleagues:
Building meaningful connections with colleagues is fundamental to wellbeing, but many Gen Z individuals struggle with loneliness at work. Only 31% are satisfied with their level of social connection, and 22% have no friends at work.
Implication: Gen Z can prioritize building friendships at work by inviting colleagues for coffee, meetups, and social activities. Colleagues and supervisors can extend a friendly hand, offer guidance, and create a supportive and inclusive work environment. Work serves as a context for building lasting friendships and relationships, making it a crucial aspect of their lives.
5. Developing Financial Awareness:
Money concerns also weigh heavily on Gen Z's minds, with 39% citing money as a major source of stress. Additionally, financial challenges, such as the inability to move out of their parents' homes and concerns about inflation, add to their worries.
Implication: Gen Z can actively seek to improve their financial literacy through classes or mentorship. Employers can contribute by offering fair wages, meaningful benefits, and financial education programs. Smart money management is a learned skill, and employers can play a pivotal role in equipping younger workers with the knowledge they need for financial security.
Despite the challenges Gen Z faces, they have the resilience and potential to create a brighter future. They've weathered global crises and historical struggles, demonstrating their capacity to learn, grow, and bond with others through tough times. While life may not always be easy for them, with their determination and support from others, Gen Z can indeed build a promising tomorrow.