Looking Forward Lab believes in the assets Gen Z brings to the workforce. We take every opportunity to applaud the strengths and skills Gen Z brings to corporate, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic professional teams. During the organizational culture executive coaching and learning sessions my company designs and delivers, we caution against the use of the negative stereotypes that inevitably get associated with every generation, particularly those currently tagged to Gen Z.
A few years ago, Bloomberg predicted that by 2030, members of Gen Z will make up over a third of the US workforce. To stay viable now and in future, Looking Forward Lab collaborates with employers to help them learn as much as possible about Gen Z’s unique perspective and understanding of the world and their place in it. Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group’s mission to galvanize 1,000,000 leaders positions us to focus on partnering with agencies, companies, and organizations to create high performing teams. One of our key tools to support Gen Z in becoming the highly skilled global problem solvers the workforce needs at this moment is to provide the incisive professional development experiences designed and delivered through Looking Forward Lab. To do this, the confluence of both Gen Z’s personal and professional lives must be taken into consideration. This means that we equally examine and understand Gen Z’s work ethic, as it relates to their financial literacy and decisions about when and how to enter the housing market, as we do when we review how they deliver a final project on budget.
Gen Z Work Ethic and Financial Literacy
In a recent May 2023 article titled, “Gen Z is the Hustle Generation,” Business Insider notes that,“As Gen Zers move into the workforce in significant numbers, it’s clear they are shaking off the typical 9-to-5 career path and reinventing their own ways to earn an income.” While this often includes hybrid work and side hustles, Gen Z is also skeptical of outdated money tips that tout the benefits of being frugal above all else and attaining a second job to immediately pay down any and all debt. According to Moneywise, many members of Gen Z are choosing to focus on the present, comfortably enjoying their career and lifestyle in the now instead of worrying about retirement. Also known as soft living, this trend bucks the high-stress lifestyle in favor of creating a sustainable work-life balance.
Gen Z and Housing
The March 21, 2023 issue of Business Insider reported that Gen Z is poised to enter the housing market. According to the news source, unlike Millennials, who “came of age in the shadow of the Great Recession and the housing bust,” Gen Z has been lucky. “They largely managed to avoid economic calamity when the pandemic struck, thanks to government support and a strong job market. They also don’t bear the same battle scars from the housing market’s collapse in 2008, since the oldest among them were just 11 or 12 when the wave of foreclosures began. The pandemic, which threw a wrench in many Gen Zers’ postgrad plans, has also nudged more members of the generation toward alternative investments like real estate.”
Forbes adds that Gen Z has focused its home buying on smaller cities “where housing is much less expensive, making it easier to afford a mortgage down payment… This is partly because people under 25 may be more flexible about their location as they enter the workforce in the era of remote and hybrid work, while older adults may be more tied to locations near existing careers.” In addition, The Boston Globe revealed that unmarried Gen Z couples are moving in together at record rates, in an effort to save money on rent or help pay for a mortgage.
Understanding these outer life decisions and their impact on Gen Z’s professional lives will make it easier for hiring and supervising managers to connect to and work with Gen Z. Each era presents different approaches for each generation, and Gen Z, like generations before it, is responding to their reality. I encourage Gen Z to understand the personal and professional confidence and flexibility they enjoy is in large part because prior generations laid the groundwork. Conversely, I encourage more established generations to continue to help Gen Z learn from them, and to take pride in what they have helped to seed for them. I remind all five generations in the workforce that each has an important part to play, and the success of one is the success of all.
For more information on the Gen Z mindset, including the prospect of parenthood, retirement plans, and the importance of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging (DEIAB) in the workplace, click here. To learn more about supporting Gen Z as they enter the workforce with the help of Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC and Looking Forward Lab, please visit our website, or contact us today. And be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok!
Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC is a certified National Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Administration (SBA) Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Women’s Business Enterprise Network Council (WBENC) woman-owned company. The company is comprised of a suite of brands, including TDB Group Strategic Advisory, a management consulting firm; Looking Forward Lab, a media content company focused on Gen Z, which partners with corporations and higher education systems to offer a full-service learning engagement model that delivers workforce development solutions; and Cooper + Lowe, an incubator for women interested in transitioning to entrepreneurship and thought leadership using the tools of a company that has successfully scaled.