There was an interesting article published this week in the London Evening Standard about the characteristics and traits of Generation Z (those born after 1996).

The author highlighted some interesting points which as a parent, coach, mentor and/or employer are worth considering. 

For ease of reading or hunting down the article, I have listed their key characteristics:

  • Better educated (than the previous generations)
  • Has a university degree not necessarily related to the role (hasn't that always been the case!)
  • Financially prudent
  • Greater number of friends/networks - real and virtual
  • Socially conservative
  • Prefers being productive
  • More driven than previous generations
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Prefers collaboration (than the old hierarchal command and control)
  • Likes variety in their job
  • Are hard working (a key essential)
  • Want to be challenged  - (we know that taking them out of their comfort zone is an essential criterion - see this article I published)
  • Want to progress quickly up the ladder (don't we all!)

According to research out of Harvard Medical School, "those who mentor and support younger staff are three times as likely to be happy as those who do not engage in that way". So it maybe you should consider mentoring the young more or finding a mentor for your children.

As part of our mentoring and coaching service for the young, I went to listen to somebody this week talking about how to get a job after graduation. I think the one thing that has stuck in my head and one that we very much use in our mentoring service is Navigation.

Looking for the ideal job or the perfect role is about navigation. No longer is it a case of plucking a job from a career list, starting at the bottom and hoping over the next 40 years of working your way up the ladder, gaining more responsibility, earning more money, buying a bigger house, until you retire with a fat pension and walk the dog for the rest of your life.

Navigation involves moving from role to role getting closer to the ideal job. What it is not is identifying the ideal job or employer and starting at the bottom with the hope and expectation that you will be promoted all the way up in a straight line. It is like climbing Life's Mountain; there is never a straight path up to the top and it may require climbing some smaller mountains elsewhere to improve your skill level and experience, before navigating up the big mountain.