I’m so pleased to share this guest blog post from my IUAA colleague, Erin Bruce. She is a career coach and advocate for working moms who is also raising a Gen Z son so this new generation is especially close to her heart.
They’re here! Generation Z, the iGeneration, Post-Millennials, Centennials, or Zees, are just a few of the names of the new generation that has entered post-secondary institutions this year. Gen Z consumers range from ages 2 to 19. It is possible that many reading this post have Gen Zers under their roofs currently. For those of you who do, do you learn from them often? There is a big reverse mentorship opportunity to engage with this generation.
Gen Z is our bright future and, wow, do they have a lot to offer! They are driven, motivated to excel, and beyond tech savvy. I attended the Career Development Professionals of Indiana Spring Conference to learn how to engage Generation Z with new careers.
Ryan Jenkins, Millennial and Generation Z keynote speaker, gave our audience, made up of career development professionals, fresh perspective and insight into the Zees. My takeaways are based on the perspective of engaging our future mentees and colleagues. We must start now getting to know this group and the messaging that will engage them in career opportunities.
Ryan described Gen Z as a mobile, boundary-less and video-centric generation. Currently, the Career and Professional Development team that I serve on at the Indiana University Alumni Association distributes short bursts of information via video in our steadily expanding YouTube series called Career ProTips. The short recordings showcase a wonderfully diverse range of alumni who share brief insights and tips to help others succeed. Take a look at this series by clicking here.
You have the power to create similar content or disseminate important information to your audience via social media. Try it out! You can record a video using your phone. For the best quality, shoot outdoors, but out of direct sunlight. The colors will pop and the video will be the best you’ll ever get from your phone. (Check out the article Make Great Videos with Your Phone by Gretchen Siegchrist by clicking here.)
Ryan also stated that Gen Z is made up of self-starts, self-learners, and self-motivators that will forever change the world of work. Are you ready for this powerful group in your company or organization? One indication of this is that LinkedIn just lowered the minimum age to join the platform to 14 years old for the United States. Why? Because high school students have started looking for internship opportunities and ways to connect to professionals already while they are still in their teens.
Be ready to embrace this motivated group. Provide opportunities for them to get involved professionally and socially. Keep in mind that this generation is looking to make a difference starting now!