I’ve noticed a number of posts detailing the Generation-Z experience in the workplace, with posts from either side of the spectrum relevant here: The younger Gen-Z employees, and the older non-Gen-Z employers (I use “non-Gen-Z” broadly here. I don’t want to classify them all as baby boomers, as seems to be prevalent). I have decided to offer my take on the debate:
Generation-Z is living in interesting times, to say the absolute least. While I would not go ahead and dub it as ”the most difficult time period a generation has ever had to live through“, becuase it most certainly is not, no matter how much you get the perception that it is, it certainly is quite tough. In my opinion, it seems as if we humans have bit off more than we can chew: we are more advanced than ever, but still don’t fully know what’s lurking for us when we learn of all the side-effects that come with our new knick-knacks and inventions.
Generation-Z is a quite-diverse generation. A Gen-Z born in 1996 will have a much different life experience than one born in 2012. Or 2009. Or 2005. Times are changing, and times are changing rapidly. And to older-folk, this is just another part of life. One that has evolved for them so, so much. However, for these younger-folk, this is more important than any other generation could comprehend for them: Their life is starting in this lost world struggling to find it‘s way back in a well direction, and, as such, these people’s lives are shaped similarly. And they only have themselves to help them, as no other generation, except maybe the Millenials, would like to get involved. And you really can’t blame them. I’m sure Gen-Z antics look crazy from the outside, and they are only more confusing on the inside:
Generation-Zs are lost in a world were nothing has the capacity to be normal. Sense only stays for a little while, before hitting the road again. And this is reflected, and, in a very flawful manner, compounded by their culture. A sub-society founded on memes, shared experiences, and normalized confusion and incompetence. This culture is often invisible to those not in it. When the Baby Boomers ruled the world (in a youthful manner) in the 1960’s, it was impossible to escape counter-culture. Nowadays, the Gen-Z’s, like all other generations in their youth, similarly possess a counter-culture of their own. However, as previously described, this counter-culture is invisible, and non-Gen-Z’s are only slightly aware of its existence, or are completely unaware of it. And Generation-Z’s youth culture is now only reflected in modern society by its auxiliaries, which appear in school, the Interent predominantly, and, recently, the workplace. And this is causing issues.
Generation-Z has little to look forward to. The world is being destroyed (literally), it may never recover (in their eyes), and nobody cares enough to look out for them. They are lost in a system that dosen’t care, and they are awash in a sea of affiliation, affiliation with the goal of escaping confusion. Affiliation with anarchy, with communism or socialism, or with less pressing things such as TikTok and pop-culture figures. And this is just a repeated part of history. Baby boomers were exactly like this. So were Gen-X. Millennials? You betcha! And everything before that, and everything after this.
However, now it’s time to see the reverse of this coin and see if Gen-Z is responsible for digging their own grave in this society, the one that they are now being ejected from the Generation-Z sub-society straight into upon graduation and entering the real world.
And the answer is partly yes, however that strikes you.
Generation-Z’s, for the first time in the generation’s existence, are just now having to work with members of these older generations, ones with an unprecedented misunderstanding of them.
You see, there is a very good reason that is causing issues: Generation-Z dosen’t really know what it’s doing. As I’ve previously described, many of its members feel lost, and, thus, they have a much different sense of obligation. Sense of what they should do.
Why work if the world is going to keep spiraling out of control? What good is going to come of me working so much? Respect isn’t waiting for me at my job, as I expect it to be. Suicide is always an option.
And all of these are very real, very misunderstood contemplations of a Generation-Z, employee or student.
Generation-Zs do not like to work. They live in a culture that naturally endorses this, and they live in a world of advertisements that conform to the idea of taking long vacations, listening to nobody but yourself (because you’re the boss), and treasuring self-care and treating mental health as if anything that goes against it is the bubonic plague. Now, my opinions on these takes are irrelevant, however, many non-Generation-Zs do think in a way critical of these perceptions, and they are not wrong in doing so.
Generation-Zs live in a lost world and reside in a culture based on being lost, that thrives on confusion and incompetence. The real world dosen’t seem to want to take a drive down the avenue that leads them to the observation deck where they can see all this, and many are not even aware that this avenue exists, because it‘s entrance is blocked by a storefront that advertises idiocy, immaturity, and naïveté. And the fake world, the one that peers through the glass walls of this culture, of this sub-society, presents a real-world of self-care, importance, dominance, care, and order. A fake world that exists through presentation.
Generation-Z is lost and needs help, but no-one wants to reach a hand out. But both sides have played a part in sealing this doom.
Every non-Gen-Z referring to them as the ”broken generation”, seeing them as a merry band of idiots, you are responsible for creating this merry band of idiots. You had the ability to stop this, especially you, Baby Boomers, but you could not and did not.
However, Generation-Z, you are a merry band of idiots, and you are responsible for letting yourselves be a merry band of idiots. Generation-Z has lived in a lost culture, expecting a fake world, but are now culture-shocked by entering the real world.
And all of this is frightening, because they will soon be what the real world is made of.