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Generation Z is breaking work norms

Job market -
28 October 2015

Generation Z is breaking work norms

Each cohort conceives of work in its own way. Generation Y, the people born between the end of the 70s and the mid-90s, broke the work conventions of their elders by seeking out more flexibility and freedom. But the tables are already beginning to turn! We are talking about Generation Z: the individuals born after 1995, who are now entering the job market.

But how do these young people conceive of work? Above all, Generation Z are looking for an environment that is supple, in all senses of the word. A job must propose a flexible work schedule and have a laid back atmosphere. Young people prefer to grow within companies with a less rigid and less formal hierarchy. According to a survey by bank BNP Paribas, if the pay were the same, 25% of them would choose a more fun company.

For them, the ideal company is understanding, ethical, open, egalitarian and innovative. They do not, however, have an idyllic concept of the world of work. According to a study by American employment agency Robert Half, 77% of young people think they will have to work harder than previous generations. Furthermore, they have a rather poor view of corporations, that they believe to be tough and stressful environments.

This may be why many of them are tempted by entrepreneurship. 47% of young people hope to launch their own company, according to BNP Paribas. Others would prefer to work in SMEs. In these smaller businesses, they believe they will make a greater contribution and consequently be recognised professionally. This is because Generation Z are seeking out jobs that are not only fulfilling, but also meaningful and that allow them to get involved.

Yet even in the field of education, these fledgling workers think differently to their elders. For them, qualifications are not of major importance. They plan to train throughout their careers, and principally by teaching themselves. Indeed, only 7.5% of them see schooling as a learning resource in 10 years time.


Christelle Genier

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