I fall perfectly into Generation “Z”. I was born in ’97 and I am practically a firstborn in the Gen Z family. We look like and sometimes even share the same values with millennials mainly because we have been bred in the same space but don’t be fooled, we are more than different from our predecessors. We are exceptionally unique and talented, “I mean”, have you been on TikTok lately? Pure talent!
According to Merriam Webster, Generation Z is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Now that we have knocked that out of the way, this is what I need you to know about us.
- There's more than what meets the eye.
Research conducted on Gen Zers unearthed a number of interesting facts and among them the depth and detail that is hidden in this cohort. I can speak for not only myself but for friends and other individuals in the continent and across the pond when I say that when it comes to this Generation, there's more than what meets the eye. Having been brought up in the same house as millennials, we learnt a thing or two hence are polishing the rough edges of what makes sense to us and letting go of what doesn’t.
Be it on the streets protesting on the myriad of issues that we are facing, or on the social media corners, if it is important to us then we will come out in droves to support and give our two cents.The recent Black Lives Movement protests in the States is a good example. Let's not forget the ballots, in the last elections, Gen Zers in the United States did play a big role. NBC exit polls suggest that 65% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 voted for Biden — 11% more than any other age group.
2.Changing the status quo.
“I don't want to have kids and quite frankly marriage is not in the works for me so is a 9–5 job”. These are the sentiments that are shared by a plethora of Gen Zers. We are going against the norms, charting our own path, owning every aspect of our lives from finances to our sexuality.
As a Gen Zer, I have never felt the need to stifle myself in order to fit in. Those who went before me did this in order for me not to. I’m entirely grateful for this. Generation Z pretty much rocks their own boat. This generation has mastered the art of trusting their gut and following their passions whether funded or not. Dubbed the digital natives, this cohort has managed to curate and create jobs online without having to clock in or accommodate the white-collar jobs or the standards that come with it.
We have changed the game on social media. An August 2019 survey from GlobalWebIndex shows that roughly one in five of Gen Z and millennial respondents from the US and UK made a purchase inspired by an influencer or celebrity post on social media. 88% of Gen Z and millennials reported learning about the products they are interested in buying on social media. Proving yet again the power that we as Gen Zers have on social media and the economy at large.
3.We are not taking role models.
I grew up watching the apprentice. The phrase “you are fired” was so catchy for me so much that I was inspired to be just as rich. I wanted to harness the same power as Trump. Of course this has changed for obvious reasons. The point that I’m trying to relay is that, the people whom we thought were the right model for us, turned out to be Wolves in sheep clothing. From the corrupt politicians to the celebrity with a sexual harassment case, we have decided to not only lean on our peers but also seek them for inspiration or motivation. We are able to filter through the noise and pick the best “Amanda Gorman” the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history read “The Hill We Climb,” who is a Gen Zer is a good place to start. “Don’t you think?”
Elsa Majimbo , the 20 year old Kenyan comedian is another perfect example. The comedian who rose to fame during the pandemic with her authentic and well thought out videos which feature sunglasses and crisps has made a mark in the comedy industry and is at the moment pushing international brands like Icy Park,Fenty and Valentino just to name a few. A true definition of charting your own path.
4. Let's talk about Remuneration/Workplace Environment
Talks on whether or not interns should be paid have been around since time immemorial. Generation Z’s top three “must-haves” for their first job are health insurance (70 per cent), a competitive salary (63 per cent) and a boss they respect (61 per cent). Meaning that it is a “no” from us where free labour is concerned. I’m aware that I’m gaining experience at work but who isn't? So please pay us well without expecting us to overwork. I don’t think that we need to overcompensate for being young and earning modestly by doing the camel’s work just because we posses a year or less of experience. Also, what's the deal with the disrespect at work, I thought that as humans we are past this?
This list could go on and on, but what I can tell you is that you should watch out for Generation Z.