What It’s Like To Get A Job As A Gen Z

Dear Employers,

As a recent college graduate who spent what felt like forever looking for a job, I’m very familiar with the job search process. I’m not going to lie, it’s frustrating and sometimes you feel like you’re never going to be given the chance. But if I know one thing, it’s that the right job will fall into your lap when it’s supposed to. Being fresh out of college with minimal experience in the real world, as most college graduates are, can be difficult because most jobs want someone with five to seven years experience but, how are we supposed to get that experience if no one will hire inexperienced graduates? It’s confusing and often leaves us feeling like we will never get the break we need to get our careers started. Whether you’re looking for a sales position, a job in the media field, or in the hospitality industry - they all have their interview process that makes you feel like years have passed before you ever get an answer, if you ever get one at all. Here are some things that I looked for in my job search that other Gen Z’s on the hunt are probably looking for also:

  • Social On and Offline: People in this generation are extremely social on and offline so, therefore, they look for a workplace that can fulfill that need and want inside the office and out. We want to work in a place that gives us the opportunity to meet people and make new friends. We’re coming from a chapter in our lives that pretty much revolved around being social, whether that was in class or on the weekends with our friends, we thrived off of a lively and fun atmosphere. We’re not quite ready to give that up yet, so when we’re applying to jobs we’re looking for a place that gives us that friendly vibe. I truly believe that if your workspace offers just the right amount of fun and social opportunities, then your employees will work better and be happier while they do it. The last thing anyone wants is to work in a place that is cold, boring, and dull because that just makes the employee unhappy and then that vibe carries over to the employer. No one wants to be unhappy with where they work - life is too short. Wake up every morning and do what you love.

  • A Love/Hate Relationship with Change: We want it when we feel like our lives are going nowhere and things are falling apart but we despise it when it uproots everything we know and wreaks havoc on our routines, uninvitedly. As a Gen-Z, I looked for companies that would offer me room to grow and move around within their brand. People change and so do their interests. If you start working for a company and realize after a while that you are interested in another department or would like to take on more responsibility, we should be able to talk to our superiors and voice these things. We don’t want to go into a job already thinking about when we’re going to leave and find something better.

  • We Are Innate Creators and Influencers: Everyone seems to have a passion for some sort of creative outlet - whether that be photography, videography, writing, blogging, music, etc., a lot of people have a very active and creative mind and we want to put it to use in any way that we can. I can’t speak for everyone but, when we’re applying for our jobs, we’re most likely looking for a position that has some possibility to be creative and flexible with what we do. We want an employer who will hear us out, allow us to propose ideas that we feel as though might be beneficial to the company and their efforts, and believes in us.

  • On-Demand Responses: We expect quick responses and updates on this process. It’s OK if you don’t have a decision, but we want to be kept up to date on the process.We are so conditioned to getting everything almost instantly, so when it comes to waiting to hear back about an application or an interview we start to get anxious and wonder why we haven’t heard anything. Obviously, things take time and there isn’t much we can do about it but it’s still something I find myself despising. Secondly, never getting an answer. I understand that some job openings can get up to thousands of applicants but if your company is big enough to get that many applicants than they are probably applying through a job site where they can easily be notified of a decision. The unknown is what is so daunting to us - we don’t know when you’re going to stop taking applications, we don’t know when you’ve chosen people for interviews, we don’t know when you’ve filled the position - so sometimes we just wait around to hear back and never do.

  • Real, Honest, Job Listings: Every place is different, some are honest and some are not, but the worst thing an employer can do is write a job listing with a description that isn’t 100 percent accurate just so that they can make it sound more glamorous than it actually is and gets people to apply. We live in an age of communication and straightforwardness, so when you’re listing a job or applying for one, be honest about it because you don’t want to waste your time and you surely don’t want to waste theirs.

Happy job hunting, Generation Z!