HR in the Field Blog

Welcome Generation Z, Now Get to Work!

Written by Amy Ryan

Hey Gen Z, you've officially traded in your carefree days of youth for the exciting world of work. Yes, I recall when I was in your shoes … cue the nostalgic flashback to my own entry into adulthood, complete with scrunchies, flannel shirts, and maybe a flip phone (hey, don't judge, they were cool back then).


As a seasoned veteran of the workforce, I have a few pearls of wisdom to share with you as you embark on your own journey into adulting. Here are five things I want Gen Z to know:


Welcome Generation Z, Now Get to Work!


  1. Work Ethic Matters: While technology has transformed how we work, some things remain timeless, like the value of a strong work ethic. Stuff like showing up on time, putting in your best effort, and taking pride in your work are all things that matter. This doesn’t mean you need to devote your entire life to work - just focus while you’re at work and be willing to put in extra effort when needed. Remember, hard work may not always be glamorous, but it pays off in the long run.

  2. Respect Experience: As digital natives, you bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table, and that's fantastic. But don't underestimate the wisdom and experience of your older colleagues. They've been around the block a few times and have valuable insights to share. Take the time to listen, learn, and leverage their expertise. If you listen to what someone else knows (regardless of their experience), they will be more likely to listen to your thoughts and insights on their process. Below are a few ways to do this:

    1. Ask the person to explain the current process so you can learn more about it.

    2. Listen, ask clarifying questions, such as:
      1. What is the purpose for this part of the step?
      2. Have you ever considered…
      3. Has anyone tried to use ___ application/software to streamline this process?

  3. Communication is Key: In today's fast-paced work environment, effective communication is more important than ever. Whether it's face-to-face interactions, emails, or virtual meetings, clear and concise communication is essential. Brush up on your communication skills, and don't be afraid to ask questions or seek clarification when needed.

  4. Embrace Work-Life Balance: We get it - work can be demanding, especially in today's always-on culture. But remember to prioritize your well-being and maintain a healthy balance. Take breaks when you need them, disconnect from technology after hours, and make time for activities that bring you joy outside of work. Your mental and physical health should always come first.

  5. Be Open to Feedback: Feedback is a gift. Seriously! Even when it's not what you want to hear. Embrace constructive criticism as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Actively seek feedback from your colleagues and supervisors and be receptive to their insights. Remember, nobody's perfect, and there's always room for growth and development.

As a parent of two from Gen Z, I’ve provided this wisdom to my own kids as they travel their career journeys (it may have even helped). As I’ve told them, remember that you have the drive, the ambition, and the potential to achieve great things in your career. So go forth, seize the opportunities that come your way…and get to work!


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