GenZ and their paradoxes
There is nothing new about the generation gap; even Socrates complained about it back in the day. However, the gap between Gen Z and other generations, even their immediate predecessors, Millennials, seems to have widened. How can we better understand Gen Z, be inspired by them more than criticize them, and reduce this generational divide?
Born between 1997 and 2012, they make up 20% of the working population and are already among your staff, or still on your couch. Unlike previous generations, they have always known the Internet and digital devices, which makes their codes, behavior, and habits sometimes hard to understand. Follow the guide!
A new kind of diversity by Tim Elmore (Maxwell Leadership, 2022).
They have been through 20 years of crises…
Since 2001, Gen Z, or Zoomers, have known nothing but one period of turmoil after another, and this has ended up having an effect on their psychological well-being.
- They are experiencing a series of crises. Economic crises, lack of job security, unemployment (23% in their age group), the pandemic, major political divides, and polarization, etc. Since their earliest childhood, Zoomers have been exposed to tragedies – some in their own neighborhood – such as mass school shootings in the US or waves of terrorist attacks. They feel in danger even on the social networks they so love, where they are sometimes the victims of harassment or blackmail. They are living through the acceleration of climate change and the degradation of the environment, and are having to deal with the consequences of unsustainable choices made by their elders.
- They suffer from climate anxiety. Gen Z do not feel well. Zoomers often suffer from depression, panic attacks, and attention deficit disorders. The constant comparisons with friends and influencers on social networks sap their self-confidence. And they are also troubled by climate anxiety. Greta Thunberg wanted to panic business leaders at the Davos summit in 2019; in reality, it is mainly Gen Z that are stressed about global warming.
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