Gen Z breaks into the workforce

AB Boyd | Cartoonist

The first wave of Generation Z is on the front lines of the battle to define itself in the workplace.

We are the next group of employees who will be entering into the working world as we graduate. Since our generation consists of people born between 1996 and 2015, many employers have not had the chance to work with a “Zoomer” yet.

There have always been skewed perspectives from each generation toward the next one that comes along — we see the world differently, we tend to have different values and we want to see society function in different ways.

And do you know what? That’s okay.

Honestly, that’s probably a good thing.

Just because we are young doesn’t mean we are wrong, but it doesn’t mean we are right about everything either. Having a variety of worldviews and opinions is incredibly important, and our opportunity to bring in a voice of youth into the “real world” is not something that should be taken lightly.

Diversity is essential to having a properly functioning workplace, and diversity includes having a wide range of voices.

However, part of the issue Gen Z has in clarifying our voice is the amount of misconceptions people have about who our generation is.

We are a young group of people. Today, Generation Z is, according to the majority of sources, between five and 24 years old.

That being said, many of us are no longer children. People tend to assume Gen Z is all below the high school age, but quite a few of us have graduated from college and are joining the older generations and finding our careers.

We tend to see the world so differently from our older peers because our experiences as a whole have been so unique. Not only are we on track to be the most educated generation so far, but we are also the most diverse generation with only 52% of our members being white.

We are a generation that is not afraid to stand up and make demands. We are a generation that calls it like we see it. We are a generation that tends to see the world in a more pessimistic light.

We are a generation that cares so much for the hurt of minorities and individuals that the oldest members of Gen Z and the youngest Millennials are incredibly politically active.

There is an entire world outside of academia that the majority of Gen Z has not had a chance to step into yet, but the time has come for the next generation to join the workforce and make a difference.

Gen Z isn’t just made up of kids on TikTok getting offended at every little comment. Certain members of Gen Z are at the age where we can vote, start a career and can accomplish our goals while working side by side with those who see the world differently than we do.

As we receive our diplomas and move on into the next stage of our lives, it is essential to remember that we are setting the standard for how the world will perceive our generation.

Celebrate diversity. Lead by example. Be Gen Z.