With a global pandemic weighing over our heads, Generation Z has proven to be resourceful and resilient during this time. Although stereotypes of us being lazy have become normalized, those ideas can be easily shattered. Over the past few years, those born between 1995 and 2015 have found it easier to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. To me, this is because of a mix of things.
We’ve grown up in the pinnacle of the tech era, rather than teetering between the before and after. Growing up as new technologies are created allows us to easily navigate it, more so than other generations. This is why it is no surprise that those born between 1995 and 2015 have found it easier to take advantage of the opportunities that technology can provide.
There’s also the history of experiencing the 2008 recession at a young age and seeing those effects in one way or another. With the good and bad things that have happened throughout the years, Gen-Zers have started to develop different priorities and paths when it comes to careers.
Ever since the iPhone came out, for example, new apps and businesses are being created at lightning speed. There are young people becoming millionaires because of this. Then there was the social media boom, starting with Facebook that brought online users together and catapulted Silicon Valley to new heights. Now, in 2020, Generation Z is keeping with the times and creating new ventures like The Ambassador Company and The Zeitgeist, seemingly becoming the entrepreneurship generation.
In 2019 it was found that 41% of Gen-Zers planned to become entrepreneurs. This data also showed that members of the Generation Z age group aren’t looking to work for other people but instead are looking to work for themselves. This only makes sense when you see the rise in entrepreneurship classes taught at high schools and the emphasis around creating opportunities for yourself that are often discussed in college.
As a high school student, my parents would enroll me in business camps that allowed me to meet new people, understand how start-ups and bigger businesses work from the inside out, and learn the basics of business. After three summers of camp in Boston, California, and Oxford respectively, I felt excited and felt that I could start a business if I wanted to. So I did, launching my own business as a senior in high school.
Similarly, I watched other classmates try new things and create businesses, solely relying on social media to get things started. Instead of having to go out and gather an audience, they used their phones to reach out to people they already knew and started selling their products right at school. Throughout the school year, t-shirt brands, food blogs, and even music careers started to crop up. It was exciting for people to share what they were working on and for all of us to be able to support each other.
After going to college it became even more apparent how many people my age and younger were able to start businesses, blogs, or podcasts. With social media as a connecting tissue, promoting events and products became easier than ever. Once someone started something in college, the news would spread like wildfire, and then other students would be able to get involved quickly. It always amazed me how creative people and business-minded people would come together in school to see what could happen. I was also inspired by those I didn’t know. Having so much access online allowed me to see what people my age were creating.
Being digital natives has also allowed Gen-Zers to learn new skills through YouTube, Skillshare, or Lynda. This has led young people down the path of learning Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere or mastering social media applications and becoming as familiar with it as the back of their hands. This gives us the tools to work in any job setting, but more importantly, the tools that allow us to start something new and go down the entrepreneurship path.
As the pandemic continues to change the way the world conducts business there will surely be new businesses coming up left and right, and Gen-Zers will definitely be at the forefront of that movement.