Age: More than Just a Number
In 2019, Gen Z will become the largest demographic group in the world. What will that mean for the workplace and the economy?
Millennials are about to be surpassed by Generation Z. Gen Z will comprise 32 percent of the global population of 7.7 billion in 2019, nudging ahead of millennials, who will account for 31.5 percent.
How will this change the world and the workplace?
Gen Z—those born between 1995 and 2015—is used to constant change and disruption. They have grown up in turbulent, unpredictable times and this has shaped their economic and social outlook.
9 Ways Gen Z Is Different
1. More outspoken – Most want to engage one-on-one with their leaders, so much so that mentorship fell only slightly behind healthcare on their list of most important benefits.
2. Less wealth – They face higher student debt, smaller pensions, less job security, and larger mortgages than their Gen X and baby boomer parents.
3. Security matters – They grew up during the 2008 economic crisis, and many are more interested in job stability than their millennial peers, who have gained a job-hopper reputation.
4. Tech savvy – This is the first generation to regularly use technology in class, socially, and for work—smart tech, streaming networks, and education apps are intuitive to them.
5. New spending trends – They are more cashless than generations before, killing shopping malls but growing the sharing economy with apps like Uber.
6. Frugal habits – They tend to save more than spend, but as they grow up, their purchasing power will grow, and businesses and the economy will have to adjust to their needs.
7. Multicultural – According to Ipsos Canada, they are our most ethnically diverse generation, with 15 percent hailing from visible minority backgrounds—multiculturalism is part of who they are.
8. Less optimistic – Those in North America and Europe tend to be more pessimistic about economics and social progress than their counterparts in emerging markets, such as China and India, and most don’t share the optimism of millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers.
9. More self-reliant – They naturally seek to create their own solutions while millennials tend to look to others to solve their problems.
Sources: Financial Post, Bloomberg, careerplanner.com, HR Technologist
Ages When You’re at Your Best
8 Learning a second language – While it’s easiest to learn a new language at age 8, a recent MIT study showed that many adults who started after age 20 became almost as fluent as native-speakers.
18 Brain processing power – According to cognitive scientists, 18-year-olds score the best at digital symbol code test matching.
22 Remembering unfamiliar names – According to a 2010 study, you peak at recalling a stranger’s name at age 22.
23 Life satisfaction, part 1 – A survey of 23,000 people concluded 23 is when we feel the most overall satisfaction with life.
29, 39, 49, 59 Big life decisions – Researchers found that people are much more likely to make major life changes (new career, new marriage) when a round-numbered birthday approaches.
40 Doing your best work – Nobel Prize-winning research is conducted at age 40, on average—the age when most people reach their peak work performance.
40s - 50s Understanding emotions – A study of 10,000 participants found that those in their 40s and 50s were best able to gauge people’s true emotions.
50 Arithmetic skills – Fifty-year-olds are best at answering arithmetic questions quickly.
69 Life satisfaction, part 2 – Following a dip in middle age, life satisfaction peaks once again at age 69.
70 Vocabulary – Those in their late 60s and early 70s score the highest in vocabulary tests.
Source: Reader’s Digest