Millennials and Gen Z’s Evolution of Values
The Great Shift to Freedom and Choice
In the previous article regarding the evolution of values we spoke about how the younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z’ers have changed their focus from stability and safety to freedom and choice. This is evident in the way they see the workplace, education, and careers.
For both sides of the generational divide, it is hard to see why the other does what they do, and we hope this series will provide insight to understand. One of the key things to remember is that this is something observed and isn’t necessarily factual. We invite conversation and for you to do research and form an inference on your own.
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The Evolved Workplace
Did you ever take a career aptitude test in school that gave you 30 or so careers to choose from? For younger generations, that type of choice is no longer so simple with how diverse and versatile the workplace is. Options are no longer as limited as they used to be and part of that has to do with the impact technology has had on the workplace.
Technology and software help complete tasks in minutes that used to take a single person hours a week. Social media and the internet have enabled young people around the world to build their own brand or company and promote it worldwide instantly. So many jobs are media based these days and younger generations have realized that and taken advantage of it.
The value younger generations have on freedom and choice has led to an expectation of companies providing a remote work option and higher respect for employee’s time and value add. Technology has enabled and empowered them to be able to cut the middle man corporation and build their own company or brand. This has also led to a change in job requirements and education needed to qualify for a job.
Evolving Views on Education
The younger generations are bucking the idea of a traditional education path. As of January 2022, only 51% of Gen Z teens are interested in pursuing a four-year degree, down from 71 % in May 2020, according to a recent study by ECMC Group.
We believe that it’s not that they’re ideologically against four-year degrees. Rather, much of the younger generations understand our flawed system with staggeringly high prices for higher education and are looking for ways to earn an income and advance their careers without burdensome debt.
If there is one thing that the younger generations hate more than anything, it’s feeling stuck. Going the traditional way of higher education often creates a wedge between their degree and their passion that is difficult too close. This feeling of powerlessness often leads young people to question the path and find a better way.
All in all, the younger generations value their freedom and choice above all else. That can be a good thing and that can be a bad thing. There will need to be a balance established individually between self actualization and selfishness. The danger comes when one gets caught up in themselves too much. As the people in these generations continue to evolve, so will their values. We have confidence that they will be as astute as ever and lead society into a brighter future.