They have never known a world without the internet. For them, connectivity and immediate access to information are natural elements of their lives. This is a difference with Millennials, who connected with the world via the internet later in their lives.
But contrary to popular opinion, connectivity is not the most important factor shaping Gen Z behavior…
Gen Zers suffered the fierce financial crisis (2008 through 2016) either in their childhood or adolescence directly, or witnessed how their friends and relatives suffered. Millennials grew up expecting great prosperity and boundless opportunities, but Gen Z has grown up in a time of greatly diminished expectations and insecurity. Gen Zers are more financially conservative, more money-oriented, more entrepreneurial and pragmatic about money compared with Millennials.
Gen Zers do not know a world without global terrorism. The oldest members of Gen Z were children when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. Consequently, they have been brought up in a world where global terrorism threats are always present. They do not remember those terrible facts. Unlike Millennials, an unsafe world is the norm for Gen Z. They have not known a world without global terrorism, resulting in a feeling of unsettlement and insecurity.
As a result of this context, Generation Z at work is more similar to Generation X (and even Baby Boomers) than to Millennials.
This graph shows the differences at work between generations:
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