If you think Gen-Ys are difficult, then look out for Gen-Z, right? Well, no actually. MICHAEL PHILLIPS
By Michael Phillips
“Who cares about Gen-Y and the apparent difficulties with managing them, what about the next round of career aspiring misfits” – Gen-Z.
If you think Gen-Ys are difficult, then look out for Gen-Z, right? Well, no actually, and here’s why.
You see, the sky is caving in. Financial markets are crumbling, oil is at record highs, inflation is on an upwards spiral despite recession threats and the property market… well, don’t talk about the property market.
Those “investors” that have been talking about bricks and mortar as invincible are in the midst of a bitter dose of reality. So, continuing on with my recent tendency for doom and gloom, I’m keen to look beyond this and see how this will filter through to the employment market and future employees.
As I’ve mentioned before, we Gen-Ys have had the best run of any generation – technology, employment vacancies, asset values and cheap money. But Gen-Z are going to enter the market under different circumstances. They are going to hear words such as “recession”, “distressed sales”, “bankruptcy” – and “no”.
The last one is particularly important, because unlike Gen-Ys, when Gen-Z start to get more demanding, employers will just simply say “no”. They will be able to do this because the employment market will shift to the employers’ advantage. High costs of living, flat wage growth, higher unemployment and cost cutting will all affect the security of jobs for Gen-Z.
And if the US Federal Reserve and investment banks think they can stop an avalanche, they are kidding themselves. They’re merely placing a band-aid on a bullet wound and hoping the pain will go away.
OK, now that I’ve painted a dreary enough picture of the future, what are the upsides?
Well, this whole experience is going to do a few things for Gen-Zs. Most importantly it will create a whole new efficient, intelligent and globally aware generation. Gen-Zs will end up overtaking the Gen-Ys and throwing them to the scrap heap with a few Gen-X and baby boomer dregs.
This is because they will be built into lean, mean, economic machines. Only spending where they must; looking for new, clean and efficient ways to produce; and ultimately operating with humility – something which the “bling-bling” wearing, high disposable income spending Gen-Ys will not comprehend.
I am becoming a bit of a scrooge these days, and promise to be brighter in future, but I’m enjoying this new era. It’s sort of fun predicting how bad things get and how fickle the world has become. Who would have thought a few mortgage delinquencies in Alabama could have brought the global financial powerhouses down.
But as my mum always told me, you do the crime, you do the time. The “crime”, it seems in this case, is greed; and the “time”, is losing the boat, house in the Hamptons and Learjet.
Michael Phillips is a 29-year old CPA managing a business full of Gen-Ys. He’s the Commercial Manager of Cremorne Group which wholesales and retail mens and womens apparel, including the Tommy Hilfiger, Blazer and Perri Cutten brands. He offers his experience as a pioneering Gen-Y managing Gen-Ys, covering issues such as how to recruit, retain and get the most out of Gen-Y – the notoriously difficult younger generation of employees aged 15 to 30.
For more Managing Gen-Y blogs, click here.