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A Gen Zers guide to entering the workforce

As my final year as an undergrad quickly approaches, the various directions I can take in life accumulate and loom in my mind.

Like myself, many Gen Zers (individuals who are born from 1995-2012) are looking to start their careers and enter the workforce but are struggling to find a company that best fits their needs and desires for their future success.

Nintex recently published the results of the study, “The Gen Z Effect in Australia and New Zealand,” outlining Australian and New Zealand Gen Zer’s expectations about working. While I am not from that side of the world, my experience as a U.S. Gen Zer aligns closely with the results.

For example, instead of going to college and studying something that offers more potential career prospects, I decided to follow my personal convictions and pursue Media Studies and Psychology degrees at Pitzer College in Southern California. Like myself, 62% of Generation Z from Australia are getting degrees that fit our intellectual interests, forcing us to question how to enter the workforce and navigate it for our success.

While this process appears daunting, we can find ways to overcome these anxieties and successfully find a place that best fits us.

Easing anxiety and apprehension about entering the workforce

With the rapid rise in population in conjunction with the increase in integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in companies, 59% of Gen Zers concern for job security is quickly becoming more pressing of an issue. Not only are career opportunities becoming more competitive among humans, but careers are also being threatened by the efficiency and effectiveness of robots.

While these resources may be alarming, it is important to realize that AI and automation are intended to make our own jobs easier. Eighty-seven percent of Gen Zers view these resources to improve efficiency for completing tasks, implement structure and organization in projects, and streamline the technology troubleshooting process.

Instead of worrying about if whether AI and automation will take our jobs, it’s more important to focus on embracing these resources in our jobs so that we can accomplish quotidian tasks more efficiently.

Identifying the most valuable tools for your personal success

Having limited work experience leaves me with little knowledge of what I want and need to thrive in the workplace. Before applying to jobs and internships, it’s helpful to reflect on the factors that helped you perform well in school and narrow down what resources might be the most beneficial for you to succeed.

While applying to summer internships, I realized that there were a few things I valued such as frequent check-ins with my manager, a company’s motivation to improve and modernize processes, opportunities for career learning, and a company that provides tasks to help shape my future career endeavors instead of tasks that have little value or relevance to my aspirations.

The Nintex research shows that Generation Z in Australia most value flexibility in the workplace, whether that be the hours that they work per day or having the option to work remotely.

Personally, remote work is not crucial for me to thrive with a company. From previous experience and reflection, I realize that coming into an office on a daily basis with set work hours is crucial to my personal success, as they provide a supportive and collaborative community that I would not get if I was working from home.

Finding a company that reflects your career aspirations and ambitions

It’s difficult to find a company that checks off every box on your list, but it is feasible to find a company that will cultivate a space for you to reach your career goals while meeting your expectations.

According to the study results from Australia, 61% Gen Zers plan on committing to a job for a year, with 61% of those individuals staying with the company for more than two years. However, one must find a company that provides incentives to prevent them from walking out the door.

Like most Gen Zers, I would prefer to work for a company that supports my career growth by having weekly check-ins with my manager and supervisors (71%) as well as providing me opportunities to increase responsibilities and be promoted around the year mark (48%).

Being a part of Gen Z, I also look for companies that use technology to complete tasks that increase my productiveness.

By using an automation platform like Nintex that has capabilities to automate document generation and populate it with collected data, implement organization and accessibility to files I need to share with others, and strengthen structure for communication within my own team, I spend less time completing tedious tasks and dedicate more time focusing on projects that contribute to my career growth.

I am grateful to be a summer intern at Nintex, as the company meets the most necessary requirements for me to be able to grow in the industry and foster my career ambitions. At Nintex, I can complete tasks of value that not only benefit the company but also benefit my journey as I navigate the workforce.

To the other Gen Zers entering the workforce, remember not to fear the future and settle on the first opportunity that you get.

Finding a company that fits you well and helps you accomplish your goals is vital to your success, as you will have the resources to perform your best, to learn the inner workings of your industry, and to also find opportunities to become a more integral part of your team.

 

Interested in learning more? Read Nintex’s eBook on Gen Z in Australia and New Zealand and see how you compare and/or relate to my generation!

 

Alex Valdesuso-Pinney

Alex is working as a Nintex Marketing Intern on the Corporate Communications team in the summer of 2019. Entering his final year of undergrad at Pitzer College in Southern California, he hopes that his Psychology and Media Studies degrees will land him back in the Seattle area after graduation. His interests include graphic design, gardening, and playing ukulele when it is warm outside.