The Kids Are Alright

“Companies are worried about the Great Resignation, they should be worried about the Great NEVER apply…” Gary Vaynerchuck

Research shows that 50% of Gen Z want to be entrepreneurs.

An increasing number of kids are rejecting the career path that their parents took. Why is that? Why aren’t they going for the corporate gig?

Well, as they used to say on a long-forgotten TV game show, “Let’s have a look at what you would have won”.

  • 80% chance you will have a job that doesn’t engage you, with a 20% chance it will actually make you miserable
  • Lots of pointless bureaucracy
  • Office politics
  • Meaningless meetings that bore the pants of you
  • As little salary as they can get away with paying you
  • A benefits package that is continually being salami-sliced away, reducing before your very eyes
  • No chance of home ownership
  • A real struggle to raise kids
  • Pension – ha, ha, ha!
  • Company culture and forced fun!
  • A lifetime of fitting in and conforming and only ‘living’ at the weekend.
  • Relentless, soul-destroying pressure of work.
  • No time or scope for self-expression. In fact, it’s positively frowned upon.
  • Enduring and endless stream of bullshit, gaslighting and coercion from above.
  • Pension – ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha (stop it, I’m crying now)

Hmmm, pretty enticing, right?! How can they possibly resist?!!

The generation entering the workforce is rejecting the offer that is being made, whilst the generation before, the Millennials, are experiencing crippling buyer’s remorse

As usual, older generations characterise this as fecklessness, some defect of character and upbringing. They call them ‘snowflakes’ and ‘entitled’, tell them they’re ‘scared of hard work’ and ‘inadequate’. (Which is pretty much what their parents said about them).

In truth, the choice to reject the ‘corporate gig’ is the only rational response. These ‘kids’ are smarter, more aware, more resourceful than ever. They know what their options are, they know the power that they have and they are exercising it.

If organisations want to survive and thrive going forward, they are going to have to drastically rethink the way they relate to their workforce, and rethink what they are offering. It’s time for some radical new approaches.

If they don’t, they are going to struggle to get the people they need, performing at the level required. Then they will be like a beam full of woodworm. Everything will look OK from outside, right up to the second that it collapses into a pile of dust.

The Pirates of the Golden Age rejected the society and the system that they found themselves in and created their own alternative. It was the rational thing for them to do. Gen Z are following the same path, for the same reasons – freedom, fairness and opportunity.

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