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Gen Z Article

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Watch out Gen Y, Gen Z is hot on your heels By Paul Kam
If you think the Gen Y is the 21st century enigma as consumers and as a workforce you will probably need to look over your shoulders and see what's creeping up.
Gen Z is hot on our heels. There is little known about this generation but this year - 2013 - the first batch of them will come of age (18 years old).
Compared with their older fore runners of this century Gen Y, their numbers are fairly small at 23 million globally but they are rapidly growing.
In fact, many have already crept into the workforce having completed their secondary education a year earlier than the expected age of 17. They then take a gap year to work and to get a better understanding of work life.
They are children of Gen X and their birth dates are from 1995-2002. Their parents Gen X are those born from 1966 - 1976, an era rampant with kids from latchkey homes and divorced parents.
Newsweek touted these sets of parents to be most educated and more pragmatic in the building of their families. They practise financial planning and work at avoiding broken homes.
Their children, Gen Z, are born in the technological age. They dabble with handphones and computers even as toddlers. Their intellectual nurturing is largely supported by electronic gadgets and the internet.
Unlike Gen Y, they are more aware of security, more cautious and more connected. This is because they are born into an environment where global terrorism is rampant and environmental calamities owing to earthquakes, haze and harsh weathers are regular occurrences.
The reality of this challenging environment gets them surging forward to achieve their life's goals with no hesitation and doing everything they can to have an edge over their peers.
Recently over a coffee meeting, I heard my friend, a senior wealth planner of an insurance firm, described with wonderment the performance of a 17-year -old intern.
The intern who had yet to acquire his licence to practise had managed to close 3 deals within six months. He was certainly a young man in a hurry to follow his parents' footsteps to be an entrepreneur. In fact, he plans to do better than them.
Being homeschooled, he is able to schedule his tuition in the night to enable him to work at the insurance company in the day.
He has a well-charted career path and believes that being an insurance agent is a good training ground to develop people skills. Developing his academic and social competencies in tandem will land him in good stead when he enters the job market.
Three years ago, a 12-year-old had a serious discussion with me about the course he was planning to take when he gets into college. He quickly added that he didn't want to be like some of the college kids who did not seem to know what they wanted.
I thought it was by chance that I met a child like him but as the years passed, such certainty and decisiveness were characteristics predominant with the Gen Z.
A cursory glance at this generation leads me to believe that the Gen Z have learnt, directly or indirectly, from observing the experimental ways and follies of the Gen Y. They have decided that taking charge and moving forward were the only ways to achieving their goals.
Their natural aptitude to connect with the global community equips them with skills and maturity to internalise information, to conceptualise their desires and to chart their path.
Lee Zhi Qi, 17, jumps at every opportunity to do part time work. Even though her parents are not poor Zhi Qi works to pay for her iPhone and to buffer up her nest money.
Zhi Qi is on an 80% scholarship and has just completed her first term of a business degree course in a private university.
"My sister pays for the balance but I have to work part time for my daily expenses and pocket money," she said without a hint of begrudge or forlorn.
She reasoned that building a financial nest would eventually give her a better choice in career path and also to help pay for short courses in acquiring new skills.
As she speaks about her plans, Zhi Qi exudes a sense of confidence that says failure for her is certainly not an option.
"After my graduation, I will apply for a job as an air stewardess with SIA," at this point I could barely hide my bewilderment. "It's good money! It can give me the security while I search for the job I really want. Besides I need enough in my savings in case I want to start a business," she explained.
Gen Z may well be the ones to cast aside the "exploratory and experimental" approach to cater to the whims and fancy of the Gen Y consumers.
They will be the generation shapers who will be attracted to elements that can help them acquire personal excellence. Unlike their fore runners, they will not mind climbing the ladder rung by rung so long as they get there.
The downside to this passage is the tendency for Gen Z to forego cultural and social values in their determination to achieve excellence.
How will this generation zap its way into our workforce and impact the consumer market?
It's time to look over our shoulders.
* Note: Paul Kam is group managing director of D’Jungle People.

While we manoeuvre around the Gen Y consumers, their younger contemporaries, the Gen Z are creeping slowly into the job market
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I wish that described me. I'm starting college in a few weeks and I still have no clue what I want to do with my life.
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I can't really identify with it, maybe because my parents aren't Gen X, they are Baby Boomers.. Though I think their childhood was also pretty f***ed up in a certain way (With their parents experiencing WWI and WWII)... Which has an impact on me, too.
Yay for having the next 20 years of my life fairly mapped out.

But I really doubt all of Gen Z is like that one kid though.
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Well, just be careful with those student loan debts. You don't want to be behind the 8 ball from the get go.
I wish that described me. I'm starting college in a few weeks and I still have no clue what I want to do with my life.
@GenXer luckily, my dad is paying for everything and no loans are being taken out, so I don't have to worry about that.
Only 23 million?
I'd have thought it to be MUCH more than just that!
Sweet! We finally get our own forum. (I've been away from this site for a while.)

I'm not exactly like that article however. I have a rough plan for the next few years, but it's subject to change. I think I want to study psychology, but I'm not sure. It's silly to limit yourself to a strict plan when you are a teenager. You close yourself to other opportunities. I do know some people like the article described, mainly kids who have taken honors classes and now AP. The other regents kids are not usually as decisive and many of them are immature still.
If I go by the years in this article "...birth dates are from 1995-2002." I'm not a Gen Z. I wonder what years PerC uses to define generations.
Sweeeeeeeet what they didn't realized is that, that kind of mindset is actually came from someone who barely feel the taste of the lemons life throws at you. Even though we have seen pains from our parents or w/e that does not mean we can face them, we are only and trying to avoid them.

If you look closer to it, their plans seems to be a concrete wall. I used to have this kind of mindset when my parents are still together, I want to be like this and that, I wanted to try this and that, I wanted to experiment on this and that. Sure we have a nice and concrete directions we wanted to go to but we are not really sure if it safe to sail on the calm sea right?

As my parents separated and receive more disappointments I became more distant and had my plans to be changeable rather than concrete.

Nowadays peeps are being practical, I even decided to pick a major that would benefit me in the future then later tell myself that after I saved up some money I would go to the career that I really loved to do. But as I started college I ended up loving my major than I have to, then realizing that I would just stick in it and forget the other plans I made.

Though it is true that I use some catalyst to sharpen my abilities that I think ain't good enough (INTJ thing i think) I don't really think that all Gen Z is like that. However, even if I say such things I still have my lazy ninja skill with me and worst case scenario you can't find the seriousness in my face.
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