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The generation born completely within the technological age, with war, terror, and multiculturalism. This generation is the first true global culture as their characteristics and trend is more uniform across the globe as they become the most open-minded generation to date. The oldest iGens are now entering the workforce, and employers are expecting some changes to go down… but what is it that makes this generation so different from millennials? What are the habits and traits that make iGen uniquely them?

We are Gen Z, or iGen, as some others call it (for obvious reasons). iGen includes everyone born after 1995, while anyone born between 1981 and 1996 is considered a millennial. “Baby boomers” are the predecessor of the millennials, born between 1946 and 1964. We are classified as the technological generation, as we grew up with technology. Looking back about a decade, Facebook was founded in February 2004, when we were just learning to speak. When we could get around on our own, the first iPhone was released in 2007.

iPhone 1 Launch Event – 2007
Facebook launch in 2004

We have several differences from the other generations, which make us stand out. We are expected to shake up the future of this world.

1. We are digital natives

By 2000, the majority of homes had at least one computer. Even though many millennials grew up using the internet, it was probably with the sole family desktop computer.

But, thanks to mobile internet, iGens have computers in their pockets. They’re able to be online constantly in a way that millennials never were in their youth.

“Everything in our generation is immediate. Since we have been raised in an age where texts and messages can be sent in the blink of an eye, we are less patient than other generations because we are used to having instant gratification.” — North Carolina resident Margaret Bolt, 15, Business Insider

“We communicate through social media and texts, which changes the dynamic of communication.” — Virginia resident Maddie Martin, 19, Business Insider

2. We are socially conscious

According to an online study by Nielsen, iGens are more inclined to support companies dedicated to sustainability. While millennials might have searched for the newest Hollister tee (the bigger the logo, the better), iGen is less brand-conscious and would prefer something more unique. Over 70 percent of consumers aged 15 to 20 are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.

3. We have higher expectations

Millennials remember playing solitaire, coming home to dial-up internet and using AOL. iGen was born into a world overrun with technology. What was taken as amazing and inspiring inventions, are now taken as a given for teens.

“When it doesn’t get there that fast they think something’s wrong,” said Marcie Merriman, executive director of growth strategy at Ernst & Young. “They expect businesses, brands and retailers to be loyal to them. If they don’t feel appreciated, they’re going to move on. It’s not about them being loyal to the business.”

4. We are more stressed out

Over 90 percent of iGen said that they’ve experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom due to stress. And as a result, they’ve also reported poor mental health. Studies also show that some of iGen’s biggest sources of stress are the possibility of mass shootings, state of the political climate, and separation of immigrant and migrant families, as well as school, as academics are scrutinised for being “legacy” methods.

5. We are more entrepreneurial

According to iGen marketing strategist Deep Patel, “the newly developing high tech and highly networked world has resulted in an entire generation thinking and acting more entrepreneurially.” iGen desires more independent work environments. As a matter of fact, 72% of teens say they want to start a business someday.

One apparent recurring factor you might notice is that many iGen identifying factors can be traced back to the recession in 2008, from their frugality, to their value of experiences, and increased likelihood to become entrepreneurs.

As iGen starts to enter the workforce, dramatic shifts in the work place will be noticed, as things become more accustomed to our way of doing things. The only thing we can do to keep the momentum going is to be ourselves, we are changing this world without even realising it.

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