Career Confessions of Gen Z: Are We Too Busy For Fun?

A few weeks back I came across a video of a guy that put a giant ball pit downtown New York City to see if people were too busy to have fun. On that same day, I had a conversation with my fiance about how I always have a million things on my mind at once. None of which are ever fun things. It’s more like a chore list that constantly runs through my mind.

To say the least, I am constantly stressed and feel like I am moving a million miles an hour without time to breathe. What stresses me out the most, is that I don’t have time for me. I don’t have time for fun. And I’m only 22! Is this how the rest of my adult life is supposed be?

My fiance asked me what things I want to do aside from completing things on my chore list. What do I want to do for me?

It made me think. There are a lot of things that I would love to do. I can’t remember the last time I did something for myself or even spent decent quality time with my family.

And why?

Because I am always to “busy”. Busy prioritizing the needs of everyone and everything except for myself. It brought me to question why we as humans get so caught up in all of these other things and forget about ourselves. Do we really not have five minutes out of our day for ourselves? Five minutes for fun?

I’m sure that I am not the first person to ever get caught up trying to keep up with the speed of life and as a result let my own enjoyment fall off the wagon.

The question is, how can we bring that enjoyment, the fun, back into our lives?

It’s really up to us to prioritize it. We are responsible for our lives and how we run them. For people like myself, we need to start saying no to things that can wait and start putting fun first. We need to say, “yes,” to that vacation we so badly need. “Yes” to drinks after work. “Yes” to catching up with friends. Work and house chores will still be there tomorrow.

I am not saying throw all of our responsibilities out the window and run wild. I just mean we need to do something for our own enjoyment every once and a while.

It’s also up to employers to encourage their employees to unplug and have a healthy life outside of work. Below 10 things that employers can do to help employees prioritize themselves without feeling major guilt.

  1. Don’t allow employees to have their work email on their phones.
  2. Don’t call employees or expect them to respond to emails after hours or on their days off.
  3. Require that employees leave the office for at least half of their lunch hour.
  4. Offer work from home days.
  5. Offer flexible work hours.
  6. Make the workday shorter by a half an hour.
  7. Don’t require employees to take PTO for appointments.
  8. Have fun at work. Throw office potlucks, cookouts, or go for a group walk.
  9. Have team outings.
  10. Don’t let that ping pong table in the office get dusty. Encourage employees to take at least 10 minutes out of their day to play a game and give their brain a break to recharge.

Ask yourself, are you too busy to have fun? If the answer is yes, it may be time to re-think your priorities.


Hallie Priest is a digital marketer for HRU Technical Resources, a leading engineering and IT staffing firm based in Lansing, MI, using her skills to create content to serve all involved in the job seeking/hiring process. When she is not strategizing campaigns, going over analytics, or talking about her dog you can find her at the nearest coffee shop fueling her creativity. Connect with her on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/halliepriest

Career Confessions of Gen Z: Busting Common Misconceptions

Tim Sackett released a tweet last week about a Gen Z coworker not knowing what Kinko’s was. That coworker was me — GUILTY!

I have to admit, maybe my lack of awareness of Kinko’s is due to my age, or maybe it’s due to the fact that I grew up in a very small, rural town and the closest office supplies/copy center was a Staples a few towns over. Regardless, the tweet got a lot of traction and the comments were super funny. Many of them however, took shots at Gen Z showcasing some common misconceptions of the generation .

Below are a few comments that stood out to me that I thought I would address so that employers of Gen Z’s have a better understanding of them and can refrain from making the same misconceptions.

“Ok so where’s the new cool place to get copies made? What are all the cool kids doing?”

Staples.

“Did you ask your GenZ to fax a copy, too? 🤣

Honestly, If you asked me to fax something today I would probably ask for a refresher on how to fax something or I would have to google it. Truth be told, I’ve only faxed something twice in my life and I was doing it for a teacher back in grade school my Freshman year — This was in 2010.

Like the saying goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. The reality is that we haven’t had to grow up faxing things. To us, faxing is basically an archaic way of sending documents.

“I’m surprised your co-worker didn’t just Google “Kinkos””

Gen Z’s love to Google. It’s a fast and easy way to get information. So yes, we Google the heck out of everything to get immediate answers.

“And then you can rent a movie at Blockbuster”

Sometimes people forget that the oldest of the Gen Z’s are in their 20’s and do remember a time with Blockbuster, VHS, no flat-screen computers or TV’s, and the rareness of cell phones. 

Technology was advancing at an incredible speed when the oldest of us were growing up. A phone one day looked nothing like a phone a year later nor had the same capabilities. The same goes for music devices, computers, TVs, ect.

“Someone asked me how to make a copy today, same deal. I told her that was half of my work as an intern and asked her to take an educated guess.”

Honestly, I don’t make copies very often. In grade school, you don’t need to make copies for anything and most high school students work in food or retail service not in an office setting where copies are typically made. I can’t even remember a time in college when I really needed to make copies. However, making copies is not rocket science by any means and I hope all Gen Z’s are capable of this.

“Just redirect my existence to/dev/null … smh… I knew what a Kresge’s was when I was a kid, even thought they hadn’t existed for years. Where the F are their parents talking about life before those self-absorbed kids were brought into this world.”

This is probably the one comment that made my eyes roll. Self-absorbed is a term that I often hear regarding Gen Z and I here’s why it’s so wrong:

Sure, we might be a little self-absorbed but truthfully what human isn’t? In reality, Generation Z is the most diverse, globally aware, environmentally friendly, and social justice oriented than any of the previous generations. So while yes, we all at times act for our own interest, this generation is also advocating for the greater good of all and is cleaning up messes of previous generations.

With All That Said

The point of this wasn’t to defend myself or Generation Z against these comments but rather to use them as examples to give employers a deeper understanding of us and our upbringing. We all grew up in different times, developed different mindsets, and all come from different backgrounds and experiences.

The fact that the workforce is so multi-generational is awesome! There is much diversity between the generations and even within them. As everyone should know by now, a diverse workforce is the best workforce.

And while yes, Gen Z’s are young, naive, and technology dependent we shouldn’t be punished or made to feel stupid for the lack of certain knowledge that to others is so well-known and understood. Though I got frustrated at times, I didn’t make my grandma feel stupid when I was teaching her how to text. I was patient and encouraging. 

Employers should embrace and learn from the differences of each generation and be eager and patient to teach them new skills and spread knowledge, no matter how simple those things might seem.


Hallie Priest is a digital marketer for HRU Technical Resources, a leading engineering, and IT staffing firm based in Lansing, MI, using her skills to create content to serve all involved in the job seeking/hiring process. When she is not strategizing campaigns, going over analytics, or talking about her dog you can find her at the nearest coffee shop fueling her creativity. Connect with her on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/halliepriest

 

Career Confessions of Gen Z – Quit Catfishing

When I graduated from college, I remember being so excited to start my job search. I was convinced that I was not going to settle for a job and that I was going to search until I found the right fit for me. Though I was determined, finding the right fit took a lot longer than I expected. Granted, I was not in any big rush. I had put my two weeks into my current job and was going to enjoy a break without working for the first time since I was fifteen. However, my once excitement for the job search quickly faded and turned into frustration and skepticism of job ads and companies. Below are the main causes of frustrations I ran into during my search for the right job:

  1. The job title included the word, “marketing”, but the description exposed that the job was actually not marketing but instead sales, customer service, or something else not marketing.
  2. The job was an entry-level position that had a billion requirements that made me feel unqualified as a new grad and that the right applicant actually needed like five years of experience.
  3. The job ad sounded like just what I was looking for so I applied, landed the interview, and then learned that the job was NOTHING like the description in the ad but something completely different.
  4. The job ad sounded great, I researched the company and the company looked great, I applied, got an interview, and then realized I was catfished. The environment, culture, and people were nothing like how they had sounded or appeared.

I felt like I needed to hire Nev Schulman, the host of Catfish, just to determine if the job ad was a scam or not before applying.

After looking for and applying to jobs, taking interviews, and being exposed to just how many companies try to make their job ads appealing by not being transparent, I was sure to tell my friends of my experiences so that they would not fall for the same lies that I did. These companies lost my trust, respect, and potential to ever apply again. They also lost other potential applicants due to negative word of mouth. Today, I often see these same companies constantly having the positions that catfished me always open and with the same job ad. If I had to guess, they are still struggling to fill the positions. So, was the lack of transparency really worth it? Probably not. Had they been real and transparent from the start they would likely have found someone that is the right fit for the position and saved their reputation from damage. Will these companies ever be transparent? I don’t know, but I sure hope so to prevent others from going through the same experiences that I did.


Hallie Priest is a digital marketer for HRU Technical Resources, a leading engineering, and IT staffing firm based in Lansing, MI, using her skills to create content to serve all involved in the job seeking/hiring process. When she is not strategizing campaigns, going over analytics, or talking about her dog you can find her at the nearest coffee shop fueling her creativity. Connect with her on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/halliepriest

 

Career Confessions of Gen Z – The Holy Grail of Benefits

Welcome to the reboot of Career Confessions of Gen Z! I started this in 2018 with my Gen Z son, Cameron, and the response was off the charts. So, in 2019 I found 8 great Gen Z HR, TA, and Marketing pros to continue the Gen Z content. Enjoy! 


The early members of Generation Z have entered the workforce and the rest of the 61 million Gen Z’s are on their way. A big question that employers have been asking regarding this generation is, “What do we offer to attract them to our company?”.

To attract and retain this generation, many companies have been altering their benefits and internal culture to be more appealing. More and more companies are now offering things like a flexible work-life balance schedule, remote work days, casual dress codes, a 401k match, advancement and rotational opportunities, and etc.

While those benefits are appealing, only 4% of companies are offering the most attractive benefit that will not only attract Gen Z candidates, but will generate major employee loyalty. That benefit is Loan Forgiveness Assistance.

CNBC reported that eight in 10 workers with student loans say they would value in working for a firm that provides extra dollars for student debt repayment.  I find it hard to believe that number isn’t 10 out of 10!

In the U.S, people collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student debt. Most of that student debt belongs to Millennials and early Gen Z’s. An additional $1.27 trillion in new federal student loans is estimated to be added between now and 2028 by Gen Z. This generation is going to find themselves in the same debt situation as Millennials as tuition rates continue to rise.

Student debt is a real, growing problem that employers can help reduce and that we want them to help us reduce.

Not only is contributing toward student loan debt a major perk for employees, but it also ensures employee loyalty and retention. By offering this benefit, employers are giving their employees an awesome reason to never leave their company and to want to work their asses off for them.

I have a few Gen Z friends that are in companies that have some sort of student loan repayment assistance in place and I can tell you that they never plan on leaving those companies. The fact that the companies make contributions towards their student loans was also one of the major reasons they chose to work at their companies. They scored the holy grail of benefits when they accepted their jobs!

There are a few different ways in which employers can offer loan forgiveness assistance. To learn more about what other companies are doing and how student loan repayment assistance programs have been mutually beneficial for employers and employees, consider reading the following links:

A 401(k) Twist on Student-Loan Aid

Student Loan Repayment Is The Hottest Employee Benefit Of 2018

How Student Loan Debt Impacts Your Employees

Student Loan Repayment: The Job Perk Of The Future


Hallie Priest is a digital marketer for HRU Technical Resources, a leading engineering, and IT staffing firm based in Lansing, MI, using her skills to create content to serve all involved in the job seeking/hiring process. When she is not strategizing campaigns, going over analytics, or talking about her dog you can find her at the nearest coffee shop fueling her creativity. Connect with her on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/halliepriest