Career Confessions from Gen Z: Welcome to the Workforce!

Within the next month, several college students will be graduating and entering the workforce. This post is targeted towards you.

First of all, if you’re about to graduate and haven’t found a job yet, don’t freak out. It’s hard to land a full-time position before you graduate. Many businesses are looking to get employees in right away and may be turned off by the fact that you can’t start until after graduation. If you find a good company and they really want you, they will hold the job for you.

Landing your first full-time position after graduation is also difficult because you don’t have much experience yet. However, you are graduating at a great time. The economy is good, and companies are short on employees.

Secondly, working a full-time job is so much different than college. You’ve been in school for at least the last 15 years, but sitting at a desk for eight plus hours a day is very different.

While you were in school you sat in class most of the day and then came home to do homework at night. When you start out in an entry-level job, you will probably not have to bring work home every night or on the weekends. Sure, this may happen occasionally, but it won’t be as constant as homework was in school.

With this being said, you will probably have more free time in the evenings, but being at work all day is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting so you may not be up for doing much with your additional free time.

I consider myself an extrovert, but by the end of the day I don’t want to interact with people anymore because that is what I spent the last eight hours doing.  When you are at work you have to constantly be “on” because the phone will ring, or someone could walk into your office at any point and you need to be prepared.

While in school you were also always surrounded by people your age.  This is not the case when you first enter the workforce. Since our generation is just entering the workforce, finding coworkers our age is few and far between.

All of my coworkers are married and have kids, but I’ve gotten used to hearing stories about their kids and enjoy it. Having friends at work is great, but it’s also important to have friends outside of work too in order to separate yourself from work sometimes.

For those of you about to graduate from college, congratulations!  Welcome to the real world. It is time to start “adulting!”


Mallory Armbrustmacher graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2017 with a BA in Human Resource Management. She is an HR Generalist with the State of Michigan, Talent and Economic Development Department Human Resource Office, where she coordinates ADA Reasonable Accommodations and Ergonomic Assessments. In addition, she takes the lead on various special projects, conducts new employee orientations, processes payroll, and assists in labor relations, classifications, and selection. She is currently studying for the SHRM-CP exam, but also loves spending time with her family and friends, playing games, and cooking.

Career Confessions from Gen Z: Tips to Being Successful

Everyone’s goal is to be successful.  There are little changes that you can make each day that can have a big impact on your success.  Three things that are not taught in a college lecture hall, but that will make you stand out among your coworkers and be successful are:

1. Being on Time

Being on time is so important no matter what it’s for. Punctuality is great for work, attending a sporting event, or meeting friends for dinner.  When you’re on time it shows that you care and that you’re putting forth effort.  When a you’re late, you’re holding up others and showing that you don’t respect other’s time.  Your being late simply makes everyone else late.

In my opinion, if you’re not 5 minutes early, you’re late.

2. Having a Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude changes your whole outlook on life and your optimism affects those around you.  When you’re positive, it makes others around you more positive too.  Of course, the opposite is true as well. When you’re negative it makes others around you more negative and brings down the mood.

My dad is one of the most positive people that I know, and even though positivity bugs me at times, in the end I am thankful for it.  He tells his employees at work all of the time that Monday is his favorite day of the week.  As we all know, Monday’s are usually peoples least favorite day of the week, but going into a Monday with a positive attitude helps the day go better.

3. Staying out of office politics

Avoiding office politics is another important thing you need to try and do because once you’re involved in them, it’s hard to get out.  You should only worry about yourself, the work you’re doing, and the things that are in your control.

Yes, it can be frustrating when you feel that you’re putting in more effort and working harder than your co-worker in the cube next to you who is always playing on their phone; but you can’t worry about that and let it bother you.  You need to just keep doing your work and in the end you will be the one rewarded.

You Will Be Recognized

If a you can consistently do these three things everyday, YOU will be the one promoted instead of the coworker that shows up five minutes late everyday.  YOU will get the next important project instead of the person that is always negative and doesn’t want to be at work. Lastly, YOU will be the one that’s promoted over the worker that spends most of their time online shopping.

Even though these may seem like small things, in the long run they will help get you recognized and YOU will be rewarded for it.


Mallory Armbrustmacher graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2017 with a BA in Human Resource Management. She is an HR Generalist with the State of Michigan, Talent and Economic Development Department Human Resource Office, where she coordinates ADA Reasonable Accommodations and Ergonomic Assessments. In addition, she takes the lead on various special projects, conducts new employee orientations, processes payroll, and assists in labor relations, classifications, and selection. She is currently studying for the SHRM-CP exam, but also loves spending time with her family and friends, playing games, and cooking.

Career Confessions from Gen Z: Snow Days – From Fun to Stress

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! 

Snow days are not what they used to be.  As a kid snow days were so exciting.  You’d do snow day rituals before bed such as flushing as many ice cubes down the toilet as you wanted inches of snow and wearing your pajamas inside out.  Then you would wake up at the crack of dawn, before your alarm clock went off, or your parents wake you up and you’d sit in front of the television in hopes of seeing your school scroll across the bottom of the screen announcing your school was closed.  

Kids now a days don’t know what that was like because now they get calls and texts every time the school closes.  The other Gen Z’s reading this know exactly what I’m talking about if you lived in the north where snow was prevalent.  Once you go to college you learn snow days are few and far between if you get at all.  (I was lucky enough to go to school on the west side of Michigan in the lake effect snow belt and had three of them in my three and a half years of college).  Then, when you transition to the working world you almost never get a snow day  

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get two and a half snow days due to the Polar Vortex that affected much of the Midwest of the United States.  As a working adult I learned snow days are stressful.  For our area 8-12 inches of snow was predicted to hit and rumors were going around that the State of Michigan may shut down.  Usually I would have been excited at the thought of a snow day, but not this time.  

Monday and Tuesday are the days that we process payroll.  Sunday night as I was getting ready for bed my co-workers starting saying that they weren’t coming in on Monday due to the weather.  I couldn’t sleep and was stressed that night about whether or not my office would be open the next day and about getting payroll done by our Tuesday deadline.  The State of Michigan did not shut down until 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, which gave me just enough time to get VPN access so I could take my laptop home and work on processing payroll at home.  The State of Michigan also closed down all offices on Wednesday and Thursday that week due to wind chills being -30 degrees.

When we were kids snow days were exciting, but now as a working adult they are stressful and it’s not just a day to stay home and do nothing.  Even though our office was closed I still had to bring my computer home and work at home.  When our office reopened I had to work longer days to catch up on work in the office and reschedule meetings that were missed due to our office being closed down.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining I had these days off or had to work at home these days, because there were businesses that were open this whole time, but it does make things more complicated.

Snow days as an adult are very different.  They cause more stress and work in the end.  Will I complain about having snow days as an adult, no, but I will probably not wish for them as much as I did as a kid either. 


Mallory Armbrustmacher graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2017 with a BA in Human Resource Management. She is an HR Generalist with the State of Michigan, Talent and Economic Development Department Human Resource Office, where she coordinates ADA Reasonable Accommodations and Ergonomic Assessments. In addition, she takes the lead on various special projects, conducts new employee orientations, processes payroll, and assists in labor relations, classifications, and selection. She is currently studying for the SHRM-CP exam, but also loves spending time with her family and friends, playing games, and cooking.