July 10, 2023
HÀ NỘI — Having been born in a more developed society Gen Z (denoting people born from the late 90s – 2012) is perceived to have more advantages compared to other generations due to access to knowledge.
However, when the transition from the classroom to the office happens, these young people face difficulties as they pour themselves a cup of ambition, yawn and stretch to try to come to life.
A few months before leaving university, 21-year-old Vi Thị Tú from northern Thanh Hóa Province and many of her friends hoped to find a desirable job.
Having been an intern at companies while still a fourth-year student, Tú dreamt of a dynamic environment with competent leaders and colleagues.
However, it was not until she officially started working that Tú’s dreams began to shatter.
The worries about daily necessities, expenses, and financial independence made Tú feel confused about the plans she had drawn up for herself.
Working in the highly competitive media industry forced Tú to choose a job with lower requirements and a much lower income than initially desired. Moreover, the restrictive environment, with its monotonous daily routines and lack of exciting experiences, trapped her in a cycle of confusion.
“I feel like now I’m just going to work a routine of punching in and out. Honestly, my current job doesn’t bring me much value beyond a salary sufficient to cover personal expenses,” shared Tú.
‘They let you dream, just to watch’em shatter’
In reality, the story of shattered dreams in transitioning to the workplace is something that every generation has experienced, but the resulting trend of job hopping appears to be more prevalent among Gen Z.
“Start working – get disillusioned – quit the job” is a repetitive cycle that many Gen Z youths are going through.
Since graduating, Kim Xuyến, 24, has already changed jobs four times for various reasons. Sometimes it’s due to boring tasks, a lack of opportunities for skill development, or the company’s inability to meet their personal needs, leading Xuyến to quit and search for a new job.
Similarly, 24-year-old Phương Thảo, from Thanh Hóa has switched between two different jobs within two years.
“I worked at each company for at least one year, but during that time, I didn’t find any passion in my work. Commuting over 10km to the office every day made me feel exhausted and frustrated,” said Thảo.
“Besides the salary requirements, I also want to develop professionally. If the job doesn’t meet those needs, I decide to quit and find a new job,” Thảo added.
According to a recent survey by Anphabe, a recruitment and employment agency, 95 per cent of 14,000 Gen Z students asked said they are aware of what they like and dislike in terms of work. They believe that they will stay in their first formal job after graduation for at least one year.
However, when surveying a group of Gen Z individuals who have graduated and entered the workforce, it was found that over 60 per cent of these young people changed jobs within their first year of employment.
Not what it seems
Based on the dizzying job-hopping stories, many people have negative perceptions of Gen Z.
Some believe that Gen Z are overly confident in their abilities and have lower resilience compared to previous generations.
However, psychologist Hồ Lâm Giang suggests that there are various reasons behind these young people and their job-hopping decisions, including both objective and subjective factors.
“Many young people complained to me about having to do very boring and repetitive tasks that erode their creativity. In addition, the preconceptions from corporate leaders or even older colleagues who judge based on the standards of previous generations also contribute to the frustration felt by many Gen Z individuals,” said Giang.
“However, we must recognise that the younger generation, Gen Z, is born and raised in different circumstances than before. With a different mindset, they have a certain level of confidence in themselves and believe that they can assert themselves in any workplace. They are not afraid of starting over or switching jobs.
“This confidence is partly supported by their economic background, as they face less pressure regarding their basic needs such as food, clothing, and finances. Another factor is that Gen Z always has aspirations, which include seeking experiences and expressing themselves to discover their identity and personal uniqueness. Therefore, they desire to test themselves in various environments to gain more interesting experiences,” the psychologist added.
Giang also explained that the stereotypes about Gen Z, such as being “job-hoppers” or “boss-seekers,” partly stem from the need to assert their own identity and is partly influenced by their living conditions.
“Our ideas about work are prone to being shattered in any generation. However, the older generation experienced difficult times and had to work to support their families, so even if the job was challenging or not as desired, it was harder for them to leave. It’s different for Gen Z. They don’t face as much economic pressure, so if they feel that a job is not suitable, they can easily leave and search for another job. With their confidence, independence, and proactivity, it’s understandable that the job-hopping rate is high among Gen Z,” explained Hồ Lâm Giang.
Employers hope for cooperation
It is expected that Gen Z will be the main workforce of the future, and their creativity and individuality are necessary for employers. However, in job forums, many employers have expressed concerns about hiring Gen Z personnel due to the differences compared to previous generations.
According to Thanh Nguyễn, CEO of Anphabe, the career mindset of Gen Z after graduation is often “shattered” for various reasons, primarily due to the “gap” between how Gen Z self-evaluates and how companies evaluate their capabilities and responsibilities.
Vũ Gia Luyện, deputy director of Mobifone IT, believes that the biggest difference between Gen Z and older generations is their emphasis on what they want versus what they need.
According to Luyện, most individuals from older generations, upon graduating, prioritised what they needed rather than what they wanted, often opting for a secure job that ensured their livelihood before considering their passions. However, Gen Z is different. Their career choices are often driven by their personal interests, and they are willing to make changes when they no longer feel compatible with their job.
Luyện believes that Gen Z has many advantages such as being daring, confident, creative, and are not afraid to engage with new technologies. If provided with suitable jobs, they can maximise their abilities and bring significant value.
“The limitation of Gen Z is stability. Their personalities sometimes hinder communication between leaders and employees. A leader with a traditional mindset may find it challenging to work with young and dynamic Gen Z employees. This requires leaders to constantly renew themselves and their work in order to maintain appeal to Gen Z,” said Luyện
“But to me, in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, creativity and innovative ideas are many times more important than diligence. The bold and practical ideas of Gen Z are most suited for this new era. They need to continue to leverage their strengths such as passion, enthusiasm, and confidence in their work.
“However, they also need a balance between what they want and what they need. This balance will make them more disciplined and enable them to easily integrate into stronger and more complete teams, resulting in the best effectiveness for their work,” Luyện added. — VNS
The future workforceAccording to General Statistics Office of Việt Nam, by 2025, Gen Z will be one-third of the nation’s workforce, bringing a large impact to the labour market.