Growing up in the 90s, I’ve always been very much used to how my parents and grandparents handled things. This means that some issues were solved in a more traditional and old fashioned way with no room for back talk — just do as you’re told. Now, looking back at it, it certainly changed the way I think and make decisions in life.
Nowadays, in the workplace and generally everywhere, we have multiple generations surrounding us and we learn to live in harmony without stepping on any toes… too much.
Speaking as a Millennial, I feel like we (and Gen Z) grew up with a lot of uncertainty in the economy. And for that reason, we take careful steps to make sure we don’t set off any bombs along the way.
Millennials may be striving but Gen Z, however, has shown some incredible sustenance in the time they’ve been alive and I believe that we could learn a thing or two from them, be it in life or otherwise.
1. Being a team player
In the working world, we get that being independent is a huge deal to older people. Who wouldn’t want to be independent and not always rely on people? It leaves you a lot of room to discover yourself and what you’re good at doing.
But also, sometimes it leaves a teeny tiny room for you to be on a one track mind. You may not realise that your actions are a little bit selfish and have consequences in the near future.
Let’s be honest though, all the generations have a little bit of “me, me , me” in them. But while Gen Z does have those characteristics, they also value the thought of helping others who are in the same boat. Because why not help each other out? What’s the harm in sharing talents for the benefit of making a better workplace environment? Didn’t we learn that in High School Musical?(cue “We’re All In This Together”)
2. Money Lessons
My niece taught me the wonders of piggy banking. Not that I’ve never had one before. But mine only ever just served as a centrepiece instead of holding actual money.
My niece is 12 years old and she puts whatever lunch money her mum gave her, or allowance she would get from her parents in her piggy bank and at the end of the month, put it in an ASNB. She informed me that she wanted to have the money on hand for the future in case she “needed to invest in anything”. She wouldn’t touch the money at all.
As a shopaholic, I find that to be completely fascinating and admirable, and I’m trying my absolute best to follow in her footsteps.
Certified Financial Planner at Forefront Wealth Planning and Asset Management, Amit Chopra said that, “Since Gen Z has gone through some major recessions, they tend to be more cautious.”
3. Speaking up ≠ disrespectful
There’s a lot of conflict going around about whether speaking up is disrespectful. In my opinion, most of the time, it’s not. It depends on what you’re speaking up about. If it’s regarding the fight for healthcare, education or human rights, I say go forth and fight!
I can only speak on behalf of Millennials, but we grew up in a time when talking back for anything is considered rude and frowned upon. I would also like to point out that it’s not just about what you say, but rather how you say it.
The tone used and whatnot affects how the message is received. So, if the intention is to speak out for the sake of talking back, then that’s a whole different story. You can still speak out while being respectful to people, be it older, younger or ones of the same age.
We were expected to put our heads down and nod through whatever was said to us. Gen Z, on the other hand, are very vocal about their opinions and aren’t afraid to express them. While it may look like they’re being disrespectful to the older generation, they make very good points most of the time. It doesn’t hurt to hear them out.
4. Work/Life Balance
Gen Z’s ability to work and still have a social life is truly incredible. Although many Millennials are also trying out that pathway, it’s safe to say that we’re still somewhat struggling between leading a successful and fulfilling life at work, at home, with family and with friends.
My father used to tell me stories of late nights and sleepless hours he spent at work trying to make enough money to feed us. I am forever thankful and appreciate all the efforts he put towards making sure we lived a comfortable life.
The tradition of wanting to earn a lot of money and have a stable life so we don’t have to worry about it later in life has been drilled into us Millennials so hard, it gives us anxiety to even look at our bank accounts.
It’s been said that Boomers and Millennials tend to stick to one job for a very long time instead of job hopping like Gen Z does. But I guess times are changing and there are a lot more opportunities to chase after. So, I feel like us Millennials and Boomers need to step up our working game by expanding our horizons. Who knows what else we’re good at if we don’t try?
5. How to make use of technology
Let me just preface by saying, there’s nothing wrong with old school things that work. I mean, if it’s not broken, why fix it, right? But… you always have space in your mind to try something new. Maybe it would work better than before?
I cannot tell you the amount of times my parents have made my little brother, who’s 17, by the way, their personal IT technician. Can you believe that my dad was an IT major back in the day? Now he can’t seem to figure out “all this new technology”.
It really doesn’t hurt to learn new things. On the contrary, it makes your life a whole lot easier. Just a few months ago, I learned that there’s an app that lets you get out of awkward situations by fake calling you. I’m not ashamed to admit that I got out of a lot of uncomfortable “when are you getting married” conversations by pretending that my boss was calling me.
Don’t you just love technology?
We’re All In This Together, After All
The truth is, there are lots of things we, as older generations, can learn from Gen Z. Be it about the knowledge of politics, the introduction of new technology or even those TikTok trends. There’s always something to be learned.
They’re not all about “cancel” cultures. A lot of their points are important once you give them a chance and hear them out. So, talk to your friendly neighbourhood Gen Z and learn something new today!
If you’d like to read all about how our younger generation is assisting in making the world green again, check this out: