Travel instead of work: Why don't zoomers choose careers anymore?
Generation Z is increasingly putting off building their careers, preferring to wander the world, which is often a cause for grumbling to the older generation. Should we blame the Zoomers for laziness, and are they capable of anything more than making TicToc videos?
Isabel LeBlaine is 23 years old. Last year, while still a student, she went on a tour of Europe, spending all her savings on it. Now she’s running a tick-tock where she encourages her peers to follow her example and not put life on hold.
“I’ll still make money, but I’ll never be able to travel again in my 20s,” Isabelle says in one of her videos.
Isabelle recently graduated from university and now works as an engineer for an IT company, but she still calls traveling her top priority in life, not her career.
“Back at university I adjusted my class schedule,” says Isabelle in an interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America. – I took fewer classes and stretched it out for one more semester. It was all about being able to travel. I went to Europe and visited 19 countries, which completely changed my perception of the world. At that time I had already found a job where I had to go every day and spend a huge amount of time. When I came back from my trip, I quit that job and found another one that allowed me to work remotely and find a better work-life balance.”
This fall, Isabelle plans to travel to England for a few weeks from where she will work remotely. She says that her colleagues are happy with this and it doesn’t affect the quality of work in any way.
Combining work and travel intends and 20-year-old student Kameon Wade. She is studying to be a filmmaker and thinks a regular change of scenery will be good for her future career.
“Me and my friends are very creative people,” says Kameon. – I don’t think any of them would work in an office from 9 to 5. Our generation has been enabled by the Internet to work in a very different way. Social media helps a lot with promotion, and of course it’s not geographically restrictive. People for generations, day after day, went to work they hated. I, on the other hand, want to wake up in a different mood and want to do what I love.”
At the same time, zoomers assure – they are not lazy at all. They just pay more attention to their psychological state than anyone else.
“My older generation and I have different views on life,” explains Isabelle. – “I hated my first job, but my parents told me, ‘That’s okay, wait, maybe in three years you’ll get what you want. My generation, on the other hand, doesn’t want to waste time. We don’t think it’s necessary to be loyal to a company that doesn’t match your values. By changing jobs, we get promotions and other bonuses faster.”
That the younger generation is not as lazy as it may seem is confirmed by statistics. According to the Pew Research Center, the Zoomers are the most educated generation in history, with 57% of Gen Z going to university or college. The rest of the generation has a lower rate. Zoomers’ desire for a freer schedule shouldn’t necessarily have a negative impact on their ability to work at all, sociologists say.
“That the younger generation is lazy and doesn’t want to work, we’ve heard before,” notes Sarah Damascus, a sociology professor at Pennsylvania State University. – It’s been said about the baby boomers and the millennials. There have always been a lot of stereotypes around young professionals. Zoomers have a different view of work, but you have to understand that people’s attitudes about work have continued to change over the last 40 years. In particular, the relationship between supervisors and subordinates has changed. It used to be that a person could work at one job for a lifetime. Now there are no guarantees of long-term employment. That is why employees have changed their attitude to their job, which they don’t mind changing from time to time”.
This approach to work, as well as hobbies outside of the profession, can really help avoid burnout and make a person happier, says Casey Holmes, time-management expert and author of Happier Hour.
“Studies show that people who invest in experiences rather than material things are happier,” says Casey Holmes. – And in such people, the feeling of happiness lasts longer than the joy of some purchase. This can be explained by the fact that usually such experiences, such as those associated with travel, you do not experience alone, and with other people. And it is the relationship is an essential component of a happy life.
At the same time, experts add: in the near future, companies will increasingly adapt their working conditions to the needs and desires of Generation Z in order to remain attractive to young professionals.