Why so smug? Wait till your graduate from college.


Apparently, Gen Z got the memo that a sense of purpose and office ping-pong don’t go far when it comes to career-building. This latest generation’s biggest motivator? Money, according to a recent report from career behemoth Monster.


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The report, based on a study conducted by global research agency TNS, surveyed more than 2,000 people across the boomer, X, Y (millennials) and Z generations in the U.S., both working and non-working. The Gen Z respondents had more in common with nose-to-the-grindstone older generations, who privilege security and stability above exploration and a sense of purpose in their jobs. A mere 4 percent of Gen Z believes jobs should have a greater meaning beyond paying the bills, compared to 70 percent of millennials.


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Gen Z — specifically those 15-20 — reported that the top “must-haves” for their first job are:

  1. Health insurance — 70 percent

  2. Competitive salary — 63 percent

  3. A boss I respect — 61 percent

    What’s more, 67 percent of Gen Z is willing to relocate for a good job, as compared with just 52 percent across generations. The majority will also gladly work nights and weekends for a better salary —58 percent, compared to just 45 percent of millennials.

Does this mean millennials are lazy —or do these numbers have more to do with age than outlook? Let’s not forget that the oldest millennials are now in their early thirties, an age when starting families and (attempting) to have some sort of work/life balance makes picking up nights and weekends a bit trickier. Perhaps having come of age during the Great Recession and watching their parents deal with a financial downturn, Gen Z will ultimately turn out more practical than the cohorts before it.

But we’re not yet sold on whether their prioritizing the practical is due to a greater sense of responsibility, or the innocence of youth. Many a millennial looks back on the halcyon days post-college when the great triumvirate — health insurance, a competitive salary and a sense of meaning — seemed like attainable goal.

Bwahaha. Call us when you graduate from college, Gen Z.