Gen-z's lifestyle and career choices
Let's start with understanding who Gen Z is.
Gen Z, born between 1997-2012, are digital natives who prioritize a seamless digital experience in services aimed at them. Besides technology, they're engaged in social causes like climate change and gender equality. Services for Gen Z should mirror ethical practices, inclusivity, and social responsibility. Gen Z's approach to health is holistic, valuing mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Economic uncertainties have made them cautious about finances, so they value transparent and value-for-money services. They cherish experiences over material possessions, hence services should create meaningful experiences.
Regarding careers, Gen Z seeks purposeful work that makes a positive impact. They value job security, financial stability, and a healthy work-life balance, appreciating flexibility and remote working options. Gen Z values continuous learning, and professional development, and prefers collaborative environments with a flat hierarchy where their voices are heard.
Through our research, we engaged in multiple conversations with design graduates to comprehend their experiences as they embarked on the task of securing employment post-graduation. These budding professionals in the field of design often face a multitude of hurdles as they transition from school to the professional world.
Let's understand a few :
- Lack of Experience: Many employers want to hire designers with experience, even for entry-level positions. It's a common paradox: you need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job. To combat this, you can work on personal projects, freelance jobs, or internships to build your portfolio and gain practical experience.
- Networking: Building professional relationships can be tough but is often critical in the design field. Many jobs aren't advertised publicly and are instead filled through internal referrals.
- High Competition: The design field is highly competitive. There are many talented designers, and it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd. To differentiate yourself, you can specialize in a particular area of design, develop a unique personal style, or gain expertise in a complementary field like coding or marketing.
- Maintaining a Portfolio: As a designer, your portfolio is your most critical job-hunting tool. It needs to be continually updated with your latest and best work. This can be a challenge, especially when you're juggling other responsibilities.
- Keeping Up with Trends and Technology: Design trends and tools are continually changing, and it can be tough to stay current. You'll need to be proactive about learning new software, techniques, and design principles.
- Articulating Your Process: It's not enough to create beautiful designs; you also need to explain your design thinking and process effectively. This can be difficult, especially for those who are more visually oriented.
- Finding the Right Fit: Each design job will have its own set of requirements, and it can be challenging to find a position that matches your skills, interests, and values. You might find yourself compromising on some aspects to gain experience or because of limited opportunities.
- Negotiating Salary and Benefits: As a new designer, you may find it difficult to negotiate your worth, especially when you're eager to land your first job. It's important to research industry standards in your area to ensure you're being compensated fairly.
- Handling Rejection: You will likely face rejection during your job hunt, and it can be challenging to maintain your motivation and confidence.
- Work-Life Balance: Especially when starting, there may be a tendency to overwork or become completely engrossed in the work, which may lead to burnout. Learning to maintain a healthy work-life balance from the onset is crucial.
The trajectory of a design student in search of employment unfolds through a series of stages, each presenting unique tasks and challenges.
Here's an example that illustrates the journey map of a Gen Z student in pursuit of employment.
The path to employment is often a complex one, traversing numerous stages. Let's delve into this storyboard for clearer comprehension.