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Young people don’t want to work anymore

Illustration by Kate Walker

Young people don’t want to work anymore


The Future. After Millennials sacrificed themselves at the altar of hustle culture, “rise and grind,” and productivity at all costs, Gen Z is swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction. Mixing in burnout, career isolation, and a rising cost of living, young workers feel like having a strong work ethic is meaningless. Businesses may need to re-focus on the well-being of their employees if they hope to reach their full potential.

“Quiet quitting”
According to WSJ, Gen Z is kind of tired of working.

  • A movement on TikTok has started called “quiet quitting,” which is not actually quitting your job but staying on the payroll while you do the bare minimum.
  • The idea is that pulling back from “going above and beyond” allows people to have a better work-life balance, separate their work from their identity, or, ironically, hold two jobs to pay the bills.

The movement is reinforced by the rise of remote work, which means you don’t have a manager monitoring your work output throughout the day.

The irony is that Gen Z actually does want to be at the office because remote work makes it hard to build friendships or secure mentorships. For many young people, remote work is isolating (unlike older generations with family commitments).

That phenomenon has made many young workers feel like their careers are a bit meaningless… which makes them want to work less. A recent Gallup poll found that only 31% of workers born after 1989 are “engaged” at work. The Great Resignation may be just as much about finding purpose as getting a raise.

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