The pandemic took away a year and a half of our adolescence. It was a lesson about time, loss, and resilience for everyone. So, how is this generation recovering and what will it look like moving forward? Gen-Z experienced a historic shift that impacts the way we see the world as we re-enter our adolescent years.
Grieving Lost Time
For some, the pandemic created a period of time for introspection and career path deconstruction. It was a time of intense adversity that altered our social norms. Reuters highlights the turmoil this generation experienced, “Shut up in bedrooms – many forced to live with their parents – some went from being students, athletes, and workers to caring for sick relatives and doing whatever they could to earn money to support families.”
Planning became a luxury during the days we wished we could leave the house. “Hot girl summer” is trending once again on social media. The most we could do a year ago was drive to get coffee or pick up groceries. Opportunities to look and feel your best have become exciting to this generation. Under the hashtag, “hotgirlsummer” on Instagram lies a series of people posing in well-put-together outfits with backdrops of events and simple pleasures salvaged. Ypulse.com reveals that Gen-Z and Millenials express interest in “traditional summer activities” with an emphasis on travel.
What Will Work Look Like?
After experiencing such a historical and life-changing event as the COVID-19 pandemic, this season serves as one of renewal of plans for the future. Visualizing the future during the pandemic was a grim activity to partake in. At such a young age, the pandemic ripped away our freedom of connecting with others our age. This changes how certain events will now be perceived and our future buying behaviors. Because of this, the activities slowly emerging back to life are invitations to plan once again and salvage lost youth.
Because our generation grew up surrounded by social media and electronics, we are actually forecasted to have skillful careers in the future. When talking about how Gen-Z will recover from the pandemic, brisbanetimes.com explains from Oxford Economics research how our careers will be impacted. “By 2030 three in five jobs would require advanced digital skills.” Hope remains for this generation as we rebound from uncertainty with skills we grew up on, “By 2030 we predict Gen Z will become the dominant driver of workforce power, making up nearly a third of employees [globally] by 2030, combined with a five-fold increase in real income.”