Gen Z is done with ladder-climbing

The pandemic drastically altered the lives of millions of people in Generation Z, forcing them to reevaluate their plans, Fortune reported Dec. 13. 

Members of this generation, born in the late 1990s and through the 2010s, missed out on many coming-of-age milestones like graduation or going into the office for the first time. In a recent AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey, almost half of them said the pandemic made pursuing their career or educational goals more difficult.

More of them are reflecting on what it means to work and be employable, with some deciding there is more to life than just earning money. One student told Fortune that all the layoffs she witnessed during the pandemic made her realize how dispensable employees are, inspiring her to work for herself. Many are concerned with justice and fairness and ask probing questions about our commitment to work. 

Gen Z sits at a unique point in time where many things feel unprecedented and new, which may be the cause of their deep deliberation about work and life. One student told Fortune, "We are our parents' retirement plans — and our retirement plan is the world just ending."


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