Hey, it’s Jess, Homes’ social media intern!

Gen Z graduates this one’s for you, but it’s also for the leaders wanting an insight into the next generation and what we want from the world of work…

This month Home welcomed me with open arms as their first social media intern. With it being my first job in the professional world it’s safe to say I was nervous. Having studied Advertising, PR, and Branding for three years I still felt unprepared and being surrounded by fellow creatives, that are years ahead in their career compared to me, it was exciting yet daunting!

I’ve already learnt so much from everyone – and know they’ll continue to help me grow – but for all the other graduates out there looking for their first role, I wanted to share my experience that might help prepare you.

And, for leaders, I wanted to give you a real-life view into the next generation. I promise, as a Gen Z, we’re not as scary as we sound!

For my graduate homies…

Nobody warns you as a graduate how tough it can be. You are desperate for a company to take a chance on you when you are yet to have much real-life experience under your belt – luckily for me, Home did! But you are entering an environment where your colleagues are experts in their fields and sharing your thoughts and ideas can be scary.

So how can you overcome this? Time is everything; allow yourself to settle in, adjust and get to know your colleagues! During my first two weeks at Home, I made time to have quick ‘get to know’ one-to-one chats with everyone, this allowed me to ask questions, find out about their job role, and background and get to know them on a more personal level. This is a great way to find your feet and grow your confidence in a new workplace.

As a graduate, you may just want to jump into any job you can get your hands on but it’s also good to consider if the company is right for you too. When applying and interviewing for jobs, research is key. Take the time to look at the company’s website to see what kinds of clients they work with (if you are going into the creative industry), but most importantly look at a company’s values. Values are a set of beliefs that help guide decision-making, build culture and point everyone towards a common goal.

It’s worthwhile checking that a company’s values align with yours and that it’s the kind of place you would want to work. One way to test this out is when you’re interacting with a company about a job role. See if they mirror the values they champion on their website, in the way they communicate with you. Workplace culture is one of the biggest reasons people leave their jobs, so be sure to do your research.

And as a final tip for you all, as generic as it may seem, be yourself! Your colleagues are humans too, and you may feel like the young less experienced newbie but find common interests and teach them something new; showing my colleagues the world of Memojis was fun for me!

For leaders

Recently I spent the week researching and curating content for socials around Gen Z in the workplace and what I found didn’t surprise me; we prefer working in the office, want flexibility with our schedules, support with mental health, and a company that has the same values as our own.

Employers may see this as us having high expectations. Maybe. But within a few years, Gen Z will make up over a quarter of the workforce so eventually, employers will have to adapt to this new working world we’re paving the way for.

But Gen Z are already in the workplace. So why wait for a few years to get to know us? Reverse mentoring is a great opportunity for managers, leaders and even CEOs to learn and understand our perspective. How can they balance and provide the right experience? How can they equip the younger generation with the skills they’ll need? Us Gen Z’s have a lot to bring to the table and we want to be heard.

And finally, from a Gen Z to you reading this, a supportive network goes a long way. Give us the tools and opportunities to create connections, especially in the virtual and hybrid reality we’re in. Give us an opportunity to share our ideas. Invite us to the conversation. And help us focus and prioritise our well-being.

If you’re interested in learning more about the next generation, in a recent blog of ours – The Future is Now – we took a deeper dive into what Gen Z want from their workplaces and ways we can implement this into their employee experience.

And for more insights and hot topics, head on over to our social channels to see our latest posts.