Crash Course: Gen Z and Millennials at Work

gen-zThanks to Professor Ian Cross, I recently read a new study by Randstad and Future Workplace about the changing workforce as 3.6 million Baby Boomers are set to retire, one-fourth of Millennial workers will take on management roles and Generation Z (those born between 1994 and 2010) has started to enter the workforce. So what does this research mean to you students (mostly Gen Z) entering the workforce?

According to report, Millennials are not prepared, nor equipped, with the emotional quotient (EQ) and soft skills required to effectively manage others.  And while we know that Bentley students are more #Prepared than the average college graduate, respondents reported that when it comes to the aspects of their current jobs that their educations did not prepare Millennials for, many are interpersonal or management related:

  • 29% say resolving conflicts
  • 28% negotiating
  • 27% managing other people
  • 22% working with older people
  • 22% working in a team

So, as you Gen Z’s prepare to enter the working world, it’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Graduates who are able to resolve conflict, negotiate and work in multi-generational teams will be better equipped to manage these complex organizational dynamics and succeed in today’s workplace. Your Bentley classroom and co-curricular experiences will help you to develop these critical competencies. But it takes hard work and lots of practice. Often I find students struggle with simply saying no. Whether turning down an internship or job or declining a campus leadership assignment, these are difficult conversations for all of us. We are here to help you through that process. Don’t send an email to avoid conflict or disappointment. Come see us and we can coach you through these challenging situations. And we promise, the next time it will be much easier.


By Susan Sandler Brennan
Susan Sandler Brennan Associate Vice President, University Career Services Susan Sandler Brennan