One out of three Gen Z’ers say “the best way to achieve wealth” is to work for themselves, a new survey from Instagram says.
But exactly does that mean?
First of all, let’s take a big grain of salt when it comes to how people this young plan to “achieve wealth.”
Gen Z’ers are between 11 and 26. The 26-year-olds might have some of life all figured out (Good for you!), but the 11-year-olds probably have yet to map out their life’s plan (That’s OK!).
And a big chunk of Gen Z is presumably living at home with their families — and is too young to legally work full-time. So their thoughts on work might not be fully formed.
Meanwhile, some are too young to even use Instagram, where users must be at least 13. (Let’s assume that the survey only talked to young people who were 13 and up. After all, Meta is facing big legal issues with how many underage kids might use the service.)
Still, another half of Gen Z is out there in the workforce already, and able to make real decisions about how they want to plan for their careers and financial future.
There are a lot of reasons that Gen Z looking to be self-employed is an indication they don’t necessarily believe that traditional employment can be trusted. This spring, Business Insider wrote about how “Gen Z is the hustle generation“:
Like the generations before them, Gen Z was sold the idea that if you found a good job and worked hard, you’d reap the rewards. But after watching that dream die for millennials, Gen Z isn’t buying into what they view as a broken social contract.
A Deloitte study of Gen Z in the workplace showed that almost half of workers feel stressed out and anxious at work — and why shouldn’t they, when there’s also reports that bosses of Gen Z workers think they’re lazy and lack “soft skills,” like how to send professional emails or what to wear to the office?
In return, another survey shows that Gen Z workers are more concerned with learning actual job skills instead of those “soft skills” — and are increasingly turning down promotions into management because they don’t want to be managers.
Meta didn’t disclose how many people it surveyed for its Gen Z survey, and it also didn’t say how it collected the data, though it said the Gen Z survey covers the US, UK, Brazil, India, and South Korea. One key point it also didn’t disclose: how Gen Z attitudes differ — if they do — from other generations.
But as one Gen Z worker told Business Insider recently:
“We kind of learned from millennials saying they put their head down, and they’re still struggling to buy houses, to do things that you think that they would’ve gotten,” she said. “So we’re Gen Z, we’re going to pivot, and this is how we’re going to pivot.”
Maybe one of those pivots is working for themselves.