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GEN Z Gets to Work: a Look at Lansing’s Newest Workforce

While the oldest members of Generation Alpha – the children of millennials – are clamoring at the thoughts of what double digits have in store for them, the eldest of the previo…

While the oldest members of Generation Alpha – the children of millennials – are clamoring at the thoughts of what double digits have in store for them, the eldest of the previous generation are finding a new lease on life in Michigan’s bustling job market.

The cusp of Generation Z turns 25 this January, and what a 25 years it has been. Gen Zers have grown up through several wars, a financial crisis and a technological revolution. Growing up during such turbulent times has made Gen Z hard to nail down, with experts having anguished over their collective behavioral profile for over two decades.

As with all generations, the most sought-after dataset concerning Generation Z is consumption habits, but it is their thoughts on employment that will pave the way to properly introducing the next generation to the workforce.  In 2019 Tim Sackett, the president of HRU Technical Resources, relayed his experiences with Gen Z employees to the Society for Human Resource Management. Sackett remarked at Gen Z’s hardworking nature, growing pains in their new professional environment and the antagonism they would often receive at the hands of older generations.

Indeed, Gen Z is running the gamut of entry-level trials and tribulations as indicated by a few choice stats from The Workforce Institute at Kronos’ 2019 report, “Meet Gen Z”.  According to the report, which takes into account survey responses from over 3,000 participants in 11 countries, Gen Z exhibits outgoing attitudes toward time management.  Approximately 30% of surveys indicated that Gen Z workers demand control over their schedules, will not stand for denial of time off and would refuse back-to-back shifts; strong stances that could ruffle the feathers of older workforces.

Datasets aside, there is no denying that the iGeneration has already begun to leave its mark on the Greater Lansing area. Ciesa Design, a 30-plus-year-old mainstay in Lansing marketing, has taken enormous bounds in curating a generationally diverse team of marketers, going so far as to collaborate with Michigan State University professors for the Ciesa Blend team. The young unit operates out of the basement of Ciesa Design’s headquarters on East Grand River Avenue and is bustling with recent MSU grads hungry to change Lansing for the better.  Twenty-three-year-old Parker Sessa graduated from MSU in 2018 and has been managing the accounts for Ciesa Blend ever since.

“As the account manager at Ciesa, my main goal is to ensure we are answering our clients’ needs and wants with thought-out solutions,” said Sessa. “I love meeting new people and presenting what we can do for our clients.”

Ciesa Blend primarily works with local businesses.

“We did a campaign for Potter Park Zoo that kicked off in late 2018 that still continues today,” said Sessa. “We love that project because we can really see the impact the campaign had and continues to have in the Lansing community.”

While recent grads like Sersa are making an impression on Lansing’s professional workforce, current members of the Lansing area’s collegiate community are similarly working hard to gain a foothold in the local zeitgeist.  Zoya Shevchenko is a junior attending MSU’s College of Social Science and an active member of the local arts and humanities community. “Taking part in local art collectives and interning at creative businesses has made me feel more at home,” Shevchenko explained.

Shevchenko recently interned at Fusion Shows, a Lansing-based concert promotion company. “I did lots of graphic design work as well as hands-on show preparation,” Shevchenko said. “It was really cool to see my designs displayed in real life for a real purpose.”

Whether they’re taking bold new steps in an already fruitful career or exploring the possibilities our vibrant community has to offer, Generation Z is sure to have a long, revolutionary run in Lansing.



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