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最年轻的“Z世代”如何重新定义工作

更新时间:2018-3-18 9:40:31 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How the youngest generation is redefining work
最年轻的“Z世代”如何重新定义工作

Dan Miller is a 19-year-old business student in London.

19岁的丹·米勒(Dan Miller)在伦敦读商科。

He’s also the CEO of a social media company that aims to reach five million young Brits by 2022.

他也是一家社交媒体公司的首席执行官,该公司希望到2022年能吸引500万英国年轻人。

Called Young Professionals UK, it is currently available at over 400 schools and universities in the UK.

这家公司名叫Young Professionals UK,目前已经面向英国400所学校和大学开放。

“Our mission is to be the next LinkedIn, but for students. They don’t want to be on LinkedIn – it doesn’t speak their language,” he says.

"我们的使命是成为下一个LinkedIn,不过是面向学生的。他们不想用LinkedIn——跟他们风格不符。"他说。

The company, founded on an entrepreneurial scholarship two years ago, made £45,000 ($63,000) last year, plus a £50,000 investment. Miller employs 10 people across three offices in the UK, and works with companies like Barclays, KPMG, Rolls-Royce and L’Oreal that want to recruit users of his networking app.

该公司两年前利用一笔创业奖学金创办,去年创收4.5万英镑(6.3万美元),另外还获得了5万英镑投资。米勒在英国有3个办事处,聘用了10名员工,还与巴克莱(Barclays)、毕马威(KPMG)、罗尔斯-罗伊斯(Rolls-Royce)和欧莱雅(L'Oreal)展开了合作,这些公司都希望从这款应用中招募员工。

He’s an example of the youngest generation of innovators that will define how we work in years to come.

他是最年轻一代创新者的典型代表,这些人将定义我们今后几年的工作方式。

The post-millennial workforce

后千禧一代员工

It’s hard to give a definitive age range for Generation Z, as descriptions vary among experts. But roughly, the oldest members of this group are around 22, which means some are starting to leave school, to apply for jobs and make money.

很难给Z一代确定具体的年龄范围,因为不同专家对他们的描述各有差异。但大致来看,这批人中年龄最大的大约22岁,其中一些已经开始离开学校,工作赚钱。

These members of Gen Z (also called “iGen”) are already replacing millennials as the youngest members of the workforce. The oldest millennials are in their mid-30s – some run large companies or are in middle management and their effects on working life are already being felt.

Z一代也称iGen,他们的成员开始取代千禧一代,成为职场中最年轻的成员。年龄最大的千禧一代大概已经35岁——有的经营大型企业,有的成为企业中层,我们都能感受到他们对职场生活产生的影响。

It will soon be Gen Z’s views and habits that shape and change how we work. But how?

很快,Z一代的观念和习惯也将塑造和改变我们的工作方式。但具体如何塑造?如何改变?

‘Screen animals’

"屏幕动物"

This generation grew up with social media, watching people like Justin Bieber go from YouTube obscurity to global fame. The importance of social media – both in how it’s shaped Gen Z and how Gen Z will use it to reshape the workforce – can’t be overstated.

这一代人伴随社交媒体一同长大,他们亲眼看着贾斯汀·比伯(Justin Bieber)从YouTube上身份卑微的网红一步步成长为国际巨星。社交媒体的重要性怎么夸大都不过分——无论是从它对Z一代的塑造方式,还是Z一代通过使用它来重塑职场的角度来看,都是如此。

“This is a generation that has actively had entrepreneurial opportunities growing up – in many ways, if you’ve grown up managing your personal brand on Instagram, you’re much better wired to think of yourself as an individual brand instead of a cog in an organisational machine,” says Arun Sundararajan, a business professor at New York University.

"这一代人成长过程中主动把握了很多创业机会——方式多种多样,如果你成长过程中在Instagram上好好经营自己的个人形象,那就更容易把自己视作一个个人品牌,而不是组织机器上的一个螺丝钉。"纽约大学商科教授阿伦·桑达拉拉简(Arun Sundararajan)说。

Miller echoes this sentiment: “I think social media is a big influence – everything strikes us as, ‘we can start our own company,’” he says.

米勒也认同这种观点:"我认为社交媒体有很大影响——我们看到的一切都很有冲击力,让我们认为,'我也可以创办自己的公司。'"

It’s not hard to see where he’s coming from: on YouTube alone, young people have launched their own business of reviewing makeup, creating slime (and writing a follow-up book about it), unboxing new trainers or getting strangers to watch them play video games.

他的观点不难理解:光是在YouTube上,就有很多年轻人创办了自己的业务,方式多种多样,有的测评化妆品,有的制作黏胶(后来还写了一本书),有的给运动鞋开箱,还有的让陌生人观看自己打游戏。

For a generation where flexible work and the gig economy have always been career options, making money from a large online following is one of many “micro-entrepreneurial” ventures that has replaced the traditional career path.

对于这一代人来说,灵活工作制和零工经济一直都是他们的职业选择,所以利用网上的大量粉丝赚钱也成为众多"微创业"公司中的一种,甚至取代了传统的职业路径。

“This will be the first generation that actively embraces the micro-entrepreneurial jobs as their primary way of earning a living, rather than stable, full-time employment,” says Sundararajan. “The one word is ‘entrepreneurial’ – that’s the critical differentiator.”

"这将成为第一代主动把微创业职位作为主要谋生方式的人,而不再单纯地眼于稳定的全职工作。"桑达拉拉简说,"其中的'创业'一词是重要的差异所在。"

But labelling Gen Z as “entrepreneurial” is a common mistake, says Jean Twenge. She is a psychology professor at San Diego State University and author of iGen, a book about the post-Millennial generation that focuses on young people in the US and what kind of adults they’ll be.

但圣地哥州立大学(San Diego State University)心理学教授、《iGen》一书的作者简·特文格(Jean Twenge)表示,给Z一代贴上"创业"的标签是个常见的错误。《iGen》是一本关于后千禧一代的书,重点是介绍美国的年轻人,以及他们成年后可能的样子。

“Absolutely, they’re driven,” Twenge says. “In some cases, it’s driven by fear, or ambition. They’re just not driven to take risk.”

"他们显然很有上进心。"特文格说,"有的时候是因为恐惧或野心而上进,并不仅仅是因为想要冒险。"

Her book cites research from the University of Michigan: in 2015, over 55% of American high school students in their final year reported they were “willing to work overtime” – the highest that figure’s been since 1993. And in 2016, only 37% of university students said that “becoming successful in a business of my own” was important, compared to 50% of people the same age in 1984.

她的书引用了密歇根大学(University of Michigan)的一项研究:2015年,超过55%的美国高中生在毕业那一年表示自己"愿意加班"——创下1993年以来的最高记录。2016年,只有37%的大学生认为"成功自主创业"很重要,1984年时,同龄人的这一比例为50%。

This is the mindset of a generation that grew up during the Great Recession: “Millennials grew up in economic prosperity and thought everything [in life and in the workforce] would be easy,” says Twenge. “iGen doesn’t have that illusion.”

这是这一代成长于大衰退时期的人所秉承的思维。"千禧一代成长于经济繁荣时期,认为(生活和职场中的)一切都很简单。"特文格说,"iGen并没有这种错觉。"

On the hunt

找工作

Social media also plays a key role in how the youngest generation check out potential employers, and that smartphones play a critical role, says Jason Dorsey, president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research firm that studies generational demographics.

代际人口统计研究公司Center for Generational Kinetics总裁詹森·多西(Jason Dorsey)表示,在这最年轻的一代人寻找潜在雇主的过程中,社交媒体也扮演重要角色,智能手机同样发挥重要作用。

“It really is a lens into an employer – unlike even millennials, who had to adapt to social media,” Dorsey says.

"这是一个了解雇主的透镜——甚至跟千禧一代还不一样,他们是不得不适应社交媒体。"多西说。

Gen Z, however, finds nothing futuristic about Skype, or chatting face-to-face with someone on the other side of the world in the palm of your hand. That almost psychic connection to mobile technology will come with them into the workforce.

但Z一代认为Skype丝毫没有未来感,在他们看来,通过掌上设备跟世界另一端的人面对面聊天是一件稀松平常的事情。他们与工作中即将使用的移动技术几乎存在一种精神层面的联系。

“We tell employers, if you can’t apply for a job through a mobile device, then you’re not going to get Gen Z to apply,” Dorsey says.

"我们对雇主说,如果不能通过移动设备申请工作,那就不会有Z一代申请。"多西说。

Incidentally, Dan Miller’s app – the ‘LinkedIn for young people’ – also heavily incorporates elements from social media. Applicants can upload video CVs, and an upcoming feature allows real-time chat with current apprentices or alumni at the companies that users want to apply to.

顺便说一下,丹·米勒的应用,就是那款"面向年轻人的LinkedIn"也融入了大量社交媒体元素。申请者可以上传视频简历,还有一项即将推出的功能方便用户与目标公司的现任或前任员工展开即时聊天。

“They’ve never not known YouTube,” Dorsey says. “For them, professional development in the workforce should look like YouTube, and not a binder. Video is really important.”

"他们不可能不知道YouTube。"多西说,"对他们来说,职业发展应该像YouTube一样,而不是像活页夹一样。视频非常重要。"

Sundararajan jokes that this was the generation that, when they were babies, were given a handheld, glowing smart device to distract them, instead of a shiny pair of keys. Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at the University of Manchester, has a unique name for them: “screen animals.”

桑达拉拉简开玩笑说,这一代人小的时候,大人就拿着发光的智能设备来分散他们的注意力,而不再使用一串闪闪发光的钥匙。曼彻斯特大学组织心理学教授凯利·库珀(Cary Cooper)给他们起了一个特别的名字:"屏幕动物"。

“They’re tech-orientated. They’ll be able to think about how AI can be helpful to them, rather than be frightened of it,” says Cooper.

"他们都以科技为导向,他们能够考虑人工智能如何为其提供帮助,而不会感到恐惧。"库珀说。

Trevor Yu, an associate professor of business at Nanyang Business School in Singapore, agrees.

新加坡南洋商学院副教授特雷沃·余(Trevor Yu)也认同这种看法。

“Expect a more adaptable workforce,” he says. “Adaptable to changes in technology and the way people work. The boundary-less nature of work will be even more relevant to this generation, with administrative control, temporal, and physical boundaries that have defined work in the past century set to be even less relevant.”

"预计劳动力的适应性将会提升。"他说,"他们能够适应技术的变化,以及人们的工作方式。没有边界的工作特性跟这代人的关系也更大,行政控制、时间边界和物理边界这些定义过去一个世纪的因素也将变得更不相关。"

Culture change

文化变化

Despite watching people like tech giants Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel find wild success, or self-made YouTube stars like Whindersson Nunes and Yuya, Gen Z is more likely to be practical and risk-averse, experts say.

专家表示,尽管看到马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)和埃文·斯皮格尔(Evan Spiegel)这样的科技巨头取得了巨大成功,而且目睹YouTube网红文德森·奴尼斯(Whindersson Nunes)和Yuya的成名之路,但Z一代可能仍然更加务实和厌恶风险。

For example, they want to steer clear of crippling student debt, which has left millions of 20- and 30-somethings unable to buy a home.

例如,他们希望避开繁重的助学贷款,这种贷款已经导致数以百万计二、三十岁的人无法买房。

“They get a degree and waste 50 grand going to university in something they’re not really interested in,” Miller says.

"他们拿到了学位,浪费了5万美元到大学做一些他们并不感兴趣的事情。"米勒说。

Many young people might also want a company that connects with their values. Gen Z is set to be the most diverse generation yet, in terms of race, LGBTQ views and more. “They will expect more diversity all the way up the organisation,” Dorsey says.

很多年轻人可能都想加入一家跟他们的价值观有联系的公司。从种族、LGBTQ(性少数群体)和很多方面来看,Z一代是迄今为止最多元化的一代。"他们希望组织从下到上都能更加多元化。"多西说。

Having grown up amid tweets and instant status updates, they’re good at articulating succinctly, sharing opinions and putting them on the internet to effect change. They know the power of the internet inside and out, and will bring that knowhow to the workforce.

在推文和即时状态更新的世界里长大的他们,很擅长简洁的表达,也很懂得分享观点,而且会把这些内容放到网上去,希望改变些什么。他们知道互联网里里外外的力量,而且希望把这种技能引入职场。

“’I’m going to open my mouth and change things,’” Cooper says on the Gen Z mentality. “This is a very observant generation who have seen the consequences of their parents’ and maybe older brother and sisters’ generations.”

"我会张开口说话,改变事情。"库珀提到Z一代的心态时说,"这是非常善于观察的一代人,他们希望看到父母那一代人,或者哥哥姐姐那一代人的结果。"

A bright future

光明的未来

Mihir Garimella is an 18-year-old computer science student at Stanford University in California. He has worked in labs at MIT and organises one of the nation’s biggest hackathons. His current project is designing autonomous drones that can fly into disaster zones that humans can’t reach.

18岁的米希尔·加里梅拉(Mihir Garimella)是斯坦福大学(Stanford University)一名计算机专业的学生。他曾经在麻省理工学院(MIT)的实验室工作,还组织了全美规模最大的黑客松活动之一。他目前的项目是设计自动无人机,可以飞往沙漠等人类无法前往的地区。

He echoes a lot of the sentiments independently brought up by experts when it comes to Gen Z, their characteristics and how they’ll shape the workplace.

他的很多独立形成的观点跟专家对Z一代的认识不谋而合,包括他们的特点以及他们对职场的影响。

Willing to work hard? Check: “All of this I could learn by Googling, [but] I enjoy my classes because they’re hands-on. I love the professors. People my age are very practical: ‘how can I apply this?’”

是否愿意努力工作?回答:"这些东西我都能通过谷歌搜索学到,但我很喜欢上课,因为这可以亲身实践。我喜欢教授。我这个年龄的人都很务实:'怎样才能实际应用?'"

Risk-averse? Check: “People like Zuckerberg who dropped out believe something they make will catch on and be successful. [But] being in a college environment extends the runway for that.”

是否厌恶风险?回答:"像扎克伯格那样的辍学生相信他们做的东西能够流行起来,并且取得成功。但大学的环境可以延伸这条跑道。"

And motivated by the greater good? Check: “My dream is to build something that will improve the lives of a billion people – Google-scale level.”

是否为了更崇高的理想?回答:"我的梦想是创造一个能够改善数十亿人生活的东西——就像谷歌那种。"

While Garimella and Miller are high-achieving people and a bit exceptional, they still represent larger patterns of their age group that experts all identify. They are generally self-motivated, take calculated risks and know how to work hard to make technology and social media complement and amplify their talents and message.

虽然加里梅拉和米勒都取得了很高的成就,而且似乎属于个例,但他们仍然代表了专家为其同龄人确定的主要特征。他们都很有上进心,而且懂得计算风险,知道如何通过努力来开发技术和社交媒体补充品,从而放大自己的才华和信息。

“Their Gen X parents told them, ‘We do not want you to end up like the millennials,’” Dorsey says. “’You’re going to need to work harder, be more self-reliant. It’s on you to make it work.’”

"X一代的父母告诉他们:'我们不想让你最终像千禧一代一样。你需要更努力地工作,要更加自立。你要依靠自己取得成功。'"多西说。

Based on the data we have so far, if anyone’s going to make things work, it’s going to be them.

根据我们目前掌握的数据,如果有人能做成事情,那就非他们莫属。

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