Family Comes First

This is the second post I’ll be sharing on “Gen Z @ Work” by the Stillmans. Read Part One if you haven’t read it yet.

I’m not sure why but I was surprised by the first point: “Family comes first” to Gen Z. I’m not sure why I’m so surprised but I am.

I supposed family would mean less to Gen Z because they’ve had to put family off to make money and get jobs against the best talent around the globe.

For some reason I thought this would make Gen Z less interested in traditional family roles however “Gen Z @ Work” states the opposite. I’m going to give this point more consideration. In the meantime, read on for this week’s takeaways.

Here are the main takeaways:

  • Family comes first
  • Do your own thing, find your own way
  • Be Direct
  • They want to work alone
  • Gen Z will be the last white majority

Family comes first

“Regardless of what the family looks like or what roles are being played. the biggest message that has been loud and clear to my generation is that family comes first.” – Stillman

Do your own thing, find your own way

“We were told that we don’t have to follow the traditional paths of education and careers. We were encouraged to expose ourselves to as many different opportunities as possible and to always draw our own conclusions – even if they weren’t popular. The message was loud and clear that you didn’t have to worry about what everyone else was doing and that is was okay, even cool, to find your own way.” – Stillman

Be Direct

“There is definitely something to be said for not throwing load of information at Gen Z to memorize. It is likely more efficient to instead let them jump in and try. If they need to know something , they can stop and learn. However, this focus on task-oriented learning does not account for Gen Z obtaining a deeper knowledge of how things work or seeing a bigger picture of how all the smaller tasks work together. The key will be to find a balance of giving Gen Z context to what they are doing while also allowing for a more custom approach to learning all the details.” – Stillman

They want to work alone

“Gen Z might ask for more private work spaces for when they do get to go away and just get it done. Part of it might be letting them go even farther than the four walls, to the local coffee shop or even their own apartment. And remember, it’s not that they don’t like others, it’s that they prefer to work by themselves.” – Stillman

Gen Z will be the last white majority

“Gen Z will be the last generation with a white Caucasian majority. The Hispanic teen population is the fastest growing in the US.” – Stillman

Summary:

  • Family comes first
  • Do your own thing, find your own way
  • Be Direct
  • They want to work alone
  • Gen Z will be the last white majority

I hope this second post on “Gen Z @ Work” resonates with you. If you have any questions about this feel free to contact me.

Where the workplace for years has been thinking in quarters, they are thinking in minutes

Today I wanted to post on this fantastic book called “Gen Z @ Work” by David Stillman and his son Jonah Stillman, a member of Gen Z himself.

I love this book because of the format. David explains that his business is to interview Gen Z to learn about their habits. His son Jonah is part of the business despite still being so young.

I love this book because David wrote it in collaboration with his son. David writes with the authority of a marketing scientist and Jonah argues with his father through out the book to further explain some topics his dad can’t quite get across because he’s not part of Gen Z. I love this book and I think you will too.

I’d like to take a rambling tour through this book by pulling out some quotes that struck me that I was not looking at Gen Z the right way. Then I will summarize the changes I see for Gen Z in the workplace. As a millennial I do see some things that I worry about Gen Z in the workplace that I have seen first hand from some of my assistants.

Here’s a list of the points I’m going to make about Gen Z:

  • Gen Z is Gen Zen
  • Millennials may feel threatened by Gen Z’s competitiveness
  • Downtime is wasted time
  • Gen Z wants to work by themselves

Gen Z is Gen Zen

“Where the workplace for years has been thinking in quarters, they are thinking in minutes. What happened in Q1 will not nearly be as important as what happened before lunch. Their fear of missing out will be too great to ask them to wait for information of any kind. It’s simple: Share company information as often as you can.” – Stillman

Millennials may feel threatened by Gen Z’s competitiveness

“Millennials were much more collaborative and therefore were quick to knock on their bosses’ doors. Though many complained early on, in the end bosses still felt needed. Gen Z, being more independent, will not go knocking as much. As a result, bosses of Gen Zers may not feel as needed and worse, they may feel disrespected of that they no longer control the flow of information.” – Stillman

Downtime is wasted time

“As cool as this “down” time sounds, it wil not feel natural to Gen Z. In fact, for drive Gen Zers, just sitting around thinking could actually feel wasteful. We will need help in seeing that this downtime is actually useful when it comes to true innovation.” – Stillman

Gen Z wants to work by themselves

“Gen Z might as for more private work spaces for when they do get to go away and just get it done. Part of it might be letting them go even farther than the four walls, to the local coffee shop or even their own apartment. And remember, it;s not that they don’t like others, it’s that they prefer to work by themselves.” – Stillman

Let’s sum up what we learned about Gen Z here:

  • Gen Z is Gen Zen
  • Millennials may feel threatened by Gen Z’s competitiveness
  • Downtime is wasted time
  • Gen Z wants to work by themselves

Gen Z looks nothing like I thought they would. With the collapse of the US economy and the dwindling supply of jobs for straight-out-of-college students being replaced by AI and automation, I can understand why they are so competitive. If the job outlook seemed this bleak to me when I was graduating I might have started considering to pursuit of an urban nomad lifestyle.

If you’re working with Gen Z keep these things in mind and you may have a better experience because you know what motivates the behaviors and why. Did this post help you better connect with your Gen Z members at work? Contact me, I’d love to hear about it!

Takeaways from “State of Public and Private Blockchains” by C. Mohan

This past Friday, I attended a talk called “State of Public and Private Blockchains” by C. Mohan (one of the founding fathers of SQL). I learned a lot at this talk and I wanted post it to my blog before I forget some of the details.

  • Double spend issue comes up because transaction speeds are too slow
  • Cutting down on the number of transactions cuts down on the processing time of all transactions.
  • Define non-deterministic behavior
  • Bitcoin exchanges == banks
  • SAP thrived because they prepackaged the database solution so that SME didn’t have to write their own system.

Have Something to Say

Today I want to post on “Style – Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace” by Joseph M. Williams. The book teaches you how to write so that people will read what you wrote.

Right off the bat, I’ll share that this book was a hard read. There were so many examples of bad writing that it made it very difficult to read.

In this blog post I hope to write out something that will at least make it so that you can take away the content without having to read this tedious book.

The author writes, “That’s the aim of this book: to explain how to overcome a problem that has afflicted generations of writers – a style that, instead of revealing ideas, hides them.”

I still don’t regret reading it. I just wish the format had been a little more digestible and that the book had been filled with fewer examples and tests for the reader to complete.

Here are five of the ten lessons that made the most impact on me:

  1. Have something to say
  2. Know what you’re talking about
  3. Keep it Simple
  4. Write Shitty First Drafts
  5. Apply Economy to your Writing

I’ve included quotes from the book below to support the five lessons I’ve selected to share.

1. Have something to say

“Have something to say , and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style.” – Matthew Arnold

2. Know what you’re talking about

“Some writers choose complicated language not only to plump up their ideas, but to mask their absence, hoping that turgidity will impress those who confuse difficulty with substance. When we don’t know what we’re talking about, our first recourse is usually to put up a smoke screen of big words in long sentences.” – Williams

“We usually find that we are able to write more clearly once we more clearly understand what we are writing about. When we have to write about a subject that confuses us, we will almost invariably write in ways that confuses others.” – Williams

3. Keep it Simple

“One of the most certain evidences of a man of high breeding, is his simplicity of speech: a simplicity that is equally removed from vulgarity and exaggeration… He does not say, in speaking of a dance that “the attribute of the lades was exceedingly elegant and peculiarly becoming at the late assembly” but that “the women were well dressed at the last ball.” – Williams

“Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.” – Samuel Johnson

4. Write Shitty First Drafts

“Experienced writers get something down on paper as fast as they can, just so they can revise it into something clear, and if they are lucky, in the process discover something new.” – Williams

5. Apply economy to your writing

“To get to that sentence, I applied five principles of economy:

  1. Delete words that mean little or nothing.
  2. Delete words that repeat other words.
  3. Delete words whose meaning your reader can infer from other words.
  4. Replace a phrase with a word.
  5. Change unnecessary negatives to affirmatives.”

– Williams

I hope this list of notes on style and grace in writing have made an impact on you. I hope the next time you write something, you make sure you have something to say, know what you’re talking about, keep it simple, write a shitty first draft, and apply economy to your writing.

Contact me if this blog helped you!