Growing up in one of the worst economic recessions in recent memory and living through several distressing events such as 9/11, Millennials and Gen Z have a bleaker outlook on life than previous generations, a Deloitte study suggests.
“Events of the past decade have had an enormous impact on younger generations,” the study suggests. “But there’s something about the past couple of years that is particularly distressing. It’s most evident in the steep declines we’ve seen in respondents’ views on the economy, their countries’ social/political situations, and institutions such as government, the mass media, and business. Given the importance of millennials and Gen Zs as both consumers and employees, the results of this year’s survey should have alarm bells ringing in C-suites around the world.”
More than 13,400 millennials from 42 countries and 3,000 Gen Zs from 10 countries expressed some of the lowest economic and social-political optimism, according to the study. These generations showed a “lack of faith in traditional societal institutions, including mass media.”
The study strongly suggested that both millennials and Gen Zs are disillusioned and not satisfied with their currently lives — including their jobs, financial status and the government.
Why are these young generations filled with distrust instead of optimism? Perhaps it’s because they’re perpetually caught in the crossfire of social, political, and economic commotion,” the study suggests. “Chief among the influencing factors is likely the economic recession of the late 2000s. At one end of the spectrum are older millennials who were entering the job market as the crisis unfolded. At the other end are Gen Zs, many of whom have spent half their lives in a post-crash world.”
The survey also found that millennials and Gen Z have altered aspirations and ideas of success than previous generations. Starting families, purchasing homes and earning higher salaries were not the top priorities for millennials. The study found that travelling and seeing the world topped the list of most important aspirations as well as making a positive impact on society or their communities. Millennials and Gen Z have a worldlier focus, and hope to work in careers that provide an avenue for them to contribute to the world around them with purpose.
One of the top concerns for these generations is climate change and the environment. Protecting the natural environment and introducing more sustainable practices topped the list of concerns, according to the study.
While these generations are seen as disrupted, they are also disrupting the current economy and job market, preferring more flexible hours, freelancing and remote-based working environments.
“Disruption has proven to be a dual-edged sword: It has advanced the world in ways that have radically improved our daily lives—and it has altered the fabric of society and created difficult, new challenges,” the study suggests.