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Expert Says Young People Crave Stability

A business professor quoted in the Wall Street Journal noted how Gen Z is craving stability in the midst of anxiety.

Not long ago, a friend who teaches a communications course at a Midwestern business school asked me to speak to her class. Her instructions were invitingly wide: “Just tell them about your career.” And so I did, trying to hit all the points that might be relevant to students about to enter the job market.

When I was done, my friend opened the floor to questions and, much to my excitement, a line formed at the mic. Then came the first question: “You’ve had such a long career,” the student said. “Could you please tell us how you’ve avoided burnout? Like, what do you do for self-care?” As the student sat down, so did about half of the other students in the queue, signaling their question had been taken.

I’ll spare you my answer, but perhaps you can guess it. I am of the generation that thought work was what you did, even when it was hard. You pushed through. Burnout wasn’t an option. Self-care is what you did when you retired.

She goes on to quote a survey which asked 1,800 new graduates what they wanted most from their future employers. The overwhelming majority—85%—answered “stability.” High pay and benefits also ranked high. The desire for “a fast-growing company,” on the other hand, garnered only 29% of the vote.

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