Why Should Gen Z Use Technology To Lay The Groundwork For Future Careers

Originally published to TecHR Series - January 19, 2021

We don’t yet know how the pandemic will impact the job market in the long term, but one thing is clear: It will be some time before the high school- and college-age students of today experience anything close to yesteryear’s economic conditions(Gen Z).

Now is the time for young people to bust their tails to get to the front of the hiring line. With 27 million Americans out of work and 40% of them with no jobs to return to, the job market will be flush with applicants for years to come. More than 80,000 businesses have already permanently closed their doors.

According to a new Tallo survey of almost 10,000 members of Generation Z, this message is already getting through. Where before the pandemic just one-third of students said it’s important to build a professional brand online, now more than half agree. Similarly, 81% of recently surveyed Gen Zers said it’s important to establish connections with potential employers regardless of whether there are job openings, where pre-pandemic the share of Gen Z respondents who believed this to be true was just 59%.

With dozens, hundreds or even thousands of qualified applicants competing for the same positions for the foreseeable future, it’s imperative that students don’t dismiss this time. Rather, they should use the fact that they don’t have to launch a career right now to their advantage, creating unique brands that will set them apart from the crowd, and making as many professional connections as possible.

Luckily, doing so has never been easier – even in the midst of social distancing. Thanks to a wealth of technological tools, it’s now possible for students to start figuring out their educational interests and exploring potential career paths without ever leaving home.

One way is to create a profile on a platform built to highlight what students bring to the table – from career interests and related projects to courses taken and extracurricular activities completed. Some platforms even include employers, to whom students can reach out to learn more about various roles and responsibilities. In the very least students may find themselves a mentor, and in the best-case scenario, the potential for a job offer down the road.

Another is to attend virtual college and career fairs, which actually come with additional benefits. Beyond the usual opportunities to speak with recruiters, ask questions, attend panels and speak with other college and career professionals, technology allows students to now target their search. Based on the interests they express when they sign up, they can be matched to attending colleges and recruiters with whom they have the most in common. This speeds up the usual time it takes for students to figure out what they do or do not want to do, which will definitely pay off in the end.

Before the pandemic, college for some students was a place where they could explore their interests and dabble in a few before finding their focus. But since it’s now likely that the workforce they’ll be entering into will still be more competitive than recent years, majors will matter. Having an idea of what students want to study and do early on – and potential employers lined up too – will most certainly help.

In conclusion, today’s students can’t wait until they need a job to start laying the groundwork – and early signs indicate that many of them aren’t. Right now is valuable time that students can and should be using to their advantage – lest they get left behind.

To learn more about Tallo, visit tallo.com

KEYWORDS: Tallo, Career Readiness, Careers, Generation Z, Casey Welch

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