Mind the Gap

Curated reads for Gen Z—and their Z-curious colleagues

A look inside Gen Z’s ‘prejuvenation’ habit

This week, we’re talking about Gen Z’s injectable use… hold still, please.

Is Gen Z up for a little game of risk?

Is Gen Z generally willing to take risks or is it risk averse? It’s hard to tell because there’s limited survey data on the topic. Some data found in the far corners of the interwebs suggest that Gen Z is more risk averse when it comes to investing. But it’s a little tough to square that in the age of meme stocks.

The Gen Z guide to finding a mentor

– As Gen Zers find their way back to the office (or begin to navigate it for the first time), mentorship is an oft-overlooked and underestimated tool that helps everyone—not just Gen Z—find their way at work.

Is Gen Z in a New York state of mind?

If you watched TV or went to the movies during the 1990s and 2000s, you were regularly treated to an unapologetically romantic view of New York City. Films and series such as Living SingleSex and the CityThe Devil Wears PradaHow to Make It in America, and even The Apprentice helped sell people from all over the world on the dream that they, too, could conquer their big-city professional dreams, share an elevator with a CEO, or start their own business.

How much does social media impact Gen Z’s mental health, really?

– There is a familiar cycle of download and delete that Gen Z has come to understand all too well in its relationship with social media.

Myth busters: Gen Z’s real feelings about work

– If you’re reading this newsletter, chances are you’re already familiar with many of the stereotypes about Gen Z at work: they want to work from home, they’re “quiet quitting,” they’re actually quitting, they won’t answer a phone call, they don’t want to work hard.

What will it take to get activist-minded Gen Z to take government jobs?

– Gen Z is often thought to be a generation of activists. While that identity might result in picking up a protest poster, so far it hasn’t translated to an interest in civil-service jobs, at least according to current employment numbers.

Gen Z’s three must-have skills in the age of AI

– Even though the technology is sparking a ton of excitement in every industry, the latest evolution in AI has also brought with it a collective anxiety about job displacement and robot overlords. Joking. Kind of.

Loyal Z: Why Gen Z customers won’t be tied down to one brand

– Consumer brands spend a lot of money to attract and retain customers. In the past, that meant focusing on splashy advertising campaigns and, eventually, digital marketing to convert interested consumers into paying and, crucially, repeat customers.

What designer ice tells us about Gen Z’s spending habits

– Luxury ice is a thing now. Not “ice” like jewelry. And not “ice” like Ice Spice (sad). Ice as in ice cubes. Logo-stamped and flower-suspending $14 ice cubes are just the tip of the ice … berg.

The genAI is out of the bottle. What wishes can it grant Gen Z?

– For Gen Z, the life hack to end all life hacks is here. It’s called generative AI, and to some, it is the technological embodiment of the adage “work smarter, not harder.”

If you’re reading this, it’s too late

– Anyone who describes themselves as “extremely online” can confirm that time is compressed on the internet. News, fads, and controversies that once dominated our collective consciousness for weeks have just a fraction of the shelf life on social media. The swiftness with which a video goes viral also characterizes the speed with which it fades to black.

The power of Gen Z pessimism

– There’s plenty of data indicating that Gen Zers are pessimistic about the world. It’s not hard to see why, considering that most of them experienced a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic during their formative years, sparking a loneliness epidemic and making everyday life newly challenging. All this coincided with global unrest and overheating economies, making job prospects in some industries iffy.

Gen Z in the driver’s seat? No, thanks.

– When musician Olivia Rodrigo released her debut single “Drivers License” in 2021, the song was an instant hit. At the time, it broke the most single-day streams for a non-holiday song on Spotify, spending multiple weeks at number one and becoming a bona fide Gen Z anthem. But when it comes to their own driver’s licenses, Gen Zers are somewhat less enthusiastic.

I can’t believe it’s not a butter board, Gen Z says

– Capturing the food preferences of an entire generation of consumers is a tough nut to crack. While avocado toast reflected the zeitgeist in which millennials came of age, Gen Zers’ tastes are a little all over the menu, so to speak. Still, there are some consistent behaviors that these younger consumers have come to exhibit.

How the Black tech talent gap affects Gen Z

– Given recent tech sector rumblings, Gen Zers aiming to work in the field may feel like the short-term hiring outlook is relatively bleak. But even before this year, one group was already underrepresented in tech: Black Americans. This group makes up 12 percent of the US workforce but only 8 percent of employees in tech jobs, thanks to structural barriers and holes in the talent pipeline.

For Gen Z, is the return of the workplace ritual fun or forced?

– Welcome back! This week, we’re looking at what it means to have “fun” with your coworkers.

How Gen Z really feels about hustle culture

– Welcome back! This week, we’re looking at the pros and cons of hustle culture and the gig economy.

Is there such a thing as anonymity for Gen Z?

– Welcome back—this week, we’re talking about Gen Z’s complicated relationship with privacy.

Here’s what Gen Zers look for in their first jobs

– Even though some of the Northern Hemisphere is seeing chilly temperatures, one thing that keeps getting hotter is the talent market.

Minding the résumé gap: Why blank spots on your CV don’t have to spell doom

– Welcome back! After our brief recess, Mind the Gap’s first issue in 2023 is (somewhat fittingly) on the scariest of CV specters.

Gen Z is seeking ‘main-character energy’ in 2023—literally and figuratively

– Do you feel like the protagonist of your own life? If not, perhaps you need to move out of NPC (nonplayer character) status and harness the much-loved trend of “main-character energy” when planning your 2023.

I’m Mr. Lonely: Gen Zers are running the numbers on remote work

– Consider this: you start a brand-new job. Your only introduction to coworkers is an email with your professional bio and that one cringeworthy headshot. The “tour” is a training packet that tells you where the online files live. And the watercooler is your own kitchen sink (dishes included).

Eighty-eight percent of Gen Z doesn’t trust eco-friendly claims

– This week we’re talking greenwashing—and not the kind that involves sweeping endless pine needles out of your living room.

Not so fast: Three realities busting the Gen Z attention-span myth

– Gen Z is infamous for having a short attention span. Young people do love an endless stream of content, and short-form video is king—many spend more than six hours a day watching—but it’s not true that Gen Z can only pay attention for eight seconds.

Gen Zers in the US are ready for some serious spending this holiday season

– Welcome back—this week, we’re getting festive. The US holiday season is here, and Gen Z is ready to spend some serious cash.

India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Here’s what that means for its youth.

– Welcome back! And happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday.

Gen Z and year-end reviews season

– Welcome back! I’m hoping this hits my bosses’ inboxes before they give me my performance review (wink, wink).

Can you beat the winter blues with brighter hues?

– Welcome back! In the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting shorter. Warding off winter blues is my version of doomsday prepping—and maybe a reason Gen Z loves funky fashion?

Is an easy future only a dream for young people?

– Did you ever play the game M.A.S.H. in school? It’s an American kids’ game where you write down a list of possible options for your future in a few categories.

Does Gen Z humor belong in the workplace?

– Welcome back—this week I commit the cardinal sin of being a joke-explainer.

Europe’s Gen Zers are compassionate about mental health—but not when it comes to their own

– Welcome back—yesterday was World Mental Health Day, but mental health struggles affect millions worldwide every day.

Gen Z will stick around if given more internal opportunities

– Have you ever heard someone scoff that Gen Z workers have “no sense of loyalty”?

Are Gen Zers too trusting with their data online?

– Welcome back—this week, we’re talking about data trust. Do you trust who’s using yours?

Roommates, childhood bedrooms, and $226,000 on rent: Gen Z’s housing future

– In 2019, a study estimated that a Gen Zer in the United States would spend a whopping $226,000 on rent in their lifetime—and that was before the gut punch of recent rent hikes.

Influencer economy: The 24/7 sponsorship market that surrounds Gen Z

– Ads for apparel are part of the ever-growing body of sponsored content that people consume daily alongside regular videos and social-media posts, and they are part of an influencer marketing economy that hit $16.4 billion this year.

Are your Gen Z employees ‘quiet quitting’?

– Welcome—Sarah is back this week, and we’re talking about the latest work buzzword.

Gen Z is craving a more sustainable food system

– Hello again! Our summer interns are here for the second week of our intern takeover. Today, we’re looking at a social issue that’s top of mind for Gen Z: a sustainable and equitable food system.

Gen Z in the workplace. Literally.

– Welcome back. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re in the final stretch of summer—and the summer college break is a time when interns descend on many organizations.

School’s back soon—with a host of problems for Gen Z

– With August in full swing, back-to-school days are just around the corner. This year, make sure you avoid that last-minute scramble for college-ruled composition books (that is, if you still use paper). Internet ubiquity has already set Gen Z’s education apart, but there’s a lot more to the picture.

Gen Z wants to bond with coworkers, but that doesn’t mean we want to follow you

– So while the complicated lines between work and play keep being redrawn, please don’t take it personally if I leave your follow invite in request purgatory.

Gen Z is asking ‘YPMPGAS’ when prices are so high

– If you or a loved one has felt like crying at a gas station pump recently, you’re not alone.

Riding the nostalgia wave: Gen Z is dreaming of the ’80s and ’90s

– This week, in a #throwback—remember when that was a thing?—to yesteryear, we’re talking nostalgia and Gen Z.

Will Gen Z sink or swim the sportswear industry?

– Do you follow a sports team? Ever buy some merch? The NFL’s chief marketing officer said that “if you don’t acquire a fan by the time they’re 18, you’re most likely never going to get them.” A few years ago, execs feared that millennials would be the death of sports fandom—they were largely wrong, but now it’s Gen Z’s turn in the hot seat.

Where does Gen Z get their news?

– Where do you get your news? I get mine from a whirlwind of my favorite digital-newspaper home pages, a couple of podcasts, and the clickbait headlines from my feeds. And of course, push notifications sharing all the news that’s fit to blast.

Making start-up magic: Will your company be the next unicorn?

– Welcome back—while some start-ups have seen their growth slow in recent months, the prospect of a billion-dollar idea still has a hold on Gen Z.

Here’s why it’s a good thing that ~25% of Gen Z is looking to leave their jobs

– Welcome back! Have you seen the memes of employers asking for ten years of experience for an entry-level job? It’s funny because it’s true.

‘Revenge travel’: Last year’s hot vax summer didn’t pan out, but Gen Z is ready to hit the road

– Welcome back—this week, we’re talking about vacations. Bon voyage, everyone.

What do Gen Zers in Asia want?

– Welcome back! This week, we’re looking at the buying, digital, and digital buying practices of Gen Z in Asia.

Should Gen Z care about Davos?

– Welcome back—this week, we’re talking Davos.

A grad’s guide to the new world of work

– It’s graduation season! You may be tossing your cap and doing champagne-spray photoshoots on your favorite campus steps, but soon you could be starting your first professional job. That’s why we’ve got The Graduate’s Guide to the World of Work, a first-stop destination for making sense of the world you’re entering—curated by the Gen Z folks here.

No hybrid option? Then Gen Z might quit

– This week we’re talking hybrid work—is it the best of both worlds?

Playing the Gen Z game

– Welcome back! This week, we’re talking games and gamification—what’s your favorite?

Gazing into the future of space

– May the 4th be with you tomorrow for #StarWarsDay! This week, we're looking to the (real) future of the space industry. Sadly, wookies are not on the agenda.

How to hack your unproductive workplace

– Welcome back—this week, we’re talking productivity hacks. Stick around to the end or you’ll miss how to “bake bread to hire homies.”

Fashionably green for Earth Day

– Fashion is one of the top three categories for Gen Z splurges. But there’s a real divide: half the fashion posts I see are people modeling gorgeous thrifted finds, and half are massive fast-fashion hauls. We’re split on high-quality, long-lasting “slow fashion” versus the cheap, trendy clothes that are quickly made—and just as quickly discarded.

Health for you, the economy, and everyone

– April is Stress Awareness Month, April 7 was World Health Day, and two weeks ago, the McKinsey Health Institute launched with a mission of adding years to life and life to years.

How Gen Z is trying to beat inflation

– Same money, more problems. Inflation is at a 40-year high, and the prices of major Gen Z expenses like gas, rent, food, and tuition are rising especially quickly.

More young adults than ever are identifying as LGBTQ+

– One in five Gen Z adults in the US now identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, according to a recent Gallup poll. Our generation has seen amazing strides when it comes to all people living openly and authentically in all parts of their lives.

How stores can attract more inclusive consumers

– Do your social values shape where you shop? Mine do, and that makes me what’s called an “inclusive consumer.” Like 45 percent of America (and growing), inclusive consumers think that retailers should support and uplift Black-owned businesses and brands.

Introducing Mind the Gap—for Gen Z and the Z-curious colleagues we work with

– Welcome to the very first edition of Mind the Gap, a new newsletter for those of us in Gen Z—and the Z-curious colleagues we work with.