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  • Writer's pictureJ. Rivard N Compass Media


Josh Miller is a speaker, researcher and thought leader on all things Generation Z. He is the CEO of his own firm Deciding Edge, Director of Gen Z studies at management consulting firm XYZ University and a high school junior in suburban Minneapolis.

Josh Miller Gen Z Expert
15 Things Josh Miller Wants You To Know About Gen Z

At 16, Josh Miller's credentials are already formidable. Below, Josh unveils the behavior and beliefs of Gen Z that I thought you might enjoy. I have taken the liberty of extracting points that I felt were important from his 2018 article.


1. Gen Z Was Shaped By Terrorism, School Shootings and The Great Recession

Like all other generations, mine has been shaped by the circumstances we were born into, such as terrorism, school shootings and the Great Recession. These dark events have had profound effects on the behavioral traits of the members of Generation Z, but they have also inspired us to change the world. We are just starting to graduate from college and will account for 36 percent of the workforce by 2020. 

2. Gen Z Puts Everything On The Line To Win

Members of this generation will put everything on the line to win. Our competitive nature applies to almost everything, from robotics to debates that test mental fortitude. We carry the mindset that we are not necessarily at school just to learn but to get good grades that will secure our place in the best colleges. Generation Z has been thrown into perhaps the most competitive educational environment in history. Right or wrong, we sometimes view someone else’s success as our own failure or their failure as our success.

3. Gen Z Expects Feedback

We are also accustomed to getting immediate feedback. A great example is the online grading portals where we can get frequent updates on our academic performance. In the past, students sometimes had to wait weeks or longer to receive a test grade. Now, we get frustrated if we can’t access our scores within hours of finishing an exam—and sometimes our parents do, too.  #genzproductfeedback

4. Gen Z And The Millennials Have Very Little In Common

Generations are shaped by the behavioral characteristics of their parents, which is why clumping Millennials and Generation Z together is a mistake. Gen Z is more akin to parents from Generation X—a smaller group with a skeptical, individualistic focus—than they are to Millennials. That’s why many generational traits are cyclical. Just because Millennials and members of Generation Z are closer in age does not necessarily mean they share the same belief systems. #genzormillennials

5. Gen Z Is Financially Focused

In the work force the most important thing to Gen Z is compensation and benefits. We are realists and pragmatists who view work primarily as a way to make a living rather than as the main source of meaning and purpose in our lives.  XYZ University discovered that 2 in 3 Generation Zers would rather have a job that offers financial stability than one that they enjoy. #genzfinances

Gen Z Views Financial Stability As Very Important
Financial Stability Is Extremely Important To Gen Z.

6. Gen Z Is Entrepreneurial

Even though they witnessed their parents grapple with financial challenges and felt the impact of the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression, members of Generation Z believe there is a lot of money to be made in today’s economy. Shows like “Shark Tank” have inspired us to look favorably on entrepreneurship, and we’ve also seen how technology can be leveraged to create exciting—and lucrative—business opportunities with relatively low overhead. Fifty-eight percent of the members of my generation want to own a business one day and 14 percent of us already do, according to XYZ University. We are motivated to win and determined to make it happen. #genzownbusiness

7. Gen Z Prefers Face To Face Communication

While it’s often assumed that Generation Z is focused solely on technology, talking face to face is our preferred method of communication. When we’re communicating about something that matters to us, we seek authenticity and honesty, which are best achieved in person.  XYZ University’s research found that cellphones and other electronic devices are primarily used for the purpose of entertainment and are tapped for communication only when the face-to-face option isn’t available. #genzcommunicationss

How Gen Z Communicates
Gen Z Prefers Face To Face Comminication

8. Gen Z Craves Human Interaction

Although members of Generation Z don’t necessarily need a pat on the back, it’s human nature to want to feel appreciated. This small gesture will give us something to look forward to and keep us feeling optimistic about our work.

9. Gen Z Prefers to Work Independently  

Unlike Millennials, we have been raised to have individualistic and competitive natures. For that reason—along with growing research into optimal office design—we may see the trend shift away from collaborative workplaces toward more individualistic and competitive environments.  #genzworkhabits

10. Gen Z Is So Diverse That They Don’t Even Recognize Diversity

Generation Z marks the last generation in U.S. history where a majority of the population is white. Given the shifting demographics of the country, we don’t focus as much on someone’s color, religion or sexual orientation as some of our older counterparts might. To us, a diverse population is simply the norm. What we care about most in other people is honesty, sincerity and—perhaps most important—competence. #genzdiversity

11. Gen Z Is Informed

Compared to teenagers of other generations, Generation Z ranks as the most informed. We worry about our future and are much less concerned about typical teen problems, such as dating or cliques, than we are about becoming successful in the world. #genzdesires

12. Gen Z Wants To Make A Difference

The chaos and unrest in our political system have inspired us to want to get involved and make a difference. Regardless of which side of the aisle we are on, most of us are informed and passionate about the issues facing our society today. #genzsociallyresponsible

13. Social Media Has Given Gen Z A Political Voice

Social media allows us to have a voice in our political system even before we can vote. This opportunity has forced us to develop critical-thinking and reasoning skills as we engage in sophisticated debates about important issues that might not even affect us yet. #genzsocialmedia

14. Gen Z Political Views

According to numerous polls, the political views of Generation Z trend fiscally conservative (stemming from our need for financial stability) and socially liberal (fueled by diverse demographics and society). #genzpolitics

15. Gen Z Is Exceptionally Creative

Given how socially aware and concerned its members are, Generation Z seeks jobs that provide opportunities to contribute, create, lead and learn.  We’re also an exceptionally creative bunch. Managers will need to give members of this generation the time and freedom to come up with innovative ideas and accept that, despite our young age, we have valuable insights and skills to offer—just like the generations that came before us and those that will follow. #genzcharacteristics #genzhabits


 Josh Miller is a 16 year-old student, entrepreneur, and thought leader always looking for the next big opportunity. He has spoken in front of some of the powerful leaders in the business world, been mentored by top executives, and discussed marketing strategy with Fortune 500 companies. His work has been featured in prominent national publications. Equipped with a passion around leadership, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy, Miller founded and is CEO of DECIDING EDGE, a company with the mission of creating a platform for organizations to better understand how to recruit, retain, and sell to Generation Z. He also serves as the Director of Gen Z Studies at XYZ University.


Author: Joe Rivard, President, N Compass Media. "If you would like to discuss some of Josh Miller's points to create or tweak your College Campus Marketing program, contact me. N Compass Media offers many creative opportunities to promote your Brand to Gen Z on their college campus. Take advantage of my complimentary 30 minute consultation where you can discuss the best way to get Gen Z to notice your Brand on their college campus." #collegecampusmarketing #collegecampuspromotions #collegecampusadvertising

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