Tag Archives: Microsoft

GenZ’s Thoughts on Entering the Workforce

Would you rather be unemployed or work at a job you hate? Is doing something innovative in your job more important than the level of compensation you receive? Do you believe technology is changing the job market for the better and creating new opportunities? 

Your response to those questions depends heavily on one crucial factor – your age, specifically, whether or not you’re a member of Gen Z – those born between 1995 and 2015. Microsoft and YouGov recently polled 754 students aged 17-25 to gain insight and a deeper understanding into how Gen Z feels about entering the workforce, their expectations for employers, and how technology will impact their career paths and the results may surprise you. 

Source: May 2019 Study by Microsoft and YouGov

Gen Z is the largest generation in history, representing a quarter of the U.S. population, and by 2020, will make up 40% of American consumers. This is the generation that has grown up amid the Global Recession and with war in the Middle East, events that have made them more pragmatic and less idealistic than millennials. 

Gen Z is also the first cohort to grow up with the internet in the palm of their hands. As native internet users, they’ve lived their entire lives with unlimited information but limited amounts of time. Gen Z has adapted to this avalanche of knowledge by developing an eight-second filter. Instead of getting lost in the noise, Gen Zers have learned how to swiftly curate information by relying on trending content within apps and allowing online influencers they trust to help them navigate and evaluate the volume of information inundating them. 

But perhaps the most interesting and impactful data to come out of this study is Gen Z’s attitude toward work and their careers. According to findings, Gen Z would rather be unemployed than work at a job they hate, crave innovation over compensation, believe technology is changing the job market for the better, and that it is creating new opportunities. In fact, more than half (54.5%), expect to do a job that doesn’t even exist yet.

Coming of age during the recession means this is a generation well aware of downsizing and financial insecurity, and while they possess an entrepreneurial mindset, Gen Z’s enthusiasm is mitigated by their risk-averse nature. They’re big proponents of the gig economy, and 34% would rather be self-employed compared to 40% who would prefer to work for a company. And, while almost 1 out of 3 don’t know what type of career they want, over a quarter (26.4%) say they’re planning to pursue a career in STEM, and software engineering is the top choice for new grads. 

Microsoft’s Mark Sparvell, an ed-tech expert and educator for over 25 years, says, “Gen Z is looking for three things in a potential employer: voice, choice, and agency. This is a generation that craves a culture of empowerment. They want to know that what they’re doing has meaning, and has a purpose beyond simply ticking a box, or completing a list of tasks.” 

It should come as no surprise that a generation used to speaking their mind on social media expects to have a voice in the workplace. Employers should know Gen Z values an environment where they can have an open dialogue with leadership. They want a voice – the freedom to discuss opinions and ideas with leadership. They want choice – the opportunity for personal and professional growth and learning; and they want agency – the freedom to act independently and make choices.  Gen Z thinks globally – issues like equality and representation are priorities for them so companies looking to attract new hires will need to be mindful not only of what the benefits package looks like but whether they offer a culture of empowerment and equal opportunity. These are the keys to long-term employee retention and loyalty. 

Gen Z is the most minority-filled generation ever with 49% identifying as non-white. Additionally, 81% have friends who are of a different race as compared to 69% of Millennials, and 59% have friends who are of a different sexual orientation, compared to 53% of Millennials. Companies that take a stance against issues like gender equality or sexual orientation, or are perceived as closed-minded will have a difficult time attracting Gen Z employees.

As the first to live in fully immersed in two worlds – online and offline – Gen Z understands the power of branding more than any generation before. They’ve carefully curated their online presence. Social media isn’t merely a platform for sharing vacation pictures or photos of their lunch; it’s where they live, how they communicate and have many of their most honest and important conversations. Employers trying to attract Gen Z must be equally intentional about their company’s online presence and branding. Gen Z is savvy – they can sniff out artificiality in a heartbeat – but they respect companies and organizations whose online presence is a reflection of company culture and who utilize the latest technology and social media tools.

Ultimately, Gen Z is a values-driven cohort, determined to leave the world a better place for having been part of it. While pragmatic, they are hopeful. They want what generations before them have sought – authenticity and stability – but this socially and environmentally conscious generation also demands and inclusivity and acceptance. Savvy companies hoping to attract this generation will find ways to weave their values and culture into their online presence. By demonstrating that you share their vision for these same values, you’ll earn their respect and discover they’re more than willing to engage with you both as consumers and as employees.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Use Master Accounts to Simplify Your Digital Life

By Robyn Wright

It used to be that we could use one computer for everything. Then we added laptops. Next came smartphones, and then tablets too. All of these devices can simplify our lives, but if we can’t share information between them, it can actually make things more difficult. Using master accounts to connect our devices makes accessing and sharing our information, documents, photos, and data that much simpler.

The major players for these master accounts are Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Not so long ago these master accounts were only for use on compatible devices but now many of them can be used across different platforms. I find Google and Microsoft to be the most cross-platform friendly.

As you connect and share data on your master account, you run the risk of losing some privacy along the way. Finding a balance between simplifying your life and protecting your privacy is key. This is why I also advocate using strong passwords and changing them frequently.

Google Accounts

A Google account is probably the most popular and flexible master account, as it can be used for so many things. If you are a Gmail user, then a Google master account clearly makes the most sense. Android devices use a Google account as the primary account for keeping everything in sync. If you use Chrome as your browser, then signing in with your Google account lets you share all your bookmarks across all of your devices. Google Docs, Google Drive (cloud storage), YouTube, Blogger, Google Photos, Google+, and the Play Store are just a few of the services that you can control via a single Google account.

Microsoft Accounts

This is the one I use the most, because I access Office 365 and OneDrive multiple times every day. Your Microsoft account also gives you access to Skype, Xbox Music, Xbox Games, Outlook email, and more. All your contacts will be synced across all your devices, and you can see all your Microsoft related purchases and services in one place. If you use a Windows based device, you will automatically be logged into your profile. Similar to Chrome, you can also see bookmarks in Internet Explorer across all of your devices.

Apple ID

If you are a Mac or an iPhone user, you almost certainly have an Apple ID already. This lets you manage and purchase music, apps, and mobile content via iTunes. You can also access your iCloud account, order photos, and book One to One personal training at Apple stores.

I suggest that everyone has a Google and Microsoft account, as there are so many connected services. The Apple ID is really only needed if you are using Apple-specific services and products.

Be sure to check your account page regularly – at least once a month – to see if there are any new options or services, to update your password, and to view activity to make sure your account is stable. Having one or all of these accounts will greatly simplify using multiple devices and make sure your data is available where and when you want it.

Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!

Hands-On with the All-New Microsoft Retail Experience

By Monica Vila

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of visiting the Microsoft store at the Time Warner Center in New York City. I was there with a team of bloggers who were specifically invited to experience first-hand Microsoft’s new approach to retailing.

From day one, visiting a Microsoft store has always been great way to get hands-on with Xbox, as well as PCs and laptops from third party manufacturers such as HP, Dell, Acer and Lenovo. But they have now been joined by a growing array of mobile devices, including Windows Phones and the ground-breaking family of Surface tablets.

Microsoft stores have always encouraged relaxed browsing, backed up by a courteous and knowledgeable staff that is always on hand when you need a little help. One of the strengths of the app-driven, touchscreen world that we now live in is the opportunity to experiment and get an instant feel for how responsive and user-friendly each device can be. This immersive approach is at the heart of the new Microsoft retail experience.

While I was at the Time Warner Center, I had the opportunity to check out Surface Pro 3, which combines the power and performance of a laptop with the convenience and portability of a classic tablet. One criticism of tablets is that they are not good devices for traditional work tasks but Surface Pro 3 comes with Windows 8.1 Pro, which means you can install all your favorite desktop software, including the full Microsoft Office Suite.

Of course a visit to a Microsoft store wouldn’t be complete without a few minutes in front of an Xbox One. At the Time Warner Center, I was able to experience the uncanny realism of Forza Horizon 2 and Madden NFL 15 – just two of the hundreds of single and multiplayer games that are available for this latest generation console.

Microsoft has about 100 retail experience outlets in North America, including about 70 walk-in stores. These will joined next year by a flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. As well as browsing the latest desktop and mobile devices, customers can schedule a Personal Training session or meet one-on-one with an Answer Desk expert to get solutions to specific problems.

If you haven’t been to a Microsoft store yet, be sure to check it out. Whether you are a die-hard techie or you’re just looking for a little advice, you won’t be disappointed!

I received a fee for participating in a promotional program for Microsoft. All opinions are my own.