03 Feb 2021 16:08 IST

How Millennials and Zoomers fit into the new world of work

Why remote work, gig work and freelancing seems to be meant for us

A lot has been said about the shortcomings of young millennials and Gen Zers (or Zoomers). Statements flung around include, “These kids are so addicted to their mobiles,” “They have no respect for our culture,” and “In our days, we were so loyal to our companies.”

Only recently have we started seeing people talk about what these cohorts have to offer — the skills they bring to the table. That’s nice to see.

I am going to stick my neck out and say the world needs us more than ever before. The current volatile times call for a generation like us. It demands that we behave exactly the way we do. It seems like the world of remote work, the gig economy, and the flexible freelancer lifestyle are all tailor-made to suit our needs.

Here’s why I feel so:

We embrace change

We were birthed in a world that sees momentous changes almost every day. We realised at a very young age that nothing is constant. Today Facebook will be the most important, tomorrow Instagram, and next week Facebook will buy Instagram. In fact, when things are not moving at a crazy pace, we might even feel uncomfortable. Now, I’m not one to say whether that’s good or bad, but what it does mean is that we are adaptable. We move from one gig to another, one client to another, and one project to another, with more ease than most of our elders.

We seek purpose

An article in Forbes, headlined “Paycheck is important, but purpose is key,” nails it. We seek purpose in our work much more than previous generations. We are not willing to sacrifice our vision for a better future, just in order to pay the bills. A recent study by Girls With Impact showed that 45 per cent of Gen-Zers want to work for a company that makes a positive difference in the world. This means that it’s not just a stable income that entices us, but more that we believe in what we’re doing.

We are stubborn, but in the right way

We believe only what we really want to believe. We don’t accept anything at face value — whether religion, culture or education. We dig deeper, try to find the root of things, and then make our decision. All characteristics of a generation that treats independence as a priority. In simpler terms: we love to be our own bosses. What this has caused is a slow but steady shift from security to freedom.

We are entrepreneurial

It’s strange to say, but for many of us, start-ups are the norm. We’ve grown up at a time where living without Uber, Instagram, Swiggy and Amazon seems almost impossible. For our generation, a great idea is all it takes. We see entrepreneurs as role models, we are capable of multitasking at a level that many can’t understand, and we are the most digitally native task force. Naturally, our first response to a problem is almost always technology-driven.

The Payoneer 2020 Freelancer Income Report that surveyed 7,000+ freelancers from more than 150 countries shows us that the freelance scene is young. Nearly 70 per cent of the freelancers surveyed were under the age of 35 and 21 per cent were under the age of 25. This movement is distinctive to freelancers in Asia, where 82 per cent are under 35, compared to only 47 per cent in North America.

A movement seems to be brewing — the best part is we are already primed for it.