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News » Optimistic Gen Z juggles mental health, career ambitions

Optimistic Gen Z juggles mental health, career ambitions

NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES — Despite facing immense stress and mental health challenges, Generation Z remains optimistic about achieving their goals and having a bright future ahead. 

While only 15% of Gen Zers rated their current mental health and well-being as excellent, 76% expressed optimism about the future and 82% were confident they would ultimately achieve their goals, according to a Gallup survey.

This generation views work as a component of life, not its entirety, valuing experiences and personal time over traditional work milestones

“They often prefer work to fit in around the things they see as more important — things like quality of life, time with friends/family, interesting experiences like travel,” David Tarner, Candidate Marketing Director, ManpowerGroup North America, told Forbes.

However, financial pressures from student loans to rising living costs weigh heavily on them, prompting high expectations for employer support in career development.

“Gen Z is coming into the workforce at a time that is different from that of earlier generations,” Tarner said.

Gen Z workers may work in 5-10 different careers in their lifetime—which can be great—but can also lead to the feeling of uncertainty. And that uncertainty can be stressful.”

Tarner also noted that 60% of Gen Z employees expect personalized career development, mentorship, and transparent progression plans from employers. Having a mentor was linked to significantly higher optimism, with Gen Zers with an active adult mentor more than twice as likely to feel confident about their future.

“Where do you hope to go? If you aren’t sure, start with a plan that just prioritizes ‘discovery,’” he said. 

“Once you have identified a path that sounds interesting to you, it will be easier to identify mentors and explain what you hope to gain from the relationship.”

To manage stress, Tarner advised Gen Zers to start small when seeking mentorship, find a specialty area to focus on, discover their strengths and preferred work styles, and be resourceful while also generous in giving back.

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