The Counter-Culture Blog: Dispelling the Myth of Gen Z Laziness – A Look at the Rise of Polyworking

The notion that Gen Z is a generation of lazy individuals who are not hardworking has been a widely discussed topic in recent years.

However, new research has shown that this is a mere myth. In fact, Gen Z is the generation that is most likely to hold multiple jobs, a phenomenon known as ‘polyworking’.

This article explores the phenomenon of polyworking, its impact on workers, and the reasons behind the trend.

The Tweet That Started the Conversation

What is Polworking and How are The Gen Z’s Involved?

Traditionally, people would find a job they enjoyed and steadily climb the ranks, dedicating their career progression to one employer. But as the cost of living has increased, wages stagnated and people took to working longer. Professionals today aren’t waiting for their bosses to promote them. Instead, they’re taking matters into their own hands, and this has given rise to the phenomenon of polyworking.

Polyworking, the practice of working two or more jobs at the same time, has become increasingly popular, especially with the younger generation. According to a recent survey by Paychex, almost half of Gen Z workers are holding down multiple jobs, and a full 47% hold down three or more jobs. Meanwhile, 33% of millennials are holding down three or more jobs, compared to 28% of baby boomers and 23% of Gen X professionals.

Freelance and remote workers are the most likely to report being employed at multiple firms. Furthermore, some industries are more conducive to polyworking than others. Computer and technology sector workers are most likely to have multiple income streams, and these workers are likely to also take on extra work in other fields.

Benefits and Downsides of Polyworking

Polyworking has become popular among Gen Zers due to various reasons. Some have embraced it as a way of having financial freedom and flexibility, while others see it as an opportunity to have multiple creative outlets.

Workers are no longer tied to one employer, and they can choose the hours and projects that suit them best.

Additionally, polyworking provides workers with additional income, which is especially important in today’s economy, where wages have stagnated, and the cost of living has increased.

However, despite the many benefits of polyworking, it is not without its downsides.

Researchers compared those working multiple jobs with one-job workers and found that polyworkers are more likely to feel burned out, stressed, and uninspired. Although they’re slightly more satisfied with their work-life balance, polyworkers are also significantly less productive and report that they’d feel healthier in another role.

The Lazy Gen Z Myth

The importance of acknowledging Gen Z’s work ethic however cannot be overstated. Another recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that Gen Zers have a more positive outlook on the future than any other generation.

They have grown up with greater access to technology and information than previous generations, and as such, they are better equipped to navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of modern work. Their ability to multitask and work multiple jobs simultaneously is a reflection of their ingenuity, resourcefulness, determination, and willingness to do what it takes to succeed.

This resourcefulness gives them the ability to walk away from a bad situation at work without worrying about the financial consequences.

Furthermore, Generation Z places a high value on work-life balance. They want to work for companies that prioritize their well-being and offer flexible schedules. They are not afraid to leave a job that does not align with their values and seek out a better fit elsewhere.

They are acutely aware of the power of social media and online reviews. They know that their experiences at work can be shared with a global audience in a matter of seconds. As a result, they are more likely to hold companies accountable for their actions and leave a job if they feel that their concerns are not being addressed.

Finally, the myth of Gen Z’s laziness fails to consider the unique challenges they face. The cost of living has skyrocketed, while wages have remained stagnant. Housing is unaffordable, education is expensive, and the job market is highly competitive. It is no wonder that many Gen Zers are forced to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

This is not a sign of laziness; rather, it is a testament to their resilience and resourcefulness.

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