Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Grapevine Recruiting’s Own Generation Z Summer Intern Weighs in On What the Next Generation of Sales Pros are Seeking in Career Opportunities

By Ben McBeain


There is still a lot written about what millennials want and need in terms of career opportunities, and with good reason.  Larger even than the baby boomer generation, the millennial generation is massive.  However, it seems that most people still think that millennials are the youngest generation at work.  That’s not the case.  The oldest millennials are now in their mid-30’s.  By contrast, those of us who claim “Generation Z” status were born between the mid 1990’s and the early 2000’s, so we’re entering our 20’s.   With almost 73 million of us, we’re about to enter the work force, in force.

So, what do Generation Z employees want in a job?  Amongst my peers (graduation date May 2018), we are pretty likeminded on at least four main things, that we are looking for in our careers. Here’s a look at what matters most to Generation Z as we gear up to launch our careers.

*Opportunity to Advance

This may not be unique to Generation Z employees, as it is odd to think anyone would want a job with no opportunity for growth, but it is our priority.  We don’t expect to land our dream job right out of college, but we do want positions where there is a path to grow, advance, and develop as employees. We’re competitive and entrepreneurial, and we want our efforts to be rewarded.

*Welcoming Work Environment

We want an open door, low power-distance, and a friendly work environment where we feel comfortable talking to and going to our superiors for help. We want to be included, and feel like we’re a part of the team.  We want meaningful tasks, and we’re willing to work hard even if that means long hours.  We don’t expect to enter the work force, and coast.  We know that we’re going to have to be flexible with schedules, and that may include extra hours— particularly in the first few years of employment.  But we don’t want to do that in a totally authoritarian, environment.


We grew up in the Great Recession, and money matters to us.  We don’t expect to get something for nothing, and we know that we will have to work to advance, and to increase our earnings, but our starting salary does matter.  Keep in mind that college tuition was high for us, and we’re coming out of school with a lot of student loans, that we have to start paying back immediately.   Without a decent salary, we’re in trouble.  Earnings and earning potential matter to us.

*Interaction with Others

Yes, we’re a tech savvy generation. We will bring those skills to our employers.   We don’t know life without smart phones.  But as the result, we’re not as obsessed with our screens as the previous generation.  We’ve also learned from those who came before us, that there is too much of a good thing when it comes to social media and the like.  We don’t broadcast every aspect of our lives, in part because we know that digital footprints will follow us forever.  We’re also a very socially conscious generation, so we want face-to-face interaction and engagement, and we love to create actual communities of change.

As Generation Z gears up for fulltime employment, we’re bringing a lot to the table for employers.  We’re inquisitive, intentional, and driven to succeed.  We are eager for mentorship, and want to succeed as much as you want us to succeed.  From where I’m standing, that looks like a great recipe for success for employers and their employees.

Ben McBeain is a summer intern at Grapevine Targeting Sales Recruiting.  He is currently pursuing a business degree at St. John’s University and will be graduating in May 2018.  Born in 1996, Ben will be amongst the first Generation Z’er’s to graduate from college.


Contact Ben at or 952.856.2371