The Teenage Working Class

April 23, 2019


Nick Moses working at Target. Photo by Ingrid Sund

  A common misconception with Generation Z is that the generation is comprised of lazy, spoiled, and unmotivated kids who have everything handed to them on a silver platter. However, the manager of Plymouth Caribou, Scott Dose, explains that the work ethic of Generation Z is different, but in a very “driven and unique” way.

Lily Reid working at Caribou Coffee. Photo by Ingrid Sund.

  According to H.R. Future, 76 percent of Generation Z said they are willing to start at the bottom and work their way up.
  Gen Zers are seen as the ”do-it-yourself generation”, partly because the internet provides unprecedented opportunities for self-education and knowledge. “Because of this, when compared to the millennial generation, Gen Z is more competitive and independent,” according to H.R. Future.
  Wayzata High School Senior Nick Moses works as a front end supervisor at the Plymouth Target, running the cashiers, guest services, self checkouts, and outside management. “My job teaches me skills such as responsibility and time management,” said Moses.
  “This generation takes pride in their work, but they want to do their work on their own schedule and on their time. It’s all about freedom and flexibility,” said BlueStem Wealth Partners Financial Adviser Mindy Reid, who interns high schoolers.
  Data released by the 2013 U.S. Census shows that more than one in four high school students age 16 and older work—that’s more than 3 million workers nationwide.
  Junior Lily Mjaanes works two jobs: “I nanny three times a week and work at Evereve on the weekends,” said Mjaanes. “I am able to balance work with other commitments because of my good time management.”
  Wayzata High School teacher Anna Olson worked as a teller at Prior Lake State Bank throughout high school. “I worked everyday after school and Saturdays,” said Olson. “I had a lot of responsibility and handled a lot of money. I’m pretty sure no teenager would get to handle the amount of money that I did today.” According to Olson, she made $7.50 an hour.
  Anthony Luna, a sophomore at WHS who makes $12.00 per hour as a host at 6Smith, said, “I put my money into savings and the rest is spent on clothes and friend/family outings”. Some, on the other hand, don’t consider themselves the best “savers.”
  “I am a really big spender, I am terrible at saving money. I think a lot of high schoolers are spending their money on luxuries, not necessities, especially in Wayzata,” said Moses.
  GenZ might be thought of as immature, lazy, and off task generation due to their dependency on technology, but Dose of Plymouth Caribou explains that this is simply not the case. “The ability to utilize technology allows this generation to be the most independent, knowledgeable, and passionate about their work than any before,” said Dose.
  “There are a lot of times where I have been called over and greeted with ‘oh this is your manager’ because I am so young. I am the youngest supervisor at my location, with all the others being over 21, but I’ve learned to be very mature and respectful to give my generation a good reputation,” said Moses.

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