We won’t be the first to tell you a growing worldwide movement is afoot as young people say no to the daily grind and refuse to be sucked into the corporate rat race. Chinese youth are saying no to the “996” rise and grind doctrine, and UK employees and corporations are emerging fresh off the trial of the four-day working week, and so far, mental health and productivity are positive. 

Our research, The State of Youth, VICE Guide to Culture, Next Gen Leaders and Youth in Pandemic IV: The Future of Work, all point to young workers insisting we write new work life and culture scripts. Today’s young workers demand far more than wages, so let’s take a look at just a few of the work scripts Gen Zers have already rewritten:

“Workers Want A Ladder”

Workers want an assault course of activities. Careers have become less about moving up the corporate ladder and more about weaving through opportunities to diversify skills. The goal is continual growth, learning, and developing a broad set of skills versus honing in on a single one. That, in turn, changes the game for employers who need to think beyond titles and salaries to opportunities for self-growth between points A and B.

“Boss Knows Best”

Gen Z demand leaders who offer respect and an invitation to be part of the process. For Gen Z, agency is vital within the workforce, and while everyone wants a boss that knows how to make end goals clear, they need one who’s interested in leaving the ‘how’ in workers’ hands. Today’s boss encourages autonomy and people to bring their whole selves and ideas to work.

“Creativity Belongs to Creatives”

Creativity is a skill everyone possesses. 7 in 10 global youth say “they consider themselves creative” and it’s a skill baked into the DNA of Gen Z – no matter who they are, their role, or background. Work and career decisions are based on their ability to hone, refine and nurture this part of their identity, and young entrepreneurs will build the companies of the future around creativity. Anyone looking to attract Gen Z talent must inspire, make space for creativity, and hold it close as a core value. 

“It’s All About the Money”

Meaningful work matters more than money. Youth consider the legacy they leave behind, not only the lives in front of them. Our research told us that 82% of youth want to do something that really matters to them, and 72% said the impact they can have is essential/significant when choosing a job. Companies must have a vision and mission that matters – and live up to it. 

So next time you’re considering attracting young talent, remember the scripts Gen Zers have flipped and be part of driving a new work culture.