Gen Z is the Hustle Generation

 Shola West struggled with concentration in a classroom and later discovered she had dyslexia. Realizing she learned better by doing than listening, she decided to forgo college and jump into the workforce, joining an education-tech startup. However, she soon grew restless and began hosting workshops and webinars for other young workers to motivate them and discuss business ideas. Now, four years later, she is still running at full speed, working a day job in advertising, running her career-advice side hustle, and organizing career events for big organizations. 

West is not alone in this trend of young workers turning side hustles into careers. Gen Z is leading the way in shaking off the typical 9-to-5 career path and reinventing their own ways to earn an income. Economic concerns are a driving factor, as many young people worry about the cost of living and their ability to retire comfortably. However, the desire for passion, purpose, and impact is also driving this trend. 

Social media has made it easier than ever to start a side hustle that can quickly become profitable. A survey by Bank of America found that 72% of Gen Z respondents reported having a side hustle, with the majority earning between $500 and $1000 per month. Employers are also starting to embrace this trend, recognizing that side hustles can be a boon for workers to gain experience and develop skills that they can invest back into their day job. 

As more Gen Zers enter the workforce, companies need to anticipate their hustle mindset and provide opportunities for them to branch out within the company. The traditional career ladder may no longer be enough for this ambitious and optimistic generation.

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