Now That We’re In A ‘Vibecession,’ Discover 3 Consequences For Your Career

The term "vibecession" has emerged to describe an economy that has emerged from a downturn and is showing signs of strength, but is still not making a lot of people happy. This combination of "vibe" and "recession" is particularly relevant for Gen Z, the 17 to 27-year-olds either in the job market or preparing to enter it.

According to a Workhuman survey, "productivity anxiety" is higher among Gen Z, with 30% battling it daily and 58% experiencing it numerous times a week. Marcie Merriman of EY explains that this "vibecession" reflects a lack of excitement or confidence among U.S. consumers and the general population, despite strong market indicators like record highs in the stock market and low unemployment.

Merriman notes that Gen Z's financial fears and concerns have existed for over a decade, even before the pandemic and rising interest rates. These fears are multifaceted, stemming from factors like millennial debt, the importance of financial literacy on social media, increasing tuition costs, and greater financial transparency from those already in the job market.

As Gen Z enters the workforce, they will face a disconnect between their expectations and the conventional ways of working that employers have become accustomed to. This includes in-office requirements, rigid schedules, and the expectation of exclusive commitment to a single employer.

Merriman predicts three key reactions from U.S. workers during this "vibe session":

1. Employees will seek more secure and stable employment opportunities.
2. Employees will seek and maintain multiple sources of income, with 52% of Gen Z already having two or more.
3. Employees will continue to experience anxiety and financial fears as they become more independent.

For employers, this "vibecession" will present several challenges:

1. Diminishing employee loyalty unless it is reciprocated.
2. Increased importance of salary transparency, particularly among younger employees.
3. There is a need to accept multiple incomes as the new norm and build safeguards for intellectual property.

Merriman emphasizes the importance of employers actively engaging with Gen Z and learning from them, as those who do so can gain a competitive advantage. Both employees and employers can make the "vibecession" work to their benefit through open communication and mutual understanding. 

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