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A new generation of graduates entering the labour market ​​

Most of the graduates belong to the newest generation: Gen Z. Gen Zers were born in the late 90s and are currently between 5 and 25 years old. They are called the iGeneration, having grown up in a hyper-connected world. Entrepreneurial, independent and change oriented are just some characteristics to describe them. We already know that they love to watch Netflix, are (not so) secretly addicted to TikTok and like to challenge themselves by working out, learning new languages and listening podcasts. But what drives these young professionals? This article will reveal the true motivators of a Gen Z graduate.

Generation Z will slowly be entering the labour market. To gain some insights into what drives and engages these young professionals, Crossbridge relies and recaps on the research conducted by myShortlist about their graduating users who registered for their webinar on 12th of May. No less than 125 graduates and young professionals participated.

myShortlist is an online career orientation platform for graduates and working professionals who want to make the most of their talents. Through five scientifically approved questionnaires, users can discover their strengths, interests and career drivers, and receive a shortlist of possible job functions and working environments that naturally fit their profile. So, what drives the generation of job seekers today? And what are their top skills and interests? Keep reading to find out!


Top skills

At myShortlist, they try to find which career and company culture perfectly match your profile. One way to do that is by figuring out your top 10 skills. By going through the questionnaire, myShortlist tells you exactly what assets you can show off to possible new employers! But what are these generations’ top skills exactly? Well, the research indicates that 55% of graduating myShortlisters had the following skills in their top 10:


  • Learning skill: They are eager to learn, love to gain new insights on a daily basis and enjoy acquiring and processing information. Self-development is key and to accomplish it, they continuously identify new learning opportunities.

  • Critical thinking: They are strong critical thinkers and logical problem-solvers. Where there’s chaos, they can bring order with a systematic approach. They have a keen sense of reason and logic and quickly analyze and synthesize information.

  • Working independently: They don’t have difficulties motivating themselves, setting personal goals, determining an approach and making their plans.

These three skills are also skills that are developed at university or school. Education challenges us to learn and improve our knowledge base, to approach new knowledge critically and to process information independently. So, it’s no surprise that these are top skills for a lot of graduates!

Career drivers

Career drivers are the values and ideals that you hold that motivate you to choose for a certain career path, company or industry. When analyzing the 125 myShortlisters who were looking to land their dream job, the research found that 1 out of 3 is motivated by the following career drivers:


  • Work-life balance: The millennials and Gen Z are pushing for a greater and healthier work-life balance: flexible working schedules, being able to work remotely (also after Covid-19), doing sports during lunch break,... They want it all! A healthy work-life blend is a strong motivator for young professionals.

  • Professional excellence: They want to excel in everything that they do, especially professionally. Being called a specialist at work is a great motivator and they achieve this by continuously learning and upskilling themselves. 

  • Social contribution: In the fast-paced world with political debates, #blacklivesmatter-protests, climate change and economic uncertainty, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the newest generations are passionate about being meaningful in a larger context. 

The majority of the graduates want to work in a company whose mission and values align with their own. A healthy work life-balance, building up expertise and having a meaningful impact are very important to young professionals when (re)launching their careers.

Company culture

One of the highly valued myShortlist features is the scientifically based framework on company culture. As a user of myShortlist you can find out which of the following four types of companies would make you feel at home: hierarchy, adhocracy, clan, or market. These company types are framed on two axes. The horizontal axis represents the focus of a company: on the left side companies have an internal focus, mainly on their own activities. On the right side you can find companies with an external focus: they’re looking more to the market and what’s happening around them. The vertical axis differentiates between flexible companies on the top and more structure, stable companies below.

The most preferred company culture among graduates is an adhocracy. Adhocracies are flexible and externally oriented companies characterized by an agile, informal and usually innovative corporate culture. Within this type of company individual initiative, self-organization and working independently is highly appreciated! 



It’s clear that this new generation should not be underestimated. They are ready to work hard for what they believe in and fight for an improved work-life balance. They feel responsible for driving their own career, and ready to learn as much as they can to achieve their desired job aspirations!  

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