Entering the Workforce: Company Culture and Gen-Z

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Entering the Workforce: Company Culture and Gen-Z

Starting my senior year at Florida State University, I felt a sense of apprehension about joining the workforce. As a member of Gen Z, the idea of working a rigid 9-to-5 schedule, in a nose-to-the-grindstone position with little to no say on which projects I’d be working on, felt daunting. Talking with friends, I found I wasn’t alone in feeling this anxiety.

Thankfully, shortly after starting senior year I had the opportunity to begin working as a Junior Account Coordinator at Sachs Media, a highly regarded public relations firm. My experience working in a role similar to an internship there quickly flipped my negative expectations for work life upside down and made me hopeful for myself and my colleagues at FSU. It helped me realize the importance of company culture in considering job opportunities.

After that experience, I was fortunate to be kept on for a full-time job at Sachs Media. Looking back to my first day as a full-time employee just a few months ago, I’ve been pleased to see that my hope was well placed. I’ve received notification after notification from classmates happily posting that they had secured their first post-college jobs. A few of my peers also had the opportunity to intern at the companies they began working for after graduation, enabling them to already have an idea of their company culture. While this is an ideal opportunity for a recent graduate, it wouldn’t be realistic for many professionals further in their careers.

This makes sharing company culture during the recruitment and onboarding process much more important for professionals who didn’t begin their careers at your company. Since they don’t know what it’s like to work for you, you can best attract and retain candidates by helping them understand and appreciate what your company values are and letting them see their new coworkers work in a way that exemplifies those values. According to a recent Deloitte survey, about 1 in 4 Gen Zers or millennials seeking a new position did so because of poor work culture at their current job. Similarly, 2 in 5 respondents rejected positions based on company values that didn’t mesh with their own.

As I started at Sachs Media as a Junior Account Coordinator, I quickly learned the cultural importance of creating a supportive environment for the team, my understanding of which only deepened when I started working full-time. During my interview for the full-time Account Coordinator position, I was asked about my personal hobbies and my professional goals and interests, and was quickly scheduled to meet some of the firm partners and the founder and CEO himself, Ron Sachs. As Ron and I talked, topics included work-life balance, Sachs Media policies designed to facilitate a comfortable and safe workplace, and the crisis hotline available for everyone at Sachs Media to use at any time – at no cost and for whatever reason, no questions asked. Once again, I was reminded that this was a supportive workplace.

Upon my arrival at Sachs Media for my first day working full-time, everyone was warm and welcoming. Since I worked as a Junior Account Coordinator during the pandemic, this also was my first full day at Sachs Media’s physical location. A desk space had been set up for me as well as a gift box, and I was given a tour of the office. After a pleasant morning meeting coworkers and starting to work, senior management decided to take several of the new hires out for a lunch hour, where we all shared good stories and food and had an enjoyable time bonding as a team.

Since I’ve been at Sachs Media, I have seen a company culture built around support, flexibility, and balance. It’s not only talked about but lived out in the actions of each of my coworkers and our company as a whole. While any company would want to express its brand to clients and consumers, to keep your other key audience – employees – committed, it’s important to live up to your brand’s values internally. Staying true to the larger values within your company allows job candidates to know what they’re signing up for. If they do choose to work for you, they’re more likely to stay because they trust the organization they’re now a part of.

The strong sense of community and support at Sachs Media is a good example. I feel better working here knowing that I’m surrounded by coworkers I can trust – not only from my experiences with them as individuals, but also because I trust the values of the Sachs team they’re a part of.

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