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‘Problems’ With Gen Z In The Workplace: How To Bridge The Soft Skills Gap

According to experts, one of the 'problems' with Gen Z is a shortage of soft skills. So how can Gen Z bridge the soft skills gap?


Tue Apr 9 2024

While music, TV shows and even social media app preference are typically used to highlight generational divides, in-office experiences are possibly the most telling way to separate Gen X and Millennials from their Gen Z counterparts. 

A recent study conducted by Wall Street Prep revealed that recent finance grads—many of whom missed out on in-person internship opportunities because of the pandemic—are less experienced than those who came before them and ill equipped to hit the ground running.

"Despite massive investments in training programs, the harsh reality is that many juniors show up at the desk on day one completely unprepared and require significant hand-holding from the business to be productive," wrote Alex Gorbansky, managing director of corporate training at Wall Street Prep. 

"With COVID officially over and juniors now in the office, the pressure is on for learning and development (L&D) to re-imagine training around skill-based programs that produce as close to desk-ready analysts as possible.”

This correlates with separate data from McKinsey which suggested only 29% of Gen Z workers want to work remotely, with the vast majority keen to integrate via in-office days and feeling anxious about getting their careers off the ground in a remote work setting. 

The soft skills shortage 

Underpinning this issue is a lack of soft skills among junior workers, notably the communication skills that in the past would have been organically gleaned from being around more senior and experienced members of staff daily.

So much so, a survey of hiring managers conducted by Resume Builder established that nearly all have experienced a Gen Z candidate acting inappropriately or displaying questionable behaviors during the interview process. 

These include not dressing appropriately (58%), bad eye contact (57%) and using inappropriate language (19%).

How Gen Z can bridge the soft skills gap

From a company perspective, this means more needs to be done to get junior workers up to speed but for those who feel they might be lacking in soft skills, there are plenty of ways to take matters into your own hands. 

For starters, lean on advancements in AI technology to get going. is a fun AI tool that lets you have conversations with chatbots that sound like celebrities, run through interview questions, and even practice for an interview for Stanford. Similarly, SmallTalk2Me allows you to practice your small talk ahead of in-person water cooler moments. 

Another great way to develop your communication skills outside of the workplace is by volunteering for a charity or organization that requires you to speak directly to the public, or by joining a sports team that will also help you hone your teamwork skills. 

Looking for your next job opportunity? The BusinessBecause Job Board is the perfect place to focus your search. It features thousands of openings in companies that are actively hiring, such as the three below. 

UX Product Design Intern, Roku, San Jose

Streaming platform Roku is seeking a UX Product Design Intern to contribute to revolutionizing the Roku Smart Home experience by considering software and hardware designs from the ground up.

In this role, you will have the opportunity to work directly with a senior UX product designer and give and receive feedback in regular design critiques with your mentors and peers. Interested? Apply here

Intern, UBS, New Orleans

Looking for an opportunity in The Big Easy? UBS is hiring an Intern to work alongside financial advisors in its Global Wealth Management branch office in New Orleans. 

This is an opportunity to gain valuable insight, develop new skills, and establish a network of mentors and business contacts while working on projects that have real impact on clients. If this sounds like the role for you, find out more details here

Meteorology Intern, ENSCO, Inc., Melbourne

ENSCO’s Mission Systems Group is seeking a Meteorology Intern who is interested in applying their meteorological skills to real world problems. ENSCO projects support government initiatives and require a broad range of meteorological skills, including numerical weather prediction, transport and dispersion modeling, Python coding and plotting, statistical data analysis, and weather analysis and forecasting. 

This internship will provide a unique opportunity to work with a team of scientists and engineers to develop new atmospheric modeling methods and apply meteorological expertise to a variety of projects. See the full job description here

Find a role that’s the perfect fit for you on the Business Because Job Board

This article was written by Aoibhinn Mc Bride