With Generation Z (Gen Zers) entering the workforce, a narrative has circulated via social media about their entitlement, inconsistency, and hatred of working. On TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms, creators make videos about Gen Z job-hopping, complaining about their work, and expecting unreasonable standards and pay from their employers. Meanwhile, many managers find it difficult to work with Gen Z – citing their lack of effort and motivation.

In March, ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 518 Gen Z workers to understand their attitudes towards the workplace.

Key findings:

  • 64% of Gen Zers like or love their job
  • Income, job field correlate to job satisfaction
  • 8 in 10 say they are good employees to manage
  • 8 in 10 have positive relationships with coworkers
  • 1 in 2 say they like their boss

Nearly 2 in 3 Gen Zers Like Their Jobs

The public narrative suggests that Gen Z hates their jobs; however, our survey found that the majority of Gen Z have positive feelings toward their work.

Of the Gen Zers we surveyed, 64% say they love (27%) or like (37%) their work. Twenty-four percent feel neutral about their job. Conversely, 9% say they dislike their job, and 3% hate it.

“People early in their careers tend to be given this narrative of hating their jobs because they usually switch jobs more frequently. What many people fail to realize is that when you’re in your 20s, you’re figuring yourself out and trying different career options to see what you like most,” says Resume Builder’s resume and career strategist Julia Toothacre.

“Gen Z is much more self-aware than I’ve seen of other generations entering the workforce. They know what they want and don’t want in the workplace, and they align their values to their career. This wasn’t common in previous generations. It’s not everyone, but it’s enough that these results tell me that Gen Z likes the work they do because they have found alignment with it. The key to keeping Gen Z is providing them with opportunities for growth.”

Of discontent Gen Zers, 45% say they have poor work-life balance, 34% dislike their hours, and 36% are not passionate about their job. They also report disliking customers (25%), job expectations (25%), working in person (18%), and meetings (9%).

“Based on my experience, this is on par with most professionals. It’s to be expected that a portion of the workforce dislikes various aspects of not only their job but work in general,” adds Toothacre.

Income, job field indicate happiness

Of Gen Zers working in business or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), 72% report liking or loving their jobs. Meanwhile, 50% of customer service, retail, and service industry workers feel positively about their jobs.

Additionally, there was a correlation between income and satisfaction at work. Gen Zers with higher incomes reported that they like their job more often than those with lower incomes:

Income less than $40,000 (57% like or love their job)
Income between $40,000 to $69,000 (55% like or love their job)
Income between $70,000 to $99,999 (78% like or love their job)
Income $100,000 and up (80% like or love their job)

“Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it buys comfort and time. These results reinforce that if you pay people a living wage that supports not only their basic needs, but allows them to live their lives, they are likely going to be happier all around,” says Toothacre.

4 in 5 Gen Zers Say They Are Good Workers

In addition to liking their jobs, Gen Zers feel that they perform well in the workplace.

In fact, 30% say they are excellent direct reports, while 51% say they are good. Twenty-nine percent say that they are okay at their jobs, and less than 1% report being bad or terrible direct reports. This clashes with our earlier survey, with managers reporting discontentment with Gen Zers in the workplace.

“You don’t know what you don’t know when you’re a new professional,” explains Toothacre. “If managers aren’t communicating with Gen Z about their performance or lack of skills, then Gen Z isn’t going to know.”

“In the previous survey, managers said that lack of technological skills was the top reason they found it difficult to work with Gen Z. Tech skills can be taught and colleges likely aren’t going to do it, so managers need to provide opportunities for Gen Z to learn and acquire those skills. Clarity and communication will solve most of the disconnect between managers and Gen Z.”

1 in 2 Gen Zers Feel Positively Toward Their Boss

The majority of Gen Zers also report that they maintain positive feelings towards their supervisors; 21% say that they love their boss, and 32% like them. Additionally, 34% say they feel neutral, while only 10% say they dislike their boss, and less than 3% hate them.

Of Gen Zers who dislike their boss, many report that their managers have bad leadership skills (50%), play favorites (39%), mistreat them at work (38%), waste time (35%), or harass them (23%). However, less than half (47%) have talked with their bosses about improving their relationship.

“Open communication about expectations is the best place to start cultivating a positive relationship with your boss,” says Toothacre. “If your manager isn’t setting meetings with you regularly, then you need to set them.”

“When you do not get along with your boss, learning to manage up is helpful to get ahead of what they need from you. If the situation is particularly bad, make sure you are documenting your interactions in case you are questioned and then start looking for a new job. Toxic managers aren’t worth the time and energy needed to make the relationship function, especially when they likely still aren’t going to respond well to you.”

8 in 10 Make an Effort to Have Positive Relationships with Coworkers

The vast majority (84%) say that they put effort into developing positive relationships with their coworkers, while only a small portion (16%) have put in little to no effort.

This effort may have paid off. Most Gen Zers have positive feelings towards their coworkers, with 25% saying they love their colleagues and 35% saying they like them. Only 8% say they dislike their coworkers, and less than 1% hate them. Finally, 31% do not feel positively or negatively about their coworkers.

Of those who dislike their coworkers, 71% find them gossipy, 50% say they are bad at their jobs, and 42% believe they are mean. Additionally, 26% find their coworkers distracting, and 24% feel they are competitive. Finally, 30% report generational differences and 19% say they clash over social/political reasons.


This survey was commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish. It was launched on March 27, 2024. Overall, 518 Gen Zers completed the full survey.

To qualify for the survey, all participants had to be between 18 and 27 and currently employed for wages.

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