Wang Fengfeng was a graphic design major at the Communication University of China, Nanjing. She quit her job at a state-owned company after a two-month internship.
Despite an attractive salary Wang couldn’t stand being bossed around. Even the color of her stockings and the way she spoke over the phone was prescribed by her manager.
“I like a more equal or friendly working environment. I would like to contribute my own ideas rather than only being given orders without the right to question them,” said the 22-year-old.
This year the post-90s generation enter the workforce. The Ministry of Education estimates that 6.8 million college graduates will leave campus in July. People are curious to see how smoothly this new generation will adapt to the world of work.
Post-90s workers place more emphasis on “doing a job that they enjoy” than other factors, such as pay and conditions, according to a report by Zhaopin.com conducted last year. The report surveyed 7,261 post-80 and post-90 respondents.
Post-90s hope to establish a relaxed working relationship on a more equal basis than their predecessors. They also rank personal well-being before seeking any achievement. More than half of the post-90 respondents prefer easygoing, mild-tempered and savvy employers. A surprising 10 percent wish to be “casual buddies” with their supervisors.
Experts say that the well-fed, post-90s generation are children of the Internet era. They are well informed and unconcerned about the basic necessities of life. They have a stronger awareness of “self” and how they relate to the outside world.
“They tend to care a great deal about team coordination or management culture in the work scenario,” said Tian Rumi, a senior human resources expert from Career International, a consulting company.
“They’re also more outspoken about their needs or wants, and like to openly negotiate with their employers.”
Guo Youmeng, 22, is a digital media major from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. She says that she would not mind working long hours, but would prefer her supervisor to explain why she has to, such as the urgency of the task. “I feel greatly motivated in this way,” she explained.
Most companies embrace the post-90s by tailoring their management styles. Shao Haisheng, an HR director from Ctrip, a leading online travel company, finds post-90s interns full of creative and daring ideas. They are willing to take the initiative, and are highly articulate, which makes for creative exchanges. “Instead of being rigid, we become more tolerant and try to adapt to the needs of each individual employee,” said Shao.
In fact, regardless of when you are born there’s an eternal struggle between personality and responsibility, says Wang Boqing, PhD, president of MyCOS Data.
He warns that students need to observe and respect rules, whether in the workplace or the world as a whole. Human society organizes itself around rules. “Before putting forward your own ideas, it’s important that you respect a company’s culture, rules and wisdom,” he advised.
Hong Chengwen, a professor from Beijing Normal University suggests newbies should not overreach, and should instead absorb skills like a sponge.
Zhang Zhenhua, from the Asia-Pacific branch of US Morpace market research company in Shanghai, doesn’t appreciate their prevailing idea of “staying within their comfort zone”. This could mean that they have to sacrifice their personal growth.