i came across an interesting article from inc. the other day (h/t tina lustre) about the newest generations hitting the job market. according to survey responses, a third of job candidates wonder why they ever went to college. though somewhat shocking, it’s not unexpected, what with a shrinking job market and growing cost of attending school.

but there was another piece to the article that caught my attention and confirmed some suspicions i had for a time now:

Also, generally speaking, the younger the job seeker, the more likely they are to want to work at a startup. This includes sixty percent of Gen Z respondents and 47 percent of Gen Y respondents.

in layperson’s terms, sixty percent is a lot. this figure stood out to me the most because this is going to have huge implications on expectations and desires for the working world. large, slow moving corporations with sustained but small growth rates and highly conservative attitudes when it comes to everything from dress code and office design to market strategy and promotion opportunities are going to struggle significantly to win the talent they so desire.

if—in the coming years—the vast majority of job seekers are going to desire the fast pace, high responsibility, and ultra liberal lifestyle of a startup, established corporations are going to have to change their stance on everything from benefits and employee perks to the color of the walls and range of seating options (be it bean bag chair, giant pillow, or park bench suspended from the ceiling). conservative market strategies will begin to drive away more talent than investors brought in. corporations will have to find a way to replicate that fast-paced world, the ability for even the youngest, most inexperienced members of the organization to lead (and fail), and the large scale impact often associated with working at a startup.

it won’t be easy, and the first few corporations to make this change will surely make mistakes. some may even fail entirely. but the ones that get it right—they’re the ones we’ll all be talking about in 10 years time.