Inside Gen Z’s quest for mentors: The Return podcast, season 2, episode 2

This article is part of a special podcast series that covers the challenges and opportunities of returning to the office. More from the series →

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Navigating the ups and downs of workplaces is challenging at any given time. Now, imagine graduating into a workforce that looks unrecognizable thanks to a global pandemic that drove people to work from home en masse. Gen Zers have experienced that first hand.

So where are Gen Zers supposed to turn for guidance? That’s where mentors make a difference. Most Gen Zers have not had a traditional office experience, which means they’re being more intentional about finding mentorships. And not having any prolonged office experience makes mentorship even more vital.

Most can remember a time when they’ve needed one: 67% of 18 to 21-year-olds can remember a time when they needed a mentor but didn’t have one, according to a study from Mentor, a non-profit that connects young people with mentors in their community.

In this episode, we talk about how mentorships can shape someone’s work experience. We meet Tracy Ziemer, one of host Cloey Callahan’s first mentors, to see what advice she passed on to Callahan over Zoom at the beginning of her career. And Danielle Farage, a Gen Z entrepreneur, tells us how she is redefining mentorship with the idea of “friend-torships.”

Across eight episodes, season two of The Return lifts the lid on what motivates and inspires the youngest generation of workers, and how they’re not as work-shy as they’re often depicted.

Season two of The Return is hosted by Cloey Callahan, a Gen Zer and senior reporter at Digiday Media’s WorkLife, and produced by Digiday Media’s audio producer Sara Patterson. Subscribe to the WorkLife podcast now on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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