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How Gen Z is redefining success for decades to come

The path Gen Z is blazing is creating new societal paradigms and calling into question decades-old business assumptions.

For Gen Z, the definition of success isn’t material wealth, but rather a life filled with purpose, impact and love. It’s been said that money isn’t everything, and that one can’t buy happiness. Members of Gen Z seem to understand this intuitively, and it shapes how they make life decisions, large and small. Where previous generations may have valued success from the outside-in (status symbols, high-profile careers, money, fame, etc.), Gen Z envisions success from the inside-out.

Gen Z’s greatest emphasis is on emotional well-being and the strength of relationships with loved ones – and they view financial stability as a prerequisite to successfully achieving both. They hope to make a difference in the world by helping those around them. This desire to make an impact is not restricted to either their work or personal life, but rather is a requirement for both.

EY continues its exploration of this game-changing generation with a deep dive study into how Gen Z envisions their future success, both personally and professionally, and what that means for the companies hoping to hire them, market to them and, ultimately, earn their hard-won trust.

Here are a few of the takeaways from the Gen Z future success study:


An extravagant life isn’t the goal for most of Gen Z. They seek a life that’s financially and emotionally secure. This is reflected in how they think about work, relationships and managing their money.

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