Jodie Foster Finds Working with Zoomers to Be More Challenging Than Gratifying

Jodie Foster arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of HBO's 'True Detective: Night Country' Season 4 held at the Paramount Theatre at Paramount Pictures Studios on January 9, 2024 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/NurPhoto) (Photo by Image Press Agency / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP)

You’d think Hollywood, of all places, would be a perfect fit for Gen Z, a realm where they could thrive and ‘live their truth’ as they say. Surprisingly, Jodie Foster finds working with them more taxing than rewarding. 

Gen Z vs. The Rest

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In her interview with The Guardian, Jodie Foster expressed her frustrations with the Gen Z workforce. Although she values their authenticity and the freedoms they enjoy, she finds their approach to work and casual disregard for grammar particularly frustrating.

“Annoying” Generation

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According to Foster, Gen Z’s workplace behavior is a source of frustration due to their casual attitude towards time and authority. She argues that they operate on their terms, often arriving late and following only their orders. 

“They’re really annoying, especially in the workplace,” she said. “They’re like, ‘Nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10.30 am.’”  

Changing the Rules?

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Grammar is another area where Foster finds Gen Z lacking. She shared, “In emails, I’ll tell them, ‘This is all grammatically incorrect, did you not check your spelling?’ And they’re like, ‘Why would I do that, isn’t that kind of limiting?’” 


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Foster believes the main issue with younger generations is their tendency to overthink. She suggests they need to learn to unwind and be less introspective, focusing on creating their distinctive ideas.

She advised, “They need to learn how to relax, how to not think about it so much, how to come up with something that’s theirs.” 

Work or Play?

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Foster isn’t alone in her views on Gen Z’s work ethic. Whoopi Goldberg faced criticism last year for labeling them as possibly work-averse. Discussing the financial challenges facing Gen Z in contrast to their parents, Goldberg remarked: 

“I’m sorry, if you only want to work four hours, it’s going to be harder for you to get a house. We had to bust our behinds because we didn’t have the option of going back.”

Challenging the Norms

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Since joining the workforce, Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) has become known for its unique stance on employment, challenging traditional norms. Their concept of work-life balance significantly differs from that of their employers, with demands for flexible working arrangements, increased time off, superior perks, and higher wages. 

In contrast to millennials, who the 2011 PwC survey found valued career growth above all, Gen Z’s primary concerns revolve around salary and personal enjoyment in their jobs.

Ego Damage and Mental Health

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Gen-Z’s prominent online presence, with social media usage averaging over four hours daily – twice that of the average American adult, as reported by Morning Consult Pro – comes with its challenges. 

These include coping with ego damage, mental health struggles, dissatisfaction in temporary or retail jobs, the burden of college debts, and anxiety about future financial stability. 

Troubling Trends

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Findings from the American Opportunity Survey indicate a troubling trend among Americans aged 18 to 24, who are struggling with mental health issues, facing obstacles in their work performance, and experiencing anxiety about what lies ahead.

“Dreadful state”

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American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who is set to release a book, ‘The Anxious Generation’ in March, which examines mental health issues among the youth, shared alarming insights about Gen Z’s workplace state with The Wall Street Journal. 

Haidt described Gen Z as being in a “dreadful state” at work. He pointed out that this generation operates in a “defend mode,” characterizing them as “weakened” and less likely to be innovative or take risks. 

74% of Leaders Agree

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A survey by revealed that 74% of managers and business leaders find Gen-Z more challenging to manage than other generations, noting issues like entitlement, lack of effort and motivation, and reduced productivity, leading to the dismissal of some Gen-Z workers.

Are Traditional Work Rules Outdated?

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Although Generation Z may present unique workplace challenges, adapting to them can unlock their remarkable potential. Gen Zers can breathe new life into organizations with their inherent digital skills and innovative viewpoints.

Rebels or Pioneers?

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“It’s like walking into a room full of LeBron James rookies ready to take the court,” said Harry Johns White, marketing manager at NBA Blast. “The ambition in their eyes, it’s contagious. These kids don’t just want to be a part of the game, they want to redefine it.”

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