Gen Z has joined the workforce, making waves and changing mindsets about how and why we work, how to find fulfilment, and how to change the world. In tech in particular, the impact of this young generation can be huge.

What inspires Abel Verghese, a young associate consultant with Akkodis, about the tech world is largely an appreciation of the accomplishments of his predecessors.

 

“I got into it without knowing much about it,” Abel says. “Once commenced, what inspired me was how in-depth and ingenious all the systems are that we use and take for granted. I’m inspired by how people before me have thought about and executed to build the systems and technology that we use and that we all rely on. I’m motivated by being able to work in that space, building the technology and systems used in the world around us.”

 

It's no secret that Gen Z thinks a little differently about work. This generation is focused on purposeful, engaging work; well-being, work-life balance, and risk taking. This sense of curiosity and awareness of how tech impacts how we live led Verghese, straight out of university, to join a team working to create the Yarning app, which won the Social Impact Award for Microsoft. An impressive launch to any career, and an indicator of what contributions Gen Z’ers can have in tech and beyond.

 

 

Building relationships

 

In Australian Aboriginal culture, “yarning” means “building respectful relationships.” The Yarning app, created with the intent to improve Aboriginal well-being in Australia, provides, “spoken Aboriginal language interpretation of important information relating to rights in custody, COVID and youth messaging. It allows police officers to select an Aboriginal language and play aloud key messages to improve understanding by Aboriginal people who have English as a second (third or fourth) language.

 

Verghese takes pride in the social focus of the work he does. “Generally, Akkodis does a lot of work across government and society. Young people, my generation, get into the world hoping to make an impact, and it feels that Akkodis are working on a lot of technology and systems that provide to the community,” he says. “The Yarning app for example, is bigger than just the technology we created: It helps the wider community. You feel that you make a bigger impact for the community around you.”

 

 

Holistic upskilling

 

While Gen Z’ers are ambitious, their work mindset is very much focused on well-being. “Having things to do outside of work is important–hobbies that are not related in any way to work. [It] helps to reset, helps you to feel fresh and new when coming to work, because you can switch off the work part of your mind,” Verghese says. “When trying to upskill, also upskill in other parts of your life; not just work-related skills, but also social and personal and other skills, including physical skills. It helps to make you feel that your life doesn’t resolve around work.”

Abel Verghese
Support Developer, Akkodis Australia

"It's a little cliche but I look forward to who I will be in the next 10 years as my role model. I dream about who I would want to be and that is the person I look up to."

Although the intrinsic reward is seeing the impact of your work, the award inspires Verghese to forge on to do even bigger things, and shows that his work can have a major impact. “I could not believe that I had a part in something so huge,” he says. “I always hear news about people getting awarded these things and never did I imagine that I would be that someone. It was truly a testament to how you could be at the right place at the right time and doing your best would result in great things.”

 

 

Promoting tech

 

Verghese believes more young people would be drawn to the tech world if they had more exposure to it early on. “In my opinion, tech is not promoted enough in schools,” he says. “The benefits and capabilities of the industry are not being made known to the average student that is in school. Potentially, implementing some sort of tech-related subjects at school could spike the interest of most student to try it and be involved in the space.”

 

As far as advice for anyone interested in joining this field, Verghese focuses on continuous learning and curiosity. “Without staying updated, you don’t know what is progressing, what new discoveries are being made, what you are missing,” he says. “By consistently learning about what’s new, you get to learn about new opportunities that are available.”

 

And if Verghese is any representation, Gen Z has a positive outlook, based on personal accountability and sense of purpose. “My life mantra would be ‘It is all in your head’, and it is what I live by,” he says. “There is no bad situation. Every situation is an opportunity as long as you can change your perspective towards it. My life has been happier and more peaceful since adopting this mantra.”

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