'We are very different than millennials,' says 18-year-old 'Gen Z guru' hired as a consultant for the Minnesota Vikings

Teens selfieRoss Gilmore / AP ImagesWe bet this isn’t what you were doing at age 18.

At age 18, most of us were finishing up high school, maybe heading to college, excited about the chance to go to parties without parents breathing down our neck.

Jonah Stillman, an 18-year-old Minnesota resident, just co-authored a book and landed a consulting gig with the Minnesota Vikings, according to the Star Tribune.

That book is “Gen Z @ Work: How the Next Generation is Transforming the Workplace,” and he wrote it with his father, David Stillman. The father and son also run a company called Gen Z Guru.

Stillman will help the Vikings understand and connect with Generation Z — which marketers generally define as people born 1995 and later — according to the Star Tribune.

“We are very different than millennials,” Stillman told the Star Tribune, and shared some thoughts on what makes Gen Z unique.

For one, he said, “Our hunt for more authentic communication also means we are looking for the most authentic way to communicate with our peers, co-workers, and bosses.” Based on the research he and his father did for their book, they found that 84% of Gen Z says they prefer face-to-face communication.

Stillman’s observations jibe with insights from speaker Ryan Jenkins, who wrote on Inc. that Gen Z “will be much more calculated and/or selective with the information they share online.”

Jenkins has also found that nearly three-quarters of Gen Z says they prefer to communicate face-to-face with colleagues.

Stillman told the Star Tribune that he’s “learning too much to stop right now” and enroll in college, so he’s taking a “gap year or two.”

That, too, is a Gen Z trademark: According to a College Savings Foundation survey, spotlighted in the Chicago Tribune, about 21% of respondents are planning to defer their college plans so they can pursue other interests.

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