How to Find Hope to Get to Work

by | Dec 18, 2020 | MY JOB Gen Z



Excerpt from the Epilogue of our forthcoming book.

We’re grateful to Dr. Wendy Leonard, founder of TIP Global Health (formerly known as The Ihangane Project) and The Hope Initiative, for sharing her expertise on supporting health, care, and hope in young people. 

Our book goes into more detail about how to get up and search for/go to work. Just as we list far more resources–particularly for Gen Zers and those building new careers–you’ll find rich strategies and true-story inspiration in MY JOB book 3. 

Until January, we wish you safe, healthy, and peaceful winter holidays!


Epilogue: Where We Find Hope


By Dr. Wendy Leonard, founder of The Ihangane Project and The Hope Initiative


Young professionals today face a barrage of external violence and prejudice, political division, climate crisis, and changing work environments. They also grapple internally with social isolation and depression at record rates.


Despite the reality that Generation Z has every reason to feel hopeless, these young people demonstrate inspiring levels of hope by fighting for the future they want and expect to have.


To demand change requires a belief that a different future is possible.


At a time when the visualizing of their future may be vastly different and seemingly less certain than the imagined futures of any generation before them, Generation Z is actively reshaping what their future will be. This takes courage — and hope.


The research whose work Dr. Kaye Herth deeply informs, called the Hope Initiative and established by The Ihangane Project (in Rwanda, East Africa and Detroit, Michigan) has demonstrated that hope can be described in the context of three important sub-factors:

  • Interconnectedness;
  • Temporary versus future mindset; and
  • Readiness to change.


With these sub-factors serving as an important working definition of hopefulness, Generation Z is the exemplification of hope in the future. The youth of Generation Z are building coalitions, looking towards the future, and demanding change.


Generation Z seems to intuitively recognize that interconnectedness sparks hope, hope ignites action, and action drives social change.


The youth of Generation Z are demanding solutions to the challenges they face around the world. In turn, these actions are driving change and inspiring hope among those of us who have come to believe that the current circumstances are inevitable.


It is the youth of today who are pushing us all to move from a place of complacency to one of readiness for change. 


Yet hope will only last so long if it is not followed by tangible actions that nourish this hope.


As a society, it is our collective responsibility to support the charge for social change that our young people are so bravely — and hopefully — leading.


How does “work” relate to Generation Z? Hopefulness — described as interconnectedness, readiness for change, and future mindset — infuses Generation Z’s perspective on work.


Interconnectedness is of critical importance to Gen Zers.


Research has shown that the top two most important factors for Generation Z work environments are “supportive leadership” and “positive relationships at work.” 72 percent of Gen Zers want face-to-face communication at work. 70 percent of Gen Zers value curious and open mindsets over specific skill sets. It is this kind of innovation mindset that supports readiness for change, and a focus on the future that comes from hopefulness.


Generation Z serves as a shining light at the end of a dark tunnel that can guide all of us towards a better world.


With great hope in your strength and ability,




Author photograph and cover image used with gratitude for TIP Global Health.


This post comes to you as a portion of the book:

MY JOB Gen Z: Finding Your Place in a Fast-Changing World

(c) 2021 by Suzanne Skees and Sanam Yusuf

An open-source, narrative nonfiction book full of true stories of jobs along with best practices for how to make your dream-job come true.


Note from the authors:

Thanks for joining us for this series of highlights from our new book, that will be FREE to our community members when it publishes next month.

Share with your friends and followers; it’s FREE, open-source, and available to everyone.

No one makes a penny on this book project, which is intended to inspire and empower Gen Zers to launch their careers and land their dream jobs. Suzanne and Sanam have volunteered their time, and we’ve chosen this platform to transmit our book so that YOU don’t have to pay for publication costs.

However, if you feel inspired to help someone in poverty to have access to dignified work, jump here to donate directly to the nonprofit job-creation program of your choice–all vetted and supported by Skees Family Foundation.

Thanks for being with us! We’re excited to share our book with you.

–Suzanne & Sanam

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Suzanne Skees, author of the three-volume MY JOB series on real people in remarkable jobs, believes in the power of our jobs over our identity and wellbeing and, conversely, our ability to change our world with the work of our minds and hands. She lives by the Pacific Ocean and spends as much time as possible listening to the surf, and to silence.



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