(Editor’s Note: PPAI Media intern editorial assistant Hanna Brookshire is a sophomore studying theatre at Texas Christian University.)

There are so many reasons why Generation Z talent is needed in the promotional products industry. But more importantly, there are just as many reasons they are meant to thrive in it. The only boundary is getting the word out and overcoming the misconceptions.

My list of reasons why Generation Z would enjoy a career in promotional products (and this alternative list of our concerns) are simply what I have gathered in my time with PPAI Media. Generation Z is an incredibly diverse generation, so my opinion is just one out of many. But, in my time at PPAI and learning about the promotional products industry, I have found so many ways I can help make an impact. There are millions of people like me ready for that chance.

Here are three Generation Z concerns that promo companies must overcome.

  1. Promotional products have a reputation for being wasteful.

While the efforts to practice sustainability within the promotional products industry are massive, companies lose control of what happens to their products once they are given to end-users.

At the end of the day, most products will eventually be thrown away, no matter what promo companies do. This can be said of many industries, but promotional products unfortunately have a particularly bad wrap.

The goal of any promo company is to create meaningful and useful products. So, rather than focusing on negativity, companies must share their efforts to create products as sustainably as possible. There is a lot of room for new ideas and perspectives to make this happen, and Generation Z is full of ideas.

Gen Z is very concerned about the future of the planet. Our interest allows us to work harder to create sustainable solutions. Despite the concerns I had about sustainability when I entered this industry, I am glad I can spread awareness after helping to create meaningful sustainable solutions.

  1. Entering the industry comes with a learning curve.

When I first started working at PPAI, I had a very loose idea of what the promotional product industry entailed, much less all the terminology. It was a little overwhelming diving headfirst into a land of suppliers, distributors, and imprint methods.

It might be intimidating for some in Generation Z to discover the ins and outs of this industry, but with the proper training, it is not so scary. I was given the opportunity to become a Trained Advertising Specialist (TAS) when I started working at PPAI, and it was incredibly helpful. Not only did I learn all the terminology, but I also learned about the history of the industry and how its supply chain works.

Offering TAS training is incredibly helpful for new hires regardless of their generation and will ensure Generation Z employees have a firm foundation before they begin innovating.

  1. Change doesn’t happen overnight.

It is misleading to assume that, because of their creativity and fresh eyes, Gen Z employees can come in, wave a magic wand and make the industry or any company perfect. As with any company or market, there are limits at every turn: budgets, client demands, tech inefficiencies, time and more.

There is never a magic solution to all our problems, so employers and young employees must keep that in mind when applying and hiring.

Some Gen Z individuals may want to be instantly revolutionary, but for others, slower yet meaningful change is enough. And it's possible. Promo leaders need to be honest about how much change is possible in a company. Don’t advertise the ability to change the world only to give room for too minute adjustments.

Generation Z values honesty so don’t mislead us on our ability to make an impact.

       READ MORE: 5 Reasons Generation Z Would Enjoy A Career In Promotional Products