(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.

This list of reasons why Generation Z would enjoy a career in promotional products (and the 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 five reasons someone from Generation Z would enjoy a career in promotional products.

  1. Promo cares about sustainability.

Most people, even those in the business, have experienced receiving a promotional product only to throw it away sometime after. Because of this, promo is often seen as wasteful. This is where Gen Z can help.

This is a trendsetting generation, and promotional products need to follow the trends of the time. Otherwise, they are more likely to meet an untimely end. Gen Z can be a thoughtful, sustainability-minded voice in the creation and design of products they would want to keep and use, which could help prevent the wasteful stigma the industry is sometimes unfortunately known for, opening up interest to a wider range of consumers.

Beyond issues that need fixing, the promotional products industry has surprised me in how conscious it is when it comes to sustainability.

Many companies are making huge strides in creating more sustainable products from using recycled materials to drawing on clean energy to power their facilities. Many companies are certified B Corps. These signs of sustainability are major draws for Gen Z, because we want our places of employment to reflect our values.

  1. Promotional products companies are value-driven.

Similar to the sustainability efforts, I was thrilled to see the push for diversity and equity within the industry and to learn about the positive culture at promotional products companies.

While working on the PPAI 100 project to rank the industry’s leading companies, I became familiar with many of their social media accounts. It was so pleasing to find posts about diversity, sustainability, community outreach and employee wellness in their feeds.

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People from Generation Z are very passionate about our values, and we want to work where those values will be reflected. Continuing to be transparent about your company’s values on social media and company sites will help attract Generation Z employees.

Additionally, by being part of companies with similar values, Gen Z employees can help promote brands we care about. In the age of social media activism, Gen Z is no stranger to spreading the word about causes we support. Doing the work of making promotional products on behalf of brands and organizations is similar. Promo companies should not be shy to show which brands they’ve worked for and what their values are.

This could attract Gen Z employees who like those brands and want to help them in a unique and effective way.

  1. The industry has room for innovation.

From the stories I’ve heard, promo is always evolving and constantly searching for new ways to improve in its technology approach and many other areas. I believe that Gen Z can inspire real change in the industry.

With a vast knowledge of trends and a passion for making the world a better place, Gen Z is equipped with the skills to change the industry for the better. Companies are actively seeking the input of younger people, opening many doors for us to get a start in the industry.

When I was hired, one of the major goals was for me to bring a younger person’s opinion to the table. I have felt like my voice is valued and heard, which is important to me and to many of my friends and classmates. Promo leaders: Don’t be afraid to advertise that you want the input of young people. This will help you find individuals who want to innovate and have a seat at the table.

  1. Working in promo creates opportunities for connection.

I was surprised to find how closely tied the promotional products industry is to other industries that are major client bases for promo companies, from fashion, to entertainment, sports and hospitality.

These intersections make working in the industry fun for people with all different interests, whether you are a huge football fan or a fashionista.

Beyond interests, there are also a lot of different types of jobs in the industry. You can pursue a creative design path, a sales path that makes the sky the limit for one’s earning potential, or a business-oriented path that focuses on leadership.

There is much more to the promotional products industry than what meets the eye, and there is something for everyone, which is unique and exciting.

  1. We like getting cool stuff, too!

Everyone loves getting free stuff, regardless of their age.

As a generation that went through the economic turmoil of the pandemic and is now entering the workforce, access to promotional products samples is a huge bonus.

Getting to have a say in the kind of products you create and distribute should be a major drawing point for Generation Z.

       READ MORE: 3 Generation Z Concerns That Promotional Products Companies Must Overcome