There are actually four generations represented in today’s workplace: Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, who have taken over many senior leadership roles, Millennials, whose younger members will be the next generation of managers, and Gen Z, who is just entering.
Having said that, Gen X and Millennials are the two biggest generations in the workplace right now and that is what we will discuss today. What can they teach each other to capitalize on their collective strengths? I am part of the Generation X group, but I have totally adapted a Millennial mentality/lifestyle. Here are a couple of fun facts about both groups.
Generation X –
- Generation X, or Gen X, is the name given to the generation of Americans born between 1965 and 1984.
- In terms of size, Gen X numbers around 50 million
- Generation X’s earnings power and savings were compromised first by the dot.com bust and second by the financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession
- The generation born between 1992 and 2004
- Because of Millennials’ affinity for social media, some companies are also seeing an opportunity to build a deeper, two-way relationship with their clientele
- Millennials are perhaps the most diverse generation in American history
- With more than 80 million members, the Millennial generation represents a key consumer segment – Investopedia
A common misconception is that Millennials want it all; the power, the title, the high salary…. right now! Often times they take opportunity after opportunity. I believe this misconception comes from the fact that they are anxious about the future. Keep in mind they have more debt and a higher cost of living than their parents did at the same age. They are also looking for a more satisfying position:… If they are going to get paid less, shouldn’t they at least be happy in the job? 🤷🏾♀️
In contrast, Gen X did come into the workforce with desktop computers. Many times moving laterally to find more meaningful work. They value communication and even social media almost as much as Millennials do. They also highly value individual achievement and can understand Millennials’ desire for personal and professional growth opportunities. They are at the age and have the experience level that puts them in demand, so this would be a great opportunity for both groups.
Both groups can work together to help our community. Millennials will take care of the Generation X and Y, and any Baby Boomers out there. Continue to encourage the younger generation, regardless if you understand their process. The world is forever evolving and in order to make it work, we have to demonstrate teamwork.