What Generation Are You From?
Imagine yourself walking into an office for an interview. Upon entering the building, a Gen Z (born 1997 – 2014) will greet you. Most of the time they are those who are fresh graduate or in an internship leading you to the office and you will be assisted by a Millennial, (born 1981-1996) with a tattoo stud earrings and ootd outfit, while waiting for your interview, a workaholic baby boomer (born 1946-1964) walks in a designer suit together with his right hand, a Gen X (born 1965-1980) in a corporate looks who facilitates the employees.
Being part of a certain generation doesn’t mean that our birth year defines us but the elements around our generations bind us as together. The division of generations tends to look at the geopolitics, technology, social media, advertisement, economy status, sexuality, educational philosophies and parenting norms that dominated our childhood. These elements creates a great impact by categorizing someone based on the generation group can give you an idea on how to communicate, engage and team up effectively in the workplace.
These as categorization, stem from the larger discipline of demographic and mostly used by market researchers so as the society. In effect, these cue words or phrases for the subcomponents of society demarcated by age are not only useful, but are generally the language used by non-demographers and society as a whole when discussing the current spectrum of population cohorts.
The Silent Generation or traditionalist
Born: 1925-1945 Age in 2018: 73 – 93
The Silent Generation, also known as Traditionalists, tend to be in their 70s, 80s and even 90s. Most Traditionalists are retired, but only few are still working most are largely aging partners, executive level, or senior. This generation had significant opportunities in jobs and education as the War ended and a post-war economic boom struck. In workforce, you may find them disciplined, strong work ethics, loyal, respectful, values tradition but the down side of it, they are not technologically advanced. Members of this group value security, comfort, and familiar, known activities and environments.
Boomers I or the Baby Boomer Generation
Born: 1946-1964 Age in 2018: 54 – 72
Now in their late 50’s to 70’s, this generation is beginning to retire and businesses are grappling with a growing “knowledge gap” and ageing work force. Most of them are in their senior management positions or merely on plan for retirement. In this generation, the characteristics were vastly different. Most baby boomers are independent after growing up during civil rights movement and other social experiment made them self-reliant, Goal oriented, competitive and work-centric. Samples from the first Boomer segment are bounded by the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, the Civil Rights movements and socio-economic wars. Baby boomers had good economic opportunities and largely optimistic about the potential their own lives. Baby Boomers and Jonesers do have a lot in common yet their behavior isn’t.
Boomers II or Generation Jones
Age in 2018: 63-54
“The differences between them have to do, not surprisingly, with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll — and economics and war. “ – NY Times
The teens of this generation faced a deteriorating economy due to the oil embargo of 1979 and also the Watergate scandal which led to loss of trust in government and optimistic views the Boomers I maintained. Members of Gen Jones tend to be more practical and rational in their approach to change. Their childhood years were inspired by positive social change brought on by the Baby Boomers
While Boomers I had Vietnam, Boomers II had AIDS as part of their rites of passage. The youngest members of the Boomer II generation in fact did not have the benefits of the Boomer I class as many of the best jobs, opportunities, housing etc. were taken by the larger and earlier group. Both Gen X and Boomer II s suffer from this long shadow cast by Boomers I.
Age in 2018: 53-38
The neglected middle child, this was the first generation of “latchkey” kids. Most kids of this generation are often left alone or exposed to daycares because both parents are working or worst divorce. Gen X is often characterized by high levels of skepticism, “what’s in it for me” attitudes and a reputation for some of the worst music to ever gain popularity. They adapt well to change and are tolerant of alternative lifestyles. Generation X is ambitious and eager to learn new skills, but they like to accomplish things on their own terms. Gen Xers appreciate the fun in the workplace and espouse a work hard/play hard mentality. They’re increasingly powerful, independent, incredibly driven, and assuming leadership roles that boomers are vacating.
Generation Y, Echo Boomers, Millennials or Millenniums
Born: 1981-1996 Age in 2018: 37-22
Being a product of the boomers’ generation, Millennials are sophisticated; technology wise, immune to most traditional marketing, demands constant feedback and internet is a major factor. As digital natives, Millennials are the most educated generation of workers today. In a workplace, they are always curious, love to seek out personal growth, creative, goal-oriented and family-centric than the other generations. Thus, among the other generations they tend to be the most resilient in navigating change while deepening their appreciation for diversity and inclusion. A potential downside this generation workforce is that they're always looking for something new and better. But if they find a job that they love Millennials will not only work tirelessly but will go beyond their capacity.
Generation Z or iGen or Post Millennial
Born: 1997 - 2014 Age in 2018: 21-6
One thing for sure, they would be the most competent of any generation right now. This highly diverse environment will make the grade schools of the next generation the most diverse ever. Growing up with mobile phones in their hands higher levels of technology will make significant inroads in academics allowing for customized instruction, data mining of student histories to enable pinpoint diagnostics and remediation or accelerated achievement opportunities. Gen Z kids will grow up with a highly sophisticated media and computer environment and will be more Internet savvy and expert than their Gen Y forerunners.
Born: 2014 - today Age in 2018: 4-0
Alpha kids even as a baby, they have iPads in hand, screaming out for wifi than papa or mama. As they grow more, Technology is attached to them never live without a smartphone, social media, high tech gadgets and going to be a tech wiz at the age of 3. Well, let’s see what the future holds.
These gaps have distinct impacts on employee engagement. Though, Generations are often considered by their span but there is no agreed upon formula for how long that span should be. So, although generational labels are not always precise, it is very clear that cultures change over time, and that those changes have an effect on people but their boundaries are not arbitrary. For sure we look forward to spending the next few years studying the latest updates on generations. All the while, we’ll keep in mind that generations are a lens through which to understand societal change, rather than a label with which to oversimplify differences between groups
Share this article on LinkedIn
Visit our Social Media Channels