I am fascinated when it comes to learning about different generations because knowing their history will make me understand certain behaviors and nuances and how they will continue to affect the society they live in. As we know GenY, commonly known as “the Millennials” (born 1977 to 1995), are dominating the market from jobs to consumer goods; although a new generation is coming out called the GenZ or iGen or Centennials (born 1996 to present).
These 2 generations are dominating the job market either by getting the job because of their modern technology expertise or by bringing jobs as entrepreneurs. Their innovative spirit and active imagination make them more and more attractive to hiring managers.
Knowing this, how will the older generations fit with the new breed of talents and still provide a significant contribution? If you notice I did not use the word “compete” and instead used the word “fit” because statistics show that older generations will only lose if we start competing. The word “fit” makes a world of difference to both Baby Boomers and GenXers, by taking out the pressure of showing who’s better and instead brings the significance of each generation and how they can work cohesively with one another.
In my research I’ve learned that the events that each generation experiences shapes who they are not just personally but professionally, if each generation brings in their unique expertise and skills then a winning team has been created.
Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) have the largest voting population, some of the most significant part of their history is the emergence of some of the most influential leaders such as John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X. Unfortunately these 3 remarkable leaders were also assassinated, with both JFK and MLK’s assassinations televised. This generation endured the worst political scandal, Watergate, but also enjoyed booming post war economic success. Baby Boomers will always be known as the generation who can re-surface after a fall and will work hard to ensure that the generation to come will not experience the sufferings they faced.
GenX (born 1965 to 1976) this generation is also known as the “lost generation” “slackers”, “the latchkey kids”, “the middle-child generation”. They are mainly known for being neglected or ignored. One might ask who the heck are they? They are the generation who has seen the highest divorce rate and the rise of the AIDS epidemic. One significant event that this generation experienced was that on July 20 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon manned by 3 astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. This generation saw that nothing is impossible when your vision is larger than life. GenXers produced the likes of Elon Musk of Tesla Motors; Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google; Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO; Sheryl Sandberg CFO of Facebook; and JayZ well…does he need any more introduction?
How will these 2 generations fit and work with GenY and Gen Z? Baby Boomers have the resilience of a bamboo, they’ve seen and experienced how hard life can be and their wisdom will be a great contribution to the emerging generation. GenX can no longer be called lost, they found their way and have shown the world that they are great leaders and mentors.
As long as we stay relevant to what the world needs rather than with what is merely trendy, it does not matter what generation we come from. What truly matters is what we can provide for the next generation to continue help make the world a better place.