The showdown between Baby Boomers and Millennials has begun. Over the last few years, the Boomers and Millennials have been in Round 1 of a boxing match. Boomers are set to retire in high numbers, while Millennials are entering the workforce in record numbers. It looks likes Round 2 will be more like a UFC style fight. I promise, it doesn’t have to be.
I’m a Millennial by most definitions. I am a product of a Boomer father and Gen X mother. I also spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who all were within the Silent Generation. I cannot count the number of “kids these days” comments I’ve heard in my life. Personally, I think each generation says that about the next. It’s a rite of passage.
So here we are. Boomers were the biggest generation to date. Now we are at the crossroads of a busy intersection of Boomers, Gen Xers, and now Millennials. What can we do? Identifying some differences can help us understand what is coming.
By 2025, estimates show that 75% of the entire workforce will be Millennials. That means that a lot will most likely change over the next decade. What is crazy is the way that Millennials put their heart and soul into work. If they believe in the “why”, they will dedicate everything to it.
Contrast with Boomers who simply worked to live, the Millennials find their value is in contributing to causes greater than just them. Things will most likely become consumer-centric and focus around what is best for the customer mentality. Millennials aren’t better, their different.
In my chart below, I have grouped characteristics of Boomers and Millennials by Values, Attributes, and Work Style. The text in blue shows commonality between the two generations. Since opposites attract, maybe Millennials and Boomers are too much alike, hence the turmoil.
|Anything is possible||Anything is possible|
|Equal Rights||Diversity centric|
|Loyalty||Loyal to ideas and causes|
|Personal Gratification||Instant Gratification|
|Question Everything||Question the why of everything|
|Trust no one over 30||Trust no one|
|Want to “make a difference”||Has to “make a difference”|
|Dedicated||Hard working, will leave|
|Focus on individual choices||Focus on team collaboration|
|Adaptive to diverse workplace||Accept diversity|
|Positive attitude||Untrusting attitude|
|Avoid conflict||Conflict starts discussions|
|Work is definition of self||Work is expression of self|
|Traditional work life||Flexible work life|
|Passive involvement||Active involvement|
Question: What preparations are you making for the Millennial invasion? You can leave a comment by clicking here.