Influencers: WWII, the Korean War, the Great Depression, the New Deal, the Rise of Corporations, and the Space Age.
Education: Was more of a dream than a reality
Family: Generally came from the Traditional Nuclear family unit
Values: Hard work and saving for tomorrow was their aim. They valued the family unit and community above all else and were respectful of their elders and authority.
Money: They put money away, paid cash for everything and saved for retirement.
They were raised by survivors (not the reality type, but the real deal) and experienced hard times while growing up. A hard childhood was followed by a time of prosperity.
Motivation: Your experience is respected
Work: Was of the utmost importance to their livelihoods, they believed in working hard, were dedicated to their jobs, got the job done, always on time and punched in and out for the hours required. They worked hard to gain senior positions, where time on the job and working hard resulted in promotions. They believed in long term assignments which gave them job security and stability. Conservative in their outlook on life, they believed in hierarchal work and home structures, with clear chains of command and top down management with job recognition and respect for their experience.
THE BABY BOOMER
Born: Between 1946 and 1964
Age: Between 47 and 65
Education: Seen as a birthright
Influencers: Civil Rights, Space Travel, the Vietnam War, the Sexual Revolution, and the Cold War/Russia.
Family: Came from privileged backgrounds, due to their parents hard work and savings. Long work hours and living to work resulted in an imbalance and the family unit disintegration with the highest divorce rate and 2nd marriages in history.
Values: Value success but also think of themselves as a special generation, due to their radical views and democratic outlook. They have a broad continuity of values with older and younger generations and have a tendency to define the world in terms of the generations. The Baby boomers are post War Babies who grew up to be the radicals of the 70 s and yuppies of the 80 s.
Money: As a group in general, they are the healthiest, most educated and wealthiest generation of that time and grew up with an optimistic outlook for life, their futures and the world as a whole.
They strived for the American Dream, they are well established in their careers and hold positions of power and authority, and as a result they are seen as being greedy, materialistic and ambitious.
Motivation: The strongest motivator for this group is being valued, prestige, perks and their need for money, they define themselves by their professional accomplishments.
Work: Baby boomers live to work, they are loyal to their careers and employer. They have a strong work ethic, are multi taskers and traditionally found their worth in working long hours (they established the 60 hour work week). Working hard gave them the self worth and fulfillment they required.
They established flat organizational structures, democracy, equal opportunity, and creating a more humane, warm and friendly workplace.
Rebellious against convention and tradition due to their conservative parents. Also independent, confident and self reliant with a competitive edge and goal orientation.
Now, the Baby boomers strive for a work life balance with a leaning towards a healthy lifestyle and strong family bonds.
GENERATION X / GEN X / THE DOER / POST BOOMERS / 13th GENERATION
Generation X, brought up by Baby Boomers, technological advancements, changes in politics and the economy, democracy, black and women s rights, and space exploration.
Born: Between 1965 and 1980
Age: Between 31 and 46
Education: Seen as a way to get there
Influencers: Watergate, the energy crisis, Challenger disaster, The fall of the Berlin Wall, Persian Gulf War, AIDS, The Clinton Administration, Reagan Assassination Attempt, dual income families and single parents, first generation of Latchkey Kids, Y2K, the energy crisis, activism, corporate downsizing, the end of the cold war, mom s that work, and an increase in the divorce rate / single parent units. Major influence is the media.
Family: Born after the Baby Boomers. Due to their workaholic Baby Boomer parents, their focus is on a clearer balance between work and family life.
Their perceptions were shaped by growing up having to take care of themselves early, with working mothers, an increase in the divorce rate and single parent units.
Money: They are the first generation that will NOT do as well financially as their parents did.
Values: Their values revolve around life balance, self reliance and diversity, being entrepreneurial, and having fun.
Motivation: They crave independence, ignore leadership, are pragmatic, anti establishment, unimpressed with and will test authority repeatedly.
Work: They are Highly Educated, think globally and are technically literate with high job expectations.
They are independent and informal with the result that they lack organizational loyalty, are cynical, pragmatic and would rather be self employed or be able to move between employers if they so choose.
They take time off to find themselves .
They are highly adaptable, confident, competent, ethical, results focuses, flexible, self starters, willing to take on responsibilities and put in the extra time to get a job done if required and are more results driven than job driven. They work smarter and with greater output.
They are the first day care generation, where women are expected to work outside the home.
This generation value their time, away from work, with their families and time to have fun. They work to live.
GENERATION Y / GEN YER / GENERATION NEXT / MILLENIALS / ECHO BOOMERS / 24x7 s
Generation Y is the money spending generation, having seen economic expansion and experienced the booming economy, money has allowed for travel, gadgets and fun.
Born: Opinions differ, but typically, between years of 1977 and 2000
Age: Between 11 and 34
Education: Seen as an incredible expense but the most educated generation, they will continue to study to enhance themselves in the work environment
Influencers: 9/11 World Trade Center, Pentagon attack, Oklahoma bombings, terrorist attacks, AIDS, Internet access made available, Kids shooting kids, School uniforms, Death of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, Timothy McVeigh execution, Globalization, George W. Bush. Major influencers are Friends, The Simpsons, Media and sports stars.
Family: Comfortable with a looser family structure, single mother / father family units, merged families (step mother or father) and have a new respect for the family unit. They are coddled kids, every child gets a prize even when you come last. Their parents have protected them from all the wrongs / evils of the world, and they are therefore more sheltered than any other generation. They are kept busy, with homework, after school activities and most of these kids have schedules. Their parents as their heroes.
Money: Have grown up in a world that has seen economic expansion. They are eager to spend money and therefore work to indulge in fun and gadgets. They shop around for the best deals and bargains. They are part of the purchasing power of the family and take part in purchasing decisions.
Values: Achievement oriented, loyal, confident, diverse, fun, sociable, techno savvy, spiritual, they want everything now, optimistic, realists, members of a global community, high morals and very tolerant, competitive, like personal attention, street smart, and Individual in their thinking. They value their lifestyle over upward mobility.
Motivation: They value their children, parents and family, they believe they can change the world via technology, they hope to be the next great generation to turn all the wrongs into rights.
Work: Ambitious but not entirely focused. They want a balance between work, life, community involvement and self development / mentoring by managers. They are entrepreneurial, effective, tenacious and good at multi tasking but will be gone at 5pm, they view work as a means to an end and live for the weekends.
They look to the workplace for direction and the achievement of goals. They will test authority but will seek them out when they need guidance and more readily accept older leadership than other generations. They are global and networked, they have grown up in a world with cell phones, computers and the internet, they are always connected. They believe they can work flexibly anytime, anywhere, and that they should be evaluated for their output rather than time in the office. Decrease in career ambition and increase in family time, less travel and less personal pressure. A Me First attitude.
GENERATION Z / NET GENERATION / DREAMER GENERATION / GENERATION I / GENERATION @ / GENERATION 9/11 / 21st CENTURY GENERATION
Relatively little has been established about this generation
Born: Roughly between the years of 1995 2010
Age: Between 1 and 16 they are the youngest generation, have older parents (late 20s to early 30s) and are being taught by older teachers (40s up). The youngest was born during the Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s.
Education: They are the most formally educated generation in history, having started their education early and are projected to stay in education for longer than any other generation. Despite being in day care facilities, many children have structured after school activities, this has reduced free playtime. Parents help out more with homework and are becoming more like advisers to this generation.
These kids know how to multi task effectively and place value on the speed of their work rather than accuracy. They are the most internet savvy, technologically literate generation and have only known life with mobile phones, pc s, the internet, and wireless networks.
Influencers: There major influencers are YouTube, Facebook, My Space, Wikispaces, and User Generated Content. They are too young to remember the September 11th 2001 attacks other than through the media, but are aware of the threat of terrorism.
Family: The parents of Generation Z work part time or are becoming stay at home parents so that their children are raised by family. They have been born into older, wealthier families with fewer siblings, entertainment is provided for them with more technological options.
Money: Compared to the previous generation they are much more consumer oriented. Financially intelligent they make decisions on how to spend their money based on the latest trends and media mania. They are the most financially capable generation in history, having as much purchasing power in the home as Gen Y kids.
Values: Self directed, individualistic, and media mongrels
Motivation: They are motivated by instant gratification, instant connectivity, communication with peers via technology, they are a highly connected generation and do not want to miss out on anything. They have had lifelong use of media technologies such as mobile phones, instant messaging, MP3 players, the www resulting in the nickname digital natives. These connective devices are carried in their pockets with the internet available on mobile phones or iPads; making communication easier and more adaptable to do anywhere, anytime.
Work / School: Described as a generation that lacks ambition due to their parenting and instant gratification, and further described as impatient and instant minded. As their attention span is much lower, with a high dependency on technology, as opposed to reading books and other printed material, there have been references by Psychologists of this generation having Acquired Attention Deficit Disorder .
A materialistic generation, that want more technology at their fingertips. In the next decade they will comprise 10 of our workforce, and they will be entering the workforce in an era of declining supply, more people exiting the workforce than entering it. Resulting in a skills shortage, with an ageing population and a global demand for labor, Gen Z will have a greater chance of finding work.
THE ALPHA GENERATION
Born: 2010 onwards
They are truly the first millennial generation born in the 21st century.
Perhaps knowing the generational traits and personalities you are dealing with will help you understand why they tend to behave the way they do. Of course every generation consists of many different personalities and cultures.
What are your thoughts on generational traits?
Steven is Chief Instigator at http://www.xpatulator.com a website that provides cost of living index information and calculates what you need to earn in a different location to compensate for cost of living, hardship, and exchange rate differences.