Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Generation X, Y, Z...
A coworker was jsut asking me & got me looking...
Some of what I found about Generation X: On the whole, they are more ethnically diverse and better educated than the Baby Boomers. Individualistic: Generation X came of age in an era of two-income families, rising divorce rates and a faltering economy. Women were joining the workforce in large numbers, spawning an age of “latch-key” children. As a result, Generation X is independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. In the workplace, Generation X values freedom and responsibility. Many in this generation display a casual disdain for authority and structured work hours. They dislike being micro-managed and embrace a hands-off management philosophy.
Technologically Adept: The Generation X mentality reflects a shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. The first generation to grow up with computers, technology is woven into their lives. As law firms and corporate legal departments integrate new technological tools, Generation X has learned and adapted. This generation is comfortable using PDAs, cellphones, e-mail, laptops, Blackberrys and other technology employed in the legal workplace.
Flexible: Many Gen Xers lived through tough economic times in the 1980s and saw their workaholic parents lose hard-earned positions. Thus, Generation X is less committed to one employer and more willing to change jobs to get ahead than previous generations. They adapt well to change and are tolerant of alternative lifestyles. Generation X is ambitious and eager to learn new skills but want to accomplish things on their own terms.
Value Work/Life Balance: Unlike previous generations, members of Generation X work to live rather than live to work. They appreciate fun in the workplace and espouse a work hard/play hard mentality. Generation X managers often incorporate humor and games into work activities.
What I found on Generation Y:
Tech-Savvy: Generation Y grew up with technology and rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerrys, laptops, cellphones and other gadgets, Generation Y is plugged-in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face-to-face contact and prefers webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations.
Family-Centric: The fast-track has lost much of its appeal for Generation Y who is willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules and a better work/life balance. While older generations may view this attitude as narcissistic or lacking commitment, discipline and drive, Generation Y legal professionals have a different vision of workplace expectations and prioritize family over work.
Achievement-Oriented: Nurtured and pampered by parents who did not want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, Generation Y is confident, ambitious and achievement-oriented. They have high expectations of their employers, seek out new challenges and are not afraid to question authority. Generation Y wants meaningful work and a solid learning curve.
Team-Oriented: As children, Generation Y participated in team sports, play groups and other group activities. They value teamwork and seek the input and affirmation of others. Part of a no-person-left-behind generation, Generation Y is loyal, committed and wants to be included and involved.
Attention-Craving: Generation Y craves attention in the forms of feedback and guidance. They appreciate being kept in the loop and seek frequent praise and reassurance. Generation Y may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their young careers.
Generation Z: What's REALLY strange to think about wtih Generation Z, my 6 year old is part of this generation! I do see some of this in him, though he's not old enough that he's doing everything yet. He does get on Youtube to watch annoying orange videos & he knows what Facebook is, but he's certainly not on it! Generation Z would rather text than talk. They prefer to communicate online — often with friends they have never met. They don’t spend much time outdoors unless adults organize activities for them. They can’t imagine life without cell phones. They have never known a world without technology or terrorism or Columbine. They prefer computers to books and want instant results. They are growing up in an economic depression and are under tremendous pressure to succeed. Mostly they are growing up fast, and exhibiting behavior far beyond their years.
While they may be named for the last letter of the alphabet, they’ll soon be at the forefront of solving the worst environmental, social and economic problems in history. They haven’t received much attention yet — the media have mostly focused on the preceding generation, the Millennials (sometimes referred to as Generation Y), known for their widespread civic involvement and lack of independence compared to previous generations.
Larry Rosen, a professor at CSU Dominguez Hills who teaches a class called Global Impact of Technology, says of Gen Z students, “They are very collaborative and creative. They will change the workplace dramatically in terms of work style and expectations.”
So far, researchers and others who have written about Gen Z have found it difficult to classify the generation precisely. Some generational experts say that they were born as early as 1991, which makes the oldest now 18; others argue the new generation began as late as 2001, making the oldest 8. The discrepancy is based on differing assumptions about start and end points for the preceding generations Y and X and the baby boomers. To avoid confusion, we’ll assume that Gen Z includes young people up to high school seniors.
While there won’t be any consensus soon about where Gen Z begins and ends, most educators agree that today’s kids are extremely different from youngsters of previous generations — and they present new challenges. They are children of Gen X parents, who came of age during the greatest technological leap in history, and they are headed for an even greater leap forward as they come of age this decade. Meet Generation Z.