Gen X vs. Gen Y (Millenials) Professionals in the Corporate World

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11 Jun

Gen X vs. Gen Y (Millenials) Professionals in the Corporate World

Your typical day in the office, lab, or other worksite involves interacting and communicating with a wide variety of people and personality types. Often times, it is argued that everyone is as unique as a snowflake. This is true, however there are some general trends and patterns in society that have been noted and reported upon.

How does this help you? Having this knowledge improves decision making with how you interact with certain people and thus assists in having a more productive work environment. After all, would you interact the same way with someone that’s 36-51 (Gen-X) years old as you would with someone that’s 16-35 (Millenials) years old? Here at Dharma Home Suites, we think not, and aim to improve not only your corporate trip, but also your work environment!

Characteristics and Perspectives:

Gen X-

  • Other names: Xers, The Doer, Post Boomers, and the 13th Generation
  • Born between 1965-1980
  • Resent the generation before them (Baby Boomers)
  • Nihilistic or cynical
  • Responsible, pragmatic, cunning, and hard to deceive
  • Adaptable, self-reliant, and independent
  • Outcome orientated

So, you might be asking yourself, “How does this help me?” Here’s an example: you’re leaving for a business trip to New York City and want to choose corporate housing rather than a hotel. When you bring up corporate housing to your boss, who’s likely a Gen Xer, you’ll likely gain more favor and respect if you’re straight forward, honest, and present concise facts about benefits vs. drawbacks. You’ll also want to go into the discussion thinking about how his generation is self-reliant and independent. This means that you shouldn’t assume that corporate will cover all your expenses.

Millennials-

  • Other Names: Gen Y, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, Chief Friendship Officers, 24/7’s, and the Peter Pan Generation
  • Born 1981-2000
  • Nurtured Children
  • Orthodox or conventional
  • Tendency to delay adulthood mentality
  • Idealists
  • Problem solvers
  • Tech Savvy
  • First gen with schedules
  • Multi tasking, ambitious, and seek responsibility

More than likely you’ll encounter more Millennials on a day-to-day basis than Gen Xer’s. An example of this information being applied is as follows: You and your younger colleague are on a business trip to Philadelphia to give a presentation. You’re the more experienced out of the two of you but he has some creative ideas and wants to have a major part in the presentation.

Two ways to react are

1) if you don’t like the ideas then give him/her constructive criticism and perhaps some other important responsibilities.

2) Collaborate your experience with his/her creativity and problem solving skills. Collaboration often brings out incredible results.

Priorities and Needs:

Generation X-

  • Problem solving skills
  • Balance, diversity, and informality
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Education and knowledge
  • Results
  • Structure and direction

Millennials-

  • Achievement, confidence, and morality
  • Attention, tolerance, and diversity
  • Competition
  • Technology
  • Teamwork, competence, and innovation
  • Loyalty
  • Responsibility

Attitudes in the Corporate World:

Generation X-

  • Skeptical towards and will test authority
  • Project and goal orientated
  • Prioritize skills over ethics
  • Focus on balance between work and family
  • Work smarter not harder
  • Self reliant
  • Focus on productivity

Millennials-

  • Will both test and seek guidance from authority figures
  • Efficient and hardworking but will go home or leave for a fun activity as soon as the work day is over
  • Motivated to learn new skills and acquire new knowledge
  • Want immediate results (instant gratification driven)
  • Aim for balance between self development, work, life, and community participation
  • Ambitious
  • Multitaskers
  • Tenacious
  • Entrepreneurial

Final Thoughts:

It seems that recently people are playing Gen wars, because generations get stuck with a lot of blame. However, it’s important to see that despite being different people from multiple generations can easily use their personalities and experiences in order to collaborate for better results. For example, a Gen Xer’s attitude of “work smarter, not harder” and a Millenial’s problem solving skills could collaborate very effectively. Ultimately it comes down to communication. For more detailed information on these two generations as well as the baby boomers and traditionalists click here.

From all of us here at Dharma Home Suites, thanks for reading!