Make Way for Generation Z
I recall the exact moment the temperature changed in the workplace. It was 2005, and I was speaking to an audience of 100 young professionals. I was relating my experiences building a career as a Gen Xer (born 1964–79) in a world of traditionalists (born before 1945) and baby boomers (born 1946–63).
Every time I threw out phrases like “paying your dues” and “playing the game,” the audience stared at me blankly. This was not the reaction I had come to expect from early twentysomethings. Usually they took notes on how they could get ahead in corporate America as quickly as possible.
I would soon learn, however, that the millennial generation (also known as Generation Y, born after 1980), had come on the scene. Generally speaking, these guys didn’t like my advice about coping with bureaucracy and office politics. It seemed to me that some of them didn’t want to grow up, but at the same time they felt they deserved to do meaningful work right away. Many were not afraid to speak their minds and made it clear they wanted to change the status quo. And at 80 million strong, they had the numbers to do it.