For the past decade or so, baby boomers, Gen Xers, and just about anyone writing about business or social trends has enjoyed getting to capitalize on the impending arrival of the millennial generation.
Depending on who you ask, millennials are born somewhere between the 1980s and the early 2000s, they grew up with technological access, and have both annoying and amazing qualities like a sense of entitlement, familiarity with technology, limited coping skills, and a desire to do social good.
But now that we’re nearing the end of 2017, the next demographic cohort—generation Z—is starting to enter adulthood. The generation is still a tenuous one, but it’s distinct from the millennial generation, and demographers estimate its beginning sometime between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. By that definition, the earliest members of generation Z are already graduating from college and entering the workforce.
So should millennials, who currently dominate the workforce, start preparing for the new generation?
First, it’s important to know how generation Z is similar to—but distinct from millennials. Generation Z bears many similarities to the millennial generation:
How Generation Z Differs
However, generation Z has some very distinct philosophies, needs, and approaches:
Should Millennials Prepare?
So do millennials need to prepare for the onset of generation Z? As always, there are massive gray areas:
Generation Z will be an interesting one to see develop, but we’re too early in the game to make any definitive statements about these workers as they enter the workforce. Still, it pays to observe these generational traits as they continue to emerge, and adjust your approach in business to accommodate the most diverse range of employees, partners, and clients.
By Larry Alton
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