Today, social networking groups and the workforce are dominated by these three generations – Gen X, Y and Z. Different countries may have their own generational definition based on major cultural, political and economic influences. But just to educate those not in the know, who actually falls in the categories above, here you go:
Gen X, also known as the ‘Baby Bust generation’ are those born in 1965-1979, with Xennials being referred to those specifically from 1975 to 1985. The Millennials (Gen Y and Gen Next) were born in 1980 – 1994, and Gen Z/iGen from 1995 –2012. There are also those in the Baby Boomer generation (born in 1946-1964) who may still be under employment, the oldest in this age group being 75 today.
Now, with a clearer picture in mind as to which generation you belong to, let’s have a quick look at how each one influences, and finds their placing as they job seek.
It may be quite easy to spot a Gen X-er, he/she may be one who is trying to juggle family priorities and work balance, attending to aging parents and most probably children he/she may be raising. Gen X-ers usually would want to seek balance when searching for a job. They would look for one which gives them flexibility in managing priorities and obligations. A Gen X-er must know his/her worth. Play on your strengths and skills, and elaborate on your experiences. Highlight them in your resume, and when you attend interviews. Make known your positive traits. Create that value for your prospective employer. As the middle generation, aim to be the bridge at the workplace, between millennials and older colleagues.
According to surveys, Gen Y is more likely to prioritise benefits from the organisation, such as amount of leave, healthcare benefits, promotion opportunities and career development. They also focus on career development in an organisation, when it comes to choosing a job, which includes overseas training and promotion opportunity. The first batch born in the 80’s to be exposed to digital technology, Gen Ys are those seeking job fulfilment. They are technologically savvy, and termed as the most educated, entertained and materially endowed generation in history. Flexibility to study and travel, whilst having a full-time job has also become a basic expectation of jobseekers in this generation.
Being the generation which probably just started working, or the ‘newbies’ in the workforce, their concern would be a modern working environment, and personal development. Gen Z, sometimes known as the ‘workforce disruptors’, can be a fresh change to the workplace. They bring characteristics and expectations an employer may not have anticipated. Gen Z has never known life without technology. Although strongly connected through technology, this generation craves real-life connections. With most preferring to work independently, they see technology as a tool, and not a toy. Known as the most accepting generation, Gen Z values face-to-face interactions, with social experiences bearing importance to them.
Although job search behaviours among the different generations tend to differ, across all, salary and compensation is still the number one priority, followed by work-life balance, career development and job security.
In the years to come, the employment market would also have to prepare for a new breed – the burgeoning Generation Alpha (2010-2024).