In this episode, Marc lays out the framework for the next episode or two, and gives a description of each adult generation in America, and their places in today’s workplace.
[2:04] Marc welcomes you to Episode 111 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Please take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you free of charge.
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[2:54] In this week’s podcast, Marc will start a short series of episodes based on his Multi-generational Workplace Workshop. Marc will deliver this workshop on March 7th for the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange. Marc has been updating and republishing his blog series on the multi-generational workplace, first published in 2012 or 2013.
[3:31] The premise is that each generation, from The Greatest Generation all the way through Gen Y, has some shared characteristics, based on when they grew up. These generations are not homogeneous; they vary.
[3:43] Marc will take you through why each generation does what they do. Marc will introduce a concept called “Generational Echo Effects.” As we grow up and leave home, we tend to do one of two things: we either do what our parents told us to do or the exact opposite. So, we ping-pong our behaviors between generations. Listen for examples!
[4:15] Marc introduces the Multi-generational Workplace “Why Can’t We Just Get Along?” Workshop. Please find handouts at CareerPivot.com/Multigen. The handouts are optional; there is a useful chart Marc will use — the U.S. birth rate per thousand.
[4:52] There are five generations in the workplace today. Marc will describe each generation in multiple ways: events they experienced or didn’t experience, their technology, how they communicate, how they learn, who were their parents, and which presidents came from each generation.
[5:41] As an example of a generational difference, Marc asks ‘How did we research the question, ‘What’s the capital of Madagascar?’”
[5:48] Marc will look at the parents of each generation and the presidents that came from each generation.
[6:04] The Greatest Generation (G.I. Generation), born between 1900 and 1924, were the parents of Baby Boomers. The Greatest Generation has their fingerprints all over big business. Many of the mission and value statements of the biggest companies, such as Ford, GM, and IBM, were created by the Greatest Generation, or even earlier.
[6:44] Marc will take you through some highlights from the U.S. birth rate chart of how each generation is really very different.
[6:55] The Greatest Generation, was a very large generation. Birth rates up to that time were very high. The Greatest Generation was over 90% White. The Silent Generation, born from 1925 to 1945, is a very small generation because birth rates plummeted during the Great Depression and World War II.
[7:39] The small size of the Silent Generation has an echo effect on their children’s generation, which is mostly Gen X. The Silent Generation (also 90%-plus White) had very high levels of alcoholism and of divorce. This is also echoed in Gen X.
[8:02] Then come Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. This was a very large generation. This generation is about 80% White, due to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which eliminated quotas that favored Northern European immigrants, and the end of the Bracero Program for agricultural workers, in 1964.
[9:08] The Bracero Program was ended because of abuse by business. At the end of the program, however, many of the workers did not return to Mexico.
[9:41] Baby Boomers are shifting, with a lot of Asians having joined them since 1965.
[9:51] The next generation is Gen X, a very small generation. Their parents, the Silent Generation was a very small generation. Gen X is also small because of a technology change in 1965. Marc will cover that change later. Gen X is about 65% White.
[10:30] Gen Y (The Millennials) is a big generation because they are the children of the Baby Boomers.
[10:41] The Silent Generation was about 50 million people. Baby Boomers were 79 million. Gen X born here is about 45 to 55 million; the Census Bureau shows Gen X as 75 to 80 million, with immigration. Gen Y is a very large generation at 80 million-plus. Gen Y is about 50% White. In border states, it is under 50% White.
[11:24] Donald Trump, at the beginning of the Baby Boom generation grew up under very different conditions than Gen Y. Gen Z will be the first generation where Whites are a minority.
[11:54] Marc steps through the five generations. The Greatest Generation largely grew up through the Depression. Every male of this generation probably served in the military or some type of public service in WWII. They understood deprivation. They believed in big government.
[12:39] This generation knew how to save. They largely created what we had in the post-WWII boom.
[12:54] The Silent or Traditionalist Generation, born between 1925 and 1945, is a very small generation. Birth rates plummeted during that time. The name “Silent Generation” came from a 1951 Time Magazine article saying they were very quiet. However, stepping into the late 1950s, they raised their voices.
[13:33] Favorite Rock and Roll stars of the 1950s and 1960s include Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, who all came from the Silent Generation. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Bobby Kennedy, and civil rights activists came from the Silent Generation. Vietnam War protests were led by the Silent Generation.
[14:23] The Silent generation produced no presidents. Every president from JFK to George Bush Sr. was of the Greatest Generation. The Silent Generation had a very high level of alcoholism and a very high level of divorce. A technology change, called “the pill,” which came out in the 1960s, caused divorce rates to soar.
[15:04] This generation didn’t look like the G.I. Generation. It was a very small group.
[15:17] Next come the Baby Boomers or those of us in the second half of life. Our generation is very, very large and we changed everything because of our size. As we exit the workforce, we don’t like leaving. We are used to being in control. We are the opposite of our parents.
[15:52] Our parents, the Greatest Generation, liked big government. Our generation, the Baby Boomers, after Vietnam and Watergate, do not trust government at all. Our parents saved money. Our generation spent money. There was a very important technology change in 1969 that Marc will cover later.
[16:32] Gen X, born from 1965 to 1982, had a relatively peaceful time growing up. There was no Vietnam or Watergate to protest. There were no catalytic events that brought them together, and they often don’t identify with a generation. This generation is very small. They are the opposite of their parents.
[17:35] Their parents had a very high rate of divorce; Gen X has a very low divorce rate. Why? Because they don’t get married. Half of this generation grew up in single-parent households. They were the latchkey kids. This was due to a technology change in 1965 that Marc will cover later.
[18:11] This generation looks very different from Baby Boomers, is very small, and mostly delay marriage or do not marry because their parents were divorced and they don’t want to go through the same thing.
[19:11] Gen Y or the Millennials, born between 1983 and 2000 (approximately), largely are connected electronically. Marc uses his son, born in 1984, as an example. When he went to college in 2002, he was given a laptop. There was no Wifi, but with a cable, he could walk around the University of Dayton campus and plug in anywhere.
[19:47] When he was in middle school, doing research on Bob Dole vs. Bill Clinton, Marc helped him research and they found everything online. This is a generation that has grown up connected. This will be even more true with Gen Z. Gen Y wasn’t required to memorize everything.
[20:22] Gen Y learns things starkly differently than Baby Boomers. Marc gives an example of researching. A Gen Y person doesn’t remember the facts they “Google” because they don’t have to. Marc does because he learned to remember things. In school, Marc had to memorize state capitals. Kids today just look them up.
[21:45] By the way, that really annoys Baby Boomers!
[21:49] Those are the five generations in the workplace, today. By 2025, Gen Y will be the majority. Baby Boomers and Gen X will be the minority. Today, Baby Boomers and Gen Y are equally split, while Gen X is the smallest group. There aren’t enough Gen Xers to fill Baby Boomers’ shoes.
[22:28] Marc hopes this has given you a good framework for where he is going in the next one or two episodes of the Repurpose your Career podcast. He will explain how each generation is different, how they are the same, and why they are the way they are.
[22:53] In Marc’s Communications blog post, Marc said, if he wants someone to listen to him, he has to adapt to them. For many Boomers, when they deal with “these kids,” the Gen Y, Boomers don’t want to adapt. Boomers want Gen Y to behave like them. They don’t — because that’s the way we made them!
[23:31] Please look for next week’s episode, where Marc will cover the Greatest, the Silent, and maybe the Baby Boom Generations. Marc thanks you for listening to this episode and he hopes you enjoyed it. The following week Marc will cover Gen X and Gen Y — why they likely do not get along and why Boomers misperceive Gen Y.
[24:04] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc has formed a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback.
[24:17] Marc has already released the opening chapter to the release team. You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.
[24:30] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release versions of chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is for you to provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released.
[24:46] Marc and Susan are adding about eight new chapters to the book and re-writing several others. Marc will release a new pre-release chapter on the podcast and to the team every four to six weeks in the coming months.
[25:06] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently soliciting members for the next cohort.
[25:17] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, so Marc can interview you, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.
[25:31] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with special content. More importantly, it will be a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.
[25:55] Marc shares an example of what happens in the community. One of the members was offered a lower-level position at a company where she was applying for a different job. She asked for opinions and four or five members shared applicable experiences and advice with her.
[26:23] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you listen to this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.
[26:46] Please come back next week, when Marc will continue in this series, discussing the Greatest, Silent, and Baby Boomer Generations.
[26:56] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[27:00] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-111.
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