Episode #113 – Marc presents Part 3 of a new short series based on the Career Pivot Multi-generational Workplace Workshop.
In this episode, Marc covers Gen X and Gen Y, the events and technologies that shaped them, the differences between them, and why we need to adapt our method of communication to them.
[1:29] Marc welcomes you to Episode 113 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. CareerPivot.com brings you this podcast; it 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.
[2:01] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The more people Marc can reach, the more he can help.
[2:23] Next week, Marc will have an interview with Karen Wickre, the author of Taking the Work out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count.
[2:36] In this week’s podcast, Marc completes a short series of episodes based on his Multi-generational Workplace Workshop. Marc will deliver this workshop on March 7th at the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange and it was suggested to him to get this on the podcast.
Now on to the podcast…
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[2:50] If you have not listened to the first two episodes in this series, Marc suggests that you stop this podcast and listen to the first two episodes, first. Those are episodes 111 and 112.
[3:02] Find the handouts that accompany this episode at Careerpivot.com/Multigen.
[3:18] Marc welcomes you to Part 3 of the Multi-generational Workplace podcast episodes. In this episode, Marc will finish up with Generation X and Generation Y.
[3:40] There were a set of changes that occurred in the mid-1960s that set up all the problems we are having today with immigration and the changes to the racial makeup of the work population.
[4:14] In 1964, the Bracero Program for agricultural workers was ended. It was started in 1942 to provide men to work in agriculture while American men were at war. As the war ended and men came back, a couple of things happened. The G.I. Bill provided college for many; others, after seeing the world, didn’t want to return to work on a farm.
[5:38] Corporations and farms that hired migrants housed them in poor conditions and paid them poorly. Because of this abuse, the government ended the Bracero Program in 1964. The need for agricultural workers didn’t end. Until 9/11, 90% of undocumented or illegal migrant workers were men. After 9/11, the U.S. tightened the border.
[6:30] With the border tightened, it was no longer easy to cross the border back and forth. So the men brought their families across with them and stayed. Our policy at the border is still on apprehending single men, as opposed to families.
[7:09] The 1965 Immigration Act also played a role. Because the Silent Generation was so small, there was a great need to allow more educated people to enter the U.S. We went from a quota system to a family-based system, targeted toward educated Asians.
[7:45] In 2017, when Marc’s wife went into the hospital, she saw seven doctors in one day. One of them was Caucasian. Six were Asian of Generation X. This demographic shift is largely due to the changes in immigration policy.
[8:17] In 1965, the pill was introduced. The pill had dramatic effects on Generation X and forced divorce rates up in the Silent Generation. It changed the dynamics of our population. Worldwide, the more education women have, the fewer children they have, and the later they have them.
[8:54] With Generation X, birth rates are at an all-time low. There will be fewer people alive in the workforce to pay their Social Security benefits.
[9:17] Generation X is a tiny generation, primarily due to the fact that their parents, the Silent Generation, was a very small generation, and due to the pill. Birth rates after the introduction of the pill were not very high.
[9:47] Many people of the ages of Generation X do not categorize themselves as being Generation X. Why not? Mainly because there were no catalyzing events as they grew, to bring them together as a group. It was a time of peace and general prosperity. The Challenger explosion and the Persian Gulf War didn’t change anything for them.
[10:42] Generation X is the generation that has the least amount of group identification.
[10:53] What was the technology that affected Generation X the most? Marc suggests you pause the podcast and think about it.
[11:09] Home computers — like the Apple II and the IBM PC — came out. Computer technology had a tremendous impact on Generation X.
[11:46] How did Generation X communicate after they left home? Marc suggests you pause the podcast and think about it.
[12:00] This is the first generation who had electronic communication, including email, and chat networks, like CompuServe and Prodigy services. They still use the phone but they started the shift back to written communications.
[12:32] The Greatest Generation wrote letters. The Silent Generation were the first to use long-distance calling. Baby Boomers like to talk. As we move through Generation X, the communication goes back to written.
[12:55] How did Generation X research the question, “What is the capital of Madagascar?” Marc invites you to pause the podcast and think about it.
[13:10] Generation X still had to go home and might use a paper encyclopedia, or more likely look it up on Encarta CD or online, using their PC. This is the first generation that had access to online or computerized information.
[13:40] This generation has not yet produced a president. There were three Generation X candidates in 2016. Marc invites you to pause the podcast and think which candidates were from Generation X.
[14:13] Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, and Marco Rubio were all Generation X candidates. What did they have in common? They all come from immigrant parents.
[14:29] Besides being small, Generation X is the least Caucasian generation and the most immigrant population generation, up to this point.
[15:24] The demographics of Generation X and Generation Y shift dramatically. Who are their parents? The Silent Generation, and to a lesser extent, Baby Boomers. In an echo effect, Generation X has very low divorce rates — because they don’t get married or they get married much later.
[16:08] Half of Generation X grew up in single-parent homes. Their parents divorced like crazy and this generation doesn’t want to go through that again. Many people you know between 35 and early-to-mid fifties will be from a single-parent household.
[16:37] Generation X has children much later. This will show up in Generation Z, the children of most Gen Xers, which Marc will have to add into this workshop presentation.
[16:55] Generation Y, or Millennials, were born between 1982 to 2000. The most impactful event was 9/11. They don’t remember travel when it was easy. The 9/11 disaster threw a lot of instability into their lives. The Great Recession also greatly affected this generation. Marc’s son graduated from college in 2006 and got a job.
[18:10] Those who graduated from college in between 2007 and 2012 were greatly harmed by the Great Recession. They could not find good jobs.
[18:26] What technology affected Generation Y? Marc invites you to pause the podcast and consider.
[18:40] The smartphone and personal communications are the technologies that most affected Generation Y. As a junior in high school, Marc’s son had a cell phone with a 60-minute plan. In college, before Wi-Fi, Marc’s son could take a cable and plug in his laptop anywhere on campus to access the Internet through Ethernet.
[19:20] Generation Y was the first generation that was completely connected. Gen Y are used to having instantaneous communications and access to information.
[19:40] Marc recently updated a blog post on “The Ubiquitous Access to Information and a Generational Rift. Generation Y doesn’t have to memorize anything, and because of ubiquitous access to information, they may not pay attention.
[20:04] When Generation Y left home, how did they communicate? Marc invites you to pause the podcast and consider.
[20:18] They text! It’s a kind of written communication. If you want to communicate with a Millennial, text them. They won’t answer the phone or listen to your voice message. Don’t leave them voicemail! Marc also prefers to receive texts, because people get to the point with fewer words.
[21:20] Text is a kind of written communication, but texting actually hurts the Millennials because their writing skills are not all that good. Marc has a friend that used to teach in the PR department at Texas State. Marc pointed some nonprofit organizations there to have some communications done, but the quality of the writing was bad.
[22:11] In email communications among Millennials, spelling errors are common.
[22:18] How did Generation Y research the question, “What is the capital of Madagascar?” Marc invites you to pause the podcast and think about it.
[22:30] Easy — when Gen Y researches, they Google it! Marc refers again to his blog post. The lack of memorization skills hurts Gen Y if they are in customer service, where they need to know people’s names, or if they don’t remember incidents that could teach them things. It’s a very different world today.
[23:04] This group was raised to be good team players. Baby Boomers were raised to be strong individuals. We raised our children to play well on a team. They are not necessarily good in isolation. Everything they did in school was around groups. They are “pack animals.” They like collaboration. They like to be involved in work decisions.
[24:12] They do not like when a decision affecting them comes out from behind a door. They want to know, at least, the process and to be informed. Why? Because that’s what we told them. We Baby Boomers are their parents. They are the opposite of us and we made them that way. Everyone got a blue ribbon/trophy!
[24:53] Millennials created Facebook. This generation is the opposite of us. We look at them like they are us, but they are not. Marc refers you to an infographic in his handout on how Millennials perceive themselves and how HR professionals perceive Millennials. Marc describes the big differences in perception.
[26:06] Most Millennials are not tech savvy. They are great consumers of technology,
[26:27] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Marc hopes you have a better understanding of the cultural and demographic shifts that are occurring and why. His workshop mantra is: “If I want you to listen to me, I have to adapt to you — not the other way around.” In workplace communications, we all have to adapt to one another.
[26:58] 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.
[27:12] Marc has already released the first chapter to the release team and he is working on releasing the second chapter. You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.
[27:27] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release versions of the 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.
[27:41] 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 this podcast and to the team every four to six weeks in the coming months.
[28:02] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for the almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc will be soliciting members in the coming weeks for the next cohort.
[28:19] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.
[28:35] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it will be a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.
[28:59] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.
[29:29] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Karen Wickre, the author of Taking the Work out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count.
[29:41] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
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Many people would say that the Gen X generation starts with people born in the early 1960s. Demographers and marketers might say it begins in 1964, but people born in the early 1960s identify culturally more with Gen X than with boomers. So, who is the first Gen X president? Barack Obama!
Marc Miller says
I can see your point in that Obama grew up in a single parent household, which is typical Gen X. At the same time, those born in early 1960s experienced Watergate it’s ramifications. Those born at the fringes of each generation can and will demonstrate traits of both generational shifts.
Thanks for pointing that out.