Toronto Star, January 13, 2012
No one talks about the Generation Gap anymore. Kids like being with their Boomer parents. But the two generations don’t always fare so well in the workplace.
Boomers think people entering the workplace today have grandiose expectations and a level of confidence that is bizarre, given their lack of maturity and experience,” writes Jim Finkelstein, author of Fuse, Making Sense of the New Co-generational Workplace.
Boomers think their young colleagues are self-centered and high-maintenance.
“They are loud, pierced, entitled, and unapologetic,” Finkelstein writes.
They are also creative, productive, efficient and tech-savvy. They not only think outside the box, they don’t even know there is a box.
Finkelstein calls them the Millennials – the iGeneration, Generation Y, the Gamers, the Digital Natives – the wired generation born between 1980 and 1995.
“Each generation is different from the ones before it, because environment shapes individual and group behaviour,” writes Finkelstein, CEO of the advisory firm FutureSense Inc.
The defining environmental factor for the Millennials is of course, technology.
“Technology is a universal language to them, part Esperanto, part mathematics, and part sign language. Millennials are adept at all things technological. They have learned how to think like designers and programmers by being constant users,” says Finkelstein.