Four generational groups make up the current workforce: Baby Boomers and Gen Xers – who hold many leadership and managerial roles, Millennials – the leaders of the future, and Generation Z – who are comparatively new to the job market. With constant narrative in the media surrounding the pros and cons of employing Millennials v Gen Xers, we examine the generational skills you can tap into when applying for your dream role.
If you were born anywhere between the early 60’s and 80’s – you can consider yourself a member of Generation X. Characterised as hard-working and loyal to employers, Gen Xers tend to spend longer with companies than their Millennial counterparts.
According to Met Life, 40% are working in the career they intended when they entered the workforce. Gen Xers tend to be more educated than their parents (Baby Boomers – those born between 1944 and 1964), with well over half completing some form of higher education.
Having lived through technological boom times, Gen Xers tend to be adaptable and confident with new, emerging technologies, and cope well with change and advancement.
When it comes to applying for new jobs, there are several key strengths that those born within Generation X can play to. Gen Xers are notoriously loyal, and need little in the way of hand-holding. Gen Xers are also seen as ‘the middle child’ of the workforce generations, in between Baby Boomers and Millennials, so Gen X job seekers should address their skills in working with both older and younger people in the workplace.
Generation X individuals are also thought to be the most entrepreneurial of the workforce generations, so it is important to show potential employers that this is a skill you are able to bring to the table.
Whilst mentoring is generally considered for younger individuals looking for guidance from older counterparts, there has been an increase in Gen Xers seeking counsel from their Millennial consorts. ‘Reverse Mentoring’ is on the rise, as more of an emphasis is placed on thinking differently and keeping up to date with social media and new technologies.
Although they get a hard time in the press regularly, Millennials – those born anywhere between the mid 80s and early 2000s- do make excellent employees and colleagues. Unlike their Gen X predecessors, Millennials face a tougher job market to break into and aren’t inclined to stay in roles for many, many years at a time.
Although potentially perceived as entitled or unwilling to put in the hard graft, this often isn’t the case, as Millennials are more inclined to build ‘portfolio careers’ in order to showcase what they can do. In an interview, it’s important for Millennial candidates to debunk any negative assumptions, and provide examples of teamwork, and instances where they have gone the extra mile to get the job done.
As a Millennial, finding a mentor can be a really useful tool when it comes to career progression. By finding someone who is able to provide guidance, new ideas and experience, this can help to bridge any gaps between Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. According to recent statistics, over 60% of Gen Xers say they would actively like to offer their skills and expertise in mentoring a Millennial.
At SJ Partnership, we are proud to work with candidates of all ages, offering our skills and experience to ensure that each individual is able to showcase what they can offer to employers at interview. From Baby Boomers to Generation Z, we are well placed to help you to play to your generational strengths.