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It’s a Generation Thing

Veterans, Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers and Nexters…there we have it the listing of the varying generations that make up this world. Plenty of studies have been done from different perspectives such as sociological, psychological and economical, of their wants, needs and the way they think.

Shalini Richards
MQ Editor
As social beings we find ourselves surrounded by many, if not all, of the generations in one setting or the other. Some people deal with the differing generations in different ways when surrounded by them. Some adapt to the audience and are able to read how to communicate with them. While others stick to their own generation and feel most comfortable communicating in the way they know best.

As a Gen X’er I remember back in the 80’s when the hair was big, the colors were neon and the recruiting was a long and involved process which in some cases consisted of 5-7 interviews for just one position. Then in the 90’s everything became “streamlined” with specific hiring guidelines, just like the fashions, sharp and lean…very precise. Now in the new millennium we have a barrage of emails and resumes that come in fast and furious all qualified for every position you are advertising for, and even the ones you aren’t, and in suit the fashions have followed the same trend…you see everything from business to business casual to casual (no flip flops please).

Which got me to thinking…you can easily identify a person’s generational thinking by what they wear for an interview. Bear with me on this for a minute, and just think about it. I know as a recruiter I see hundreds of people a day and I can usually pick out those who I think are going to be loyal and dedicated to the company. And I can even pick out those who are looking for a “job” and only want their pay at the end of the day. Now I know what you are thinking…what a horrible generalization, book…cover, something about judging.

Well I am sorry if I am a little too realistic for some people in this overly politically correct world of HR, but this is the reality. I mean could you in a million years see a Veteran going for an interview in cargo pants and sneakers? Or could you see a Nexter dressed in a suit and tie with a briefcase? Okay, okay in some cases it does happen, but overall it is not the norm.

We all know Veterans are that group which view work as a means to an end. They do it in order to retire and while they do it they give their all to it, meaning they work overtime and holidays if need be. They are into the long term planning and believe that hard work pays off. The Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers are similar in their thinking in terms of wanting a balance of work life and home life, work is an escape from home, and vice versa. The Nexters are that group who really need to feel that the work they do must fit within their lives. It can’t be a distraction, nor can it get in the way of the other more important things they have going on in their lives, such as their social activities, and the compensation must be instant gratification…they are not into long term planning.

So the next time you are at the mall or you are just walking around downtown, take a look around you. If you see someone in a crop top, chances are their view on the world of work and what it has to offer is pretty different from the guy walking around with sandals and black socks.
On the other hand if you happen to see someone with both…then go the other way!


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