Baby Boomers Interaction with Millennials
(excerpt from chapter 3 of College to Corporate for the Millennial recent College Graduate…by Nathanial Portis
Since many Millennials today are the children and grandchildren of Baby Boomers, Boomers have some patience for the Millennials. Boomers welcome the digital age and are often willing to work with new digital devices, but they too are not as quick to use them, as the Millennial would like. Although Baby Boomers tend to be supportive and tolerant of the Millennial, research has shown that the Boomer often grows frustrated with what is perceived as the overuse of digital devices and often views the Millennial as lazy and selfish in the workplace. Like the Silent Generation, it’s important to give the Boomer complete attention while in discussion. Since Boomers welcome much of today’s technology, they are usually tolerant of text messaging and digital devices. However, the Millennial must be careful not to overplay the digital hand when working with Boomers. The Baby Boom generation is the most heavily populated generation of our time and because of that they are very social and usually enjoy direct personal conversation rather than text messaging. Most often, the more face-time spent with Boomers, the more they may relate to a coworker.
Working with Baby Boomers in Corporate America
In Corporate America, this generation is the mature, experienced group, usually taking lead roles such as senior managers, partners of large firms, chief engineers, CEOs and vice presidents. Since they have seen so much changing history they have made plenty of mistakes and are more cautious than most generations, they are very knowledgeable and one of the most opinionated generation. However, the Boomer can be unpredictable, and many have changed careers after years of service to an organization. They are the most established individuals in the current workforce. The Baby Boom generation has a wealth of knowledge that can be tapped for mentoring. When approached correctly, Boomers usually take it as a compliment when asked to be mentors.
Unlike their veteran parents, Boomers didn’t have to endure much economic hardship and were able to focus more on themselves and family (Millennial, Generation X children). On the job, Boomers thrive on accomplishments and are willing to go the extra mile. They’re optimistic, team-oriented and into pleasing the boss or customer. Boomers in general put a premium on developing relationships, but many don’t like facing conflict and are very sensitive about feedback. Boomers think they changed the world, and nobody could do better.
Gloria is a 57-year-old Baby Boomer working as an executive assistant. I spoke with Gloria to get her take on working with the Millennial in today’s corporate environment.
“I have two grown sons…….. (read more in College to Corporate for the Millennial Recent College Graduate by Nathanial Portis book coming July 18th available at all book retailers and online at Amazon.com bn.com and target books)