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How to March to Today’s Multigenerational Drum

How to March to Today’s Multigenerational Drum

If you ask your grandparents about life when they first stepped out on their own, you will get a very different picture than the experience of today’s youth. Changing technologies, economies, and expectations can also bring about differences in generational thinking. While looking at each generation as a whole lumps everyone together and removes the individual; it is helpful for those looking at the overall themes to better understand how we can relate to people from different eras. Sometimes, heated discussions and conflicts are brought about because of this lack of understanding of underlying currents that are absent in your own generation.

There are five generational groups that we will reference in this article.

  1. Traditionalists / Silent Generation (born 1925 – 1945)
  2. Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
  3. Gen X (born 1965 – 1980)
  4. Gen Y / Millennials (Born 1981 – 2000)
  5. Gen Z / Boomlets (Born after 2001)

Each group, as a general rule, has different themes and outlooks on life. Lack of understanding can create conflict with younger generations in several key areas.

1) Financial Independence

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    Many Mellenniums may find themselves still living at home, or at least leveraging their parents for financial support, well into adulthood. According to the New York Times, one in five people in their twenties and early thirties are still living with their parents. This is a big difference between other generations. Most Baby Boomers and Traditionalists moved out much earlier – usually to get married. The inability to cut the apron strings today could be due, in part, to the fact that many entry-level jobs are often not able to cover basic living expenses; especially in some urban areas where the cost of living outpaces many starting salaries. In fact, a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute found that entry-level hourly wages  for college graduates from 2000 -2013 fell on average at a rate of 8.1 percent among women, and 6.7 percent among men. Many people are also delaying marriage and staying in school longer due to conomic reasons.

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    Generation X and Baby Boomer parents may be tempted to compare their children’s lack of financial independence to when they were married, working, and on their own at a much earlier age. However, it is hard to correlate today’s job opportunities and financial freedoms to the ones they experienced when they were in their early twenties, due to the constantly changing workplace. Many older parents have a stronger work ethic. They have accumulated wealth over the years and are now able to financially support their children. Unfortunately, their kids are all too happy to take advantage of this.

    2) Work Ethic / Company Loyalty

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      Many older generations tend to label people in the Millennial group as less hard-working than they were in their early twenties. They do this because this younger generation is more inclined to push back against a typical “9 to 5” work day. Many Millennials value flexibility and embrace working in an environment that is more conducive to molding around their needs, rather than forcing them to conform to the needs of the organization.

      However, just because older generations were polishing their shoes and settling into their desks at 7:45 a.m. when they were in their 20s, does not mean that the Millennial workers don’t work just as many hours. Many people from older generations feel that if you aren’t in the office under supervision, then you aren’t working. Younger generations do not embrace this mindset. They are much more inclined to take their work home with them. So, while the Baby Boomer generation worked a typical 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday, the Millennial generations may work from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., then take the afternoon off before starting up again from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Millennial workers are much more likely to work remotely, and may feel less worried about making appearances at the office. To them, as long as the work gets done well, it doesn’t matter if they do it during regular business hours or after a relaxing dinner.

      People who are in their early twenties are also typically less trusting of corporations than their predecessors. Older generations wanted to be hired by a good company, slowly building a lifetime legacy there by paying their dues and climbing the corporate ladder. Many Traditionalist and Baby Boomers remark that in their twenties, they simply felt lucky to have a job and did not expect the organization to cater to their needs. Millennials, now in their early twenties, have watched companies perform downsizes; and have seen that their predecessors’ loyalty was often rewarded by corporate cuts for more profitable numbers on Wall Street. They may even have experienced this first hand by watching a parent lose their job with a company they assumed would provide them a good living. In turn, they are often much more comfortable with changing careers and companies, less loyal to their employers, more comfortable pushing back against authority figures, and more willing to leave if they aren’t happy in their current job. They may also build parallel careers, work multiple jobs simultaneously, and have more than one specialty.

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      3) Chief Motivators

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        Today’s youth are motivated by different factors than previous generations. Traditionalists were more motivated by security and self worth. Boomers were more motivated with money and status. Generation Xers wanted more time off and were motivated by a balanced work / life balance after watching their overworked parents. Generation Y seems to be motivated by doing work that is meaningful. They also enjoy work that allows them to express their individuality and maintain a personal life. Millennials are less impressed with the status quo, and instead want to feel a strong sense of passion for what they do with their lives. They also tend to be more globally focused than their predecessors due to growing up during a time when news and information are instantly shared with ease via the globally connected Internet.

        4) Education

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          A college degree, or even a graduate degree, is much more common in the Millennial Generation than in the past. According to findings from the Pew Research Center’s survey of 2,002 adults (supplemented by a Pew Research analysis of economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau), today’s Millennials are the best-educated generation in history. A third (34%) have a bachelor’s degree. When you compare the Traditional generation of 25-32 year-olds in 1965, only 13% had a college degree. This percentage expanded to 24% in the late 1970s and 1980s, when the Boomers were in their early 20s. This means that Millennials also have more competition from other highly-educated peers for jobs, and are more likely to delay launching their career until they have obtained a competitive degree.

          5) Communication Style

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            Millennials, and the upcoming Generation Z, are the technology gurus. While other generations remember the life before the Internet, the Generation Y kids obtained a working knowledge of technology very early in their lives. However, this can lead to them preferring e-mail, texting, instant messages, and Facebook exchanges over face-to-face communication. They are always plugged in. Most of them find it very hard to disconnect from their online world.

            6) Knowledge

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              Today’s youth have grown up with the ability to research anything with the click of their Google app. This means that instead of pouring over library books trying to find their answers, they are now easily found with a quick topic search. Millennials are able to further expand their hobbies and interests much easier than previous generations. For example, instead of pouring over library books or shadowing an expert, you can now find How-To videos and step-by-step instructional articles online within seconds. You can instantly learn how to make everything from home-made wine to how to up-cycle old pallets. Due to the ease of obtaining information about nearly everything online, Millennials are much more well-versed in many different hobbies and passions. They enjoy an eclectic variety of D.I.Y. projects, and are quick to try new things due to this ease of learning.

              7) Respect for Authority

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                Millennials are more comfortable with a fast-paced, changing world, and have no problem pushing back against authority or voicing concerns. Many older generations accuse them of not respecting authority. This is not exactly correct. Millennials have great respect for authority, but unlike previous generations, they don’t respect authority figures just because of their title. For Millennials, respect is not automatically given. It must be earned. For most Millennials, respect for their managers is the main reason they stay with their job. Coincidentally, the dissatisfaction of working for their manager is also the main reason that they quit. Many companies have adapted their approach to leadership when dealing with Mellennials. Management has evolved into a more relational role, rather than an authoritarian one, in order to lower their job turn-over rate.

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                Millennials are less worried about formal dress-code, and more interested in flexibility and new challenges. They would rather be traveling on new adventures than pressing their pinstripe suit. If they are put into the more traditional roles of their predecessors, they may become bored if the work does not continually push them into new areas of discovery.

                8) Family

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                  People from the Generation Y stage are also delaying marriage in favor of launching careers or furthering their education. Millennials are focused on making a good income before settling down with a family. The typical man now marries for the first time at age 28 and the typical women at age 26. This is about five years older than in 1970 (for both genders). Women are also delaying having children. In Western, Northern, and Southern Europe, first-time mothers are on average 26 to 29 years old, up from 23 to 25 years at the start of the 1970s.

                  Many Baby Boomers and Traditionalists feel that Generation X-ers and the Millennial Generation don’t want to grow up. Some of that may be true, but it stems from how the Boomers raised their children. Many Boomer parents tended to coddle their children more than past generations. Some Baby Boomers even use their own financial success to ensure their kids don’t experience adversity. Millennials, after watching their parents work so hard, are often not willing to suffer the long hours and general stress that they watched play out when they were growing up. Therefore, they tend to lean toward spending more time with their family in favor of less financial affluence. And, if Mom and Dad haven’t turned their old room into a theater room yet, Millennials see no reason why they shouldn’t hang out there at least a little bit more and delay the intimidating stresses of adulthood.

                  While generational gaps show us how very different it is to be in your mid-twenties today, these decades apart also illuminate how social, economic, and educational trends have changed over the years. Whether you’re a Millennialist, Traditionalist, Boomer, or a misunderstood Generation X-er, you still have more commonalities than differences.

                  Each generation can learn from their past. We can also pull older family and friends into current technologies and the fast-paced present. Understanding and celebrating these differences, and learning from one another, is the best way to leverage the strengths of each era and become better individuals.

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                  Sarah Hansen

                  A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

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                  Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                  30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

                  30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

                  No one can live a positive life without failing. However, many people experience a fear of failure, despite its inevitability in life. Failure, as you will see from these 30 success and failure quotes, is the key ingredient for the recipe of success!

                  Today’s society is obsessed with success and achievement, and failure is definitely NOT part of the equation. Failure and making mistakes is hidden away or seen as a human weakness.

                  However, if you avoid making mistakes in life, struggle to do everything right, and are obsessed with perfection and order, then living and experiencing a successful and happy life is going to be impossible.

                  Embrace your failure, whether it is one failure or many failures, because with the right attitude and a willingness to learn from your mistakes, you are guaranteed a lifetime of success. Here are some uplifting quotes about failure and success to help you get started.

                  1. “Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart.” -Anonymous

                  This quote is important for those of us who feel downtrodden after every failure, heartbroken, if you will. If you let failure get you down for more than a couple of days, you’re wasting away your chance to bounce back from it.

                  On the other hand, if you allow yourself to build an inflated ego after every success, future failures may be even harder to cope with. Maintain a sense of humility and gratitude for each success and failure you find.

                  2. “Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?” -Marilyn Monroe

                  Marilyn Monroe is spot on with this one. The first person who should be there to catch you when you fall is you. You have to be your own best advocate, the person to build you up when it feels like everything is going wrong. The others in your support system are just icing on the cake.

                  3. “You always pass failure on your way to success.” -Mickey Rooney

                  In today’s competitive world, it’s hard to understand that almost no one experiences failure before they experience genuine, lasting success. Failure is what forces you to learn in order to achieve that goal you’ve been working up to.

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                  4. “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” -Chinese proverb

                  Everyone falls. Those who refuse to pick themselves back up, no matter if it’s after two days or two years, are the true failures.

                  5. “Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.” -Robert Kiyosaki

                  There are many success and failure quotes on this idea, and that’s because it’s so very important. Learning doesn’t happen when things are easy. It happens when things get tough and you have to find a way through challenges.

                  6. “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” -Barack Obama

                  No one can escape failure. If you let it keep you down and shying away from achieving your goals, you’ve failed again. If you learn from it and continue on your path toward greatness, it wasn’t a true failure but a lesson.

                  7. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” -Og Mandion

                  Determination is one of the best antidotes to failure. Even if you take two steps forward and one step back, you’re still moving forward with grit and determination. Keep going!

                  8. “Fear regret more than failure.” -Taryn Rose

                  At the end of your life, what do you think you’ll feel worst about, failing or never trying?

                  9. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” -Nelson Mandela

                  If anyone has enough insight to offer us success and failure quotes, it’s Nelson Mandela. He learned that that path to success (and freedom) is full of setbacks. His determination, however, led him to make amazing changes in the world around him. Now that’s success.

                  10. “The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” -Paulo Coelho

                  Each time you get back up, it will get easier and easier, and you’ll realize each time that those failures are the greatest lessons life will ever give you.

                  11. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” -Napoleon Hill

                  Unfortunately, many people stop trying after a large failure comes their way. They lose their confidence, determination, and will. However, success usually follows quickly behind these huge failures because you’ve inevitably learned what not to do.

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                  Don’t stop with the huge failure. Take a few more steps and see if it gets you where you wanted to go.

                  12. I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Alva Edison

                  Through his success and failure quotes, Thomas Edison shows us that failures are only truly failures if you don’t learn the lesson they offer.

                  13. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” -Bill Gates

                  Celebrating success feels good, but learning the lessons of failure is where growth occurs[1], which can lead you to even greater successes.

                  14. “The only thing that separates success from failure is one last attempt. Try one more time and you will get lucky.” -Apoorve Dubey

                  Every success comes from an attempt. If you don’t try one more time, you’ll never know if it could’ve been your big chance at big success.

                  15. “Failure is a detour; not a dead-end street.” -Zig Ziglar

                  Many people get impatient with failure. They feel that it’s a stopping point, or a road that’s too long to walk. However, the patience to take that new road is exactly what’s necessary to find success. If success is easy to find, it likely won’t last very long.

                  16. “In the real world, very smart people fail, and mediocre people rise. Part of what makes people fail or succeed are skills that have nothing to do with IQ. Also, the idea that intelligence can be gauged by an IQ test is erroneous.” -Camille Paglia

                  Failure is not a sign of a lack of intelligence, as Paglia suggests. Failure is a sign of great intelligence and great courage. She also points out the important point that intelligence takes many forms, and it’s often the grit and maturity to accept failure for the temporary setback that it is.

                  17. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” -Oprah Winfrey

                  Queens will always be queens, no matter if they experience success or failure. And you will always be you, so use that to your advantage, and take the risk of failure in order to reach success.

                  18. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” -J.K. Rowling

                  Living a life free of failure generally means you have lived a boring, uneventful life. Is it really worth it?

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                  19. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” -Richard Branson

                  If you’ve ever watched a child learn to walk, you know that Branson’s success and failure quotes are true. Children are determined. They fall, and they get back up. And then they learn, and soon they’re running.

                  20. “Success or failure is caused more by mental attitude than by mental capacity.” -Walter Scott

                  Scott knows that intelligence is less of a determining factor in success than determination or ruthless optimism. Set yourself up for success by cultivating both.

                  21. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again. That is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

                  Michael Jordan knows failure, and yet we know him as an incredibly successful person. Why? Because he never let the failures stop him from moving on.

                  22. “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” -José N. Harris

                  The secrets to success are pretty simple, and living a full life is only possible once you learn that getting up after a failure will bring a great sense of satisfaction and joy.

                  23. “All people fail at certain instances in their lives, the only thing that makes them different is how they manage to stand up or how they choose to fail again.” -Unknown

                  If you fail, you’re like the vast majority of the world. What makes you different is how you choose to respond.

                  24. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Robert Kennedy

                  If you aim high, even if you fall short you’ll still likely be ahead of the majority of people. Take the time in life to fail greatly because that’s where you’ll find your true self.

                  25. “Failure is good as long as it doesn’t become a habit.” -Michael Eisner

                  If you continue to make the same mistakes, you’re not learning from your failures. This is when it becomes a destructive habit instead of a moment to propel you toward success.

                  26. “If you are afraid of failure, you don’t deserve to be successful.” -Charles Barkley

                  Only those who are willing to accept the hard emotions that come along with failure will be those who will enjoy the good feelings of genuine success.

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                  27. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.” -William A. Ward

                  In his success and failure quotes, Ward points out something important. Failure is often seen as a death stroke, something that stops our success. If we shift our perspective and look upon failure as a teacher instead, we will likely feel very differently about those moments in our life and see that failure is delay, not death.

                  28. “Courage allows the successful woman to fail and learn powerful lessons from the failure. So that in the end, she didn’t fail at all.” -Maya Angelou

                  We’ve been here before. Failure is only failure if you don’t learn from it. Let yourself get a bad grade on the test; you’ll study differently next time. Let yourself fail at a relationship; you know how to build a healthier relationship next time.

                  Every failure brings a lesson. Learn it and move on.

                  29. “Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.” -William Saroyan

                  If you think of the moments you learned and grew the most, were they easy times or hard times? Challenges make us better, smarter people[2]. You don’t get wise through an easy life.

                  30. “Don’t fear failure—not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” -Bruce Lee

                  If you try to achieve something great, even a failure feels like a success. At least you had the courage to try. That’s more than most can say.

                  More Inspirational Quotes

                  Featured photo credit: Gabrielle Henderson via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Harvard Business Review: Strategies for Learning from Failure
                  [2] Psychology Today: How Greater Challenges Help You Grow

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