Have the Microgeneration Been Forgotten in the Drive for Millennials?
What This Means for the Commonly Overlooked Generation
The microgeneration, representing those born between 1977 and 1983, is one generation often overlooked. You hear a lot about Gen X, the generation born between 1960 and 1980 that grew up before technology was a big thing. Then, you hear even more about Millennials, born between 1981 and 1994, who grew up when technology was rapidly advancing. But, what about the generation between them? In a society with a much greater demand for millennials, we're often left to wonder about Xennials and where they fit in within the bigger picture.
The Reasons Behind the Drive for Millennials
The drive for Millennials comes when some of the Gen X population have started to retire. Those born at the beginning of the generation may be ready to get out of the workforce for good. With the demand for highly-educated professionals who have deep knowledge and understanding of technology, hiring managers often look for Millennials to fill critical open roles within these companies.
Less Time Spent Teaching Technology
As technology advances, companies are implementing it more than ever for ease of operation and increased productivity. The right technology used in different environments can reduce the workload while allowing businesses to get more done in less time. Still, employees need to know how to use the technology properly to get the most from it. With that in mind, hiring managers will often prefer to select a Millennial to fill the role for any open position. They do this because they know, for the most part, that the average Millennial is tech-savvy and has the experience needed to get the job done compared to someone from the Gen X population with far less tech-related experience.
More Willing to Participate as Contributing Team Members
While it's not true for every member of Gen X, the truth is that most of the older generation isn't nearly as familiar with collaborative efforts as Millennials, which may easily result in more conflict within the workspace. Business leaders understand that disputes can arise but want to avoid them as best as possible to keep operations running smoothly. It's often easier to get millennials to participate as contributing members while putting in the effort to collaborate, problem-solve, and work well with others. For that reason, they're the generation that typically gets picked to fill positions they've applied to compared to their Gen X counterparts.
Fresh and Innovative Ideas
Because of their perspective on life, it's common for millennials to bring new and innovative ideas to the table. In addition, the average millennial thinks quickly, adapts to different situations easily, and can develop concepts that work best for the business, making them an asset to any team.
It's easy to understand the drive for millennials in the workplace because of their knowledge, work ethic, and skills. However, it leaves most wondering what will happen to Xennials who aren't even close to retirement age but often struggle to get hired when applying for the same positions as Millennials.
How the Drive for Millennials Impacts the Microgeneration
The drive for Millennials benefits those born between '81 and '94, but what about the Xennials who don't fit in with either side? Most Xennials will tell you that they don't feel like they fit in with either demographic for many reasons. Those who fall within this age range lived their childhood and teen years at a time when having a computer at home wasn't standard and technology was only starting to become what it is today. They didn't have social media for connecting with friends and family. However, they were young enough to remember the start of technology and express interest in it. In contrast, the Gen X population was more hesitant to learn about technology and what it entails.
In addition to their willingness to learn, they're a lot like the perfect combination of Gen X and Millennials because they can adapt quickly, understand technology, and collaborate well with others, but are still cautious, resourceful, and know how to handle things independently, for the most part. Despite their reputation as the forgotten generation, Xennials have a lot to offer in the workplace that company leaders might not realize because the demand is so high for Millennials due to their reputation within the workforce.
What Xennials Can Do to Excel in a Millennial-Driven Society
The competition for most Xennials looking to find work in different industries is stiff, especially when they're going against a younger generation with more tech experience than them. However, there are a few simple steps that Xennials can take to prove that there is much more to them than their age and the generation they're categorized under because of the year they were born.
Honing In on Their Skills
Xennials can hone in on what they're good at doing and use that to their advantage when building their resumes. For example, if they understand technology, it's crucial to include the fine details of their experience on their resume. While often overlooked, hiring managers who see the Xennial applicant's expertise may choose to hire them over a Millennial if it means getting the job done correctly and on time.
Highlighting Work History
One advantage that most Xennials have over millennials is their extensive work history. They're older, so they're more likely to have held numerous positions for various businesses over the past few decades. When looking for the ideal candidate for an open position, most hiring managers compare knowledge, skills, education, and work history before making their decision. So, an impressive and diverse work history could work in favor of Xennials compared to Millennials with fewer jobs and less actual work experience under their belts.
Millennials have a lot to offer in the workplace, which easily explains the drive for them, but they're not the only ones willing to work hard, remain productive, and commit themselves to their jobs. Likewise, Xennials are typically between the ages of 38 and 44 and have much to offer, too. So, while they might find it challenging to fit in with Gen X and the younger generations in many ways, this microgeneration provides the best of both worlds between the two.
Keywords: Microgeneration, Xennials, Millennials, Gen X, technology