How Do Millennials Differ from Previous Generations?

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

There have been talks these past few years about how millennials are doing things differently from the previous generations. The older generation has mixed feelings about how millennials do things nowadays. Well, to be very honest, it is mostly negative. As part of the millennial generation, I find that very interesting.

So I did some research.

I wanted to know what are the things our generation do differently from the previous ones. First of all, we have to answer this question: who are the millennials, generation x and baby boomers?

Millennials or Generation Y

Starting birth year is 1981 and ends in 1996. This is the generation after Gen X and before Gen Z.

Generation X

Starting birth year is 1961 and ends in 1981. This is the demographic that follows the Baby Boomers.

Baby Boomers

Starting birth year is 1946 and ends in 1964.

Now, what are the previous generations such as the “baby boomers” and the “generation x” typically identified as?

The baby boomers are known as the most influential generation because they have been recognized to be demographically large in most developed countries. The economic prosperity of the U.S.A during the 1960s can also be attributed to their contributions.

Following the baby boomers, the generation x is also sometimes called the “latchkey generation” because this is the generation where adult supervision is not as tight as the previous one. This makes most generation x-ers more independent and resourceful. They are also called the “MTV Generation” because it’s when the MTV really flourished.

Also called the “echo boomers”, millennials are identified as the generation that lives in the age of developing the technology. This generation is identified as ambitious, career-driven, and adventurous.

So how are millennial professionals different from its previous generation?

Millennials are more comfortable with technology

Compared to previous generations, millennials are more adept and comfortable with using technology. Not saying that the previous ones are not, but millennials basically live in the digital age. It just makes sense that even the way millennials do their work right now would be influenced by technology. Communication through sending e-mails, text messages, voice, and video calls—this is pretty much non-existent at that time when baby boomers and some gen x-ers were young working professionals. Things are much more different now that it was then.

Millennials are more prone to switching jobs often

Compared to the previous generations, the millennial generation or generation y are more prone to job-hopping. According to employers, millennials tend to look for something better all the time. They get bored easily so they move on to different things after a year or less.

Millennials are also observed to be more risk-takers than previous generations. They go for freelance jobs or start up their own small businesses so they can have more time on their hands.

Millennials invest more on experiences rather than material things

One of the most obvious differences millennials have over previous generations is the craving for more experiences. This generation would rather save up for a plane ticket or concert tickets than to invest in a new car or a property. This is not to generalize this generation, but studies show that millennials are more adventurous and they seek life experiences before settling down.

Millennials tend to have higher levels of anxiety

According to studies, the generation y suffers higher levels of anxiety compared to previous generations. Many factors are contributing to this. It may include pressures, lack of job security, extended work hours, and even uncertainty of the future. There’s also the matter with the current issues in society which may also add to increased stressors at work and in life.

Millennials possess a lot of characteristics that are unique in comparison to the baby boomers and gen x. But it’s also important to note that things change and people change. What might work in the past, might not be able to work today. It’s just a matter of trying to understand each other.

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