Baby Boomer. Gen X. Gen Y.
We are a culture that loves labels. And so names have been given to various generations based on our dates of birth and framed by socio-cultural experiences and similarities.
Of course, as with Astrology, those of us on the cusp can claim characteristics from both the group we are in as well as the one we border. Despite all the attempts to categorize us, humans don’t have precise borders.
Personally, I have always hated labels and staunchly prefer to claim characteristics from all. Although I am emphatically sure the music of my generation is some of the best ever written and performed. 🙂
While I’ve seen many variations in dates categorizing Baby Boomer, Gen Y, Gen X, and Traditionalists, the following chart will give you a good idea of what people are talking about:
- Traditionalists: Born before 1946
- Boomers: 1946 – 1964
- Generation X (Gen X): 1965 – 1980
- Millennials or Generation Y (Gen Y): 1981 – 1996
And now there is Gen Z, starting around 1997 and ending around 2015 — give or take a little on all.
Why labels matter (mostly to others)
The reason I mention this here is the way we are perceived and labeled can make a big difference to how we do at our jobs. Or even whether we actually get the job in the first place.
Clearly, this is a meaty discussion and more than I can cover in a career dictionary. But how we are perceived, the impressions we make, and the “labels” we are given are all topics well-worth exploring.
My philosophy no matter the generation
Do the best you can. Keep up with state-of-the-art technology and methods. Don’t be put off by idiots who need to label you. There are plenty of good people who don’t get caught up in labels — especially if you meet them at least half way.
And, most of all, respect that people of any age (Baby Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, and now Gen Z) have something important to offer. No matter how much or how little experience they bring to the table.