Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and now Gen Y. All competing in the job market, potentially working together and coping with very different styles and work ethics. Too much is made of the differences between the three generations, and not enough credit is given to either the Gen X’ers or the Millennials.
In every generation, there are those men and women who put off adulthood for as long as they can. In each generation there are those who are creative, ambitious and dynamic. It’s true that some people start of slow and work up a head of steam, while there are others who are frenetic with activity, and wake up 20 years later to find they are burned out.
Soon, most baby boomers will be aged out of the job market and it will only be the Millennials and the Gen y’ers who are in charge. But in charge of what?
Jobs as we know them, are predicted to be phased out. AI and machines will take over most of the jobs as they exist today. At least that’s what the talking heads are saying.
As one who straddles a generation or two, not saying which ones mind you, I have heard that tune before. Paper was going to be obsolete. Everything would be done on a computer and there would be no need for paper any longer. Movie theaters would close because video would take over and no one would ever want to go to a theater again.
Pilots were supposed to be out of jobs by now, and cars would be built by robots only, no humans.
See how well those predictions turned out?
While I can see that things are changing, and there is more automation heading our way, I don’t things are advancing as quickly as some might predict.
Just look at our business, Central Comm. Fifteen years ago, it was foretold that voicemail would eliminate the need for operators to answer phone calls. Technology was supposed to eliminate the need for humans to answer phones. Fast forward, and you will find answering services, virtual receptionists and the like thriving. Why, because people want to talk to people, not machines.
Companies build websites where supposedly you can find everything you need to know about a business. At first no one put a phone number on the website, because they had a contact form on it. Well, guess what? Website protocol now dictates you have a phone number prominently displayed on the home page of your site. Because people don’t want to send in a form, they want to talk to you.
Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and soon Generation Y, can learn from each other. Streaming video can co-exist with network television, and Millenials will come into their own soon. But they will do things differently than Baby Boomers did, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Then someday, the Millenials can grump about those Generation Y kids, like the other generations have done before them.