Who is Generation Z?

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Generation Z GenZ

Who is Generation Z?

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Millennials get a lot of media attention, but who are the millennials and who is considered to be in generation Z?

Generational differences have a lot to do with stereotypes and bias. Often people make a quick judgment based on perceived age that anyone who is in their mid 30’s or less is a millennial. We see it, read it, or hear it in news reports, professional presentations (excluding those delivered by generational experts), and sometimes in chatter throughout the workplace.

 

Content marketing organizations and social media outlets thrive on the popular millennial keyword. The truth is, most generational experts agree that there are not three workforce generations, not four workforce generations, but five generations currently active in our workforce.

Okay, but who are they?

Traditionals: Born 1930 – 1945

Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964

Generation X: Born 1965 – 1976

Millennials: Born 1977 – 1994

Generation Z: Born after 1994

While the ranges supplied here seem straight forward, confusion sometimes occurs because the labels such as traditional, baby boomer, and millennial, are not always the same. For example, millennials are commonly known as millennials or generation Y, and generation Z is also known as generation 9/11, or iGen, and others.

Generation Z

While there is much agreement formulated from various sources on the existing (year ranges) frameworks, there is often disagreement as well.

Personally, I believe the last emerging generation, labeled here as generation Z, has the most confusion or disagreement related to framework. During the writing of my book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce, I extensively considered popular wisdom, web based research, and traditional published works citing various frameworks for each generation.

Generation Z has the most unsettled framework with some people citing the starting year as early as 1990, and others believing it may be as late as 2005. Many current views position it closer to the mid-1990’s and for the purpose of clarity in Forgotten Respect, I used the mid-1990’s as the starting year.

My belief is that three factors are largely responsible for creating a generational shift; they are significant changes in socio-economic conditions, significant technology changes, or unfortunately, times of war. Historically, these factors appear to be consistent across the generally accepted framework, and I offer that my position on this latest generation is still evolving.

Final Word

Generation Z is not another label for the millennials and everyone who is mid to upper 30’s years of age and younger are not all millennials. The millennial generation has an ending year and it is representative of those born around 1990 or slightly later. Those persons currently (circa 2016) filling the space as younger than mid-20’s, born early 1990’s, or later, are Generation Z.

– DEG

Originally published on September 22, 2016. Last updated on April 1, 2018.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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7 Comments

Matt

September 22, 2016at 9:02 am

Great points here Dennis. Understanding your markets is key in any business and this is something people often overlook in their own employees. Knowing which generations they employ is key to maximize training, sales, rewards and overall organizational growth.

    Dennis Gilbert

    September 22, 2016at 9:12 am

    Understanding generations in marketing is critical. This is especially true in financial sectors such as for realtors and mortgages. Also, very important for educational needs, car buying, and other major life purchases. Everywhere.

Curious

September 22, 2016at 8:11 am

Why do generational differences matter?

People are people, all with the same core needs: Health, Wealth, Happiness, & Freedom.

Why make understanding people so complex?

Curious…

    Dennis Gilbert

    September 22, 2016at 9:00 am

    Great question, and there are many different opinions about the subject of generational differences. Some believe that it is not a real issue, that we have always had this circumstance, and others believe that generational differences are a serious issue and are entirely out of control. One important thought, some things are “age” differences and somethings are “generational” differences. The two are not the same. Have you ever struggled communicating or understanding someone in a generation different from your own?

    Matt

    September 22, 2016at 9:16 am

    Curious – as I posted above I think it is a key first step in maximizing efficiency in the workplace. We often spend numerous resources on understanding our markets, but not on making sure our internal salesforce is equipped to be successful. I have witnessed first hand the benefits of clients by them stepping back and taking the time to understand the generational differences and what makes them tick. Would be remiss if I didn’t say Dennis has helped with this on numerous occasions!

      Dennis Gilbert

      September 22, 2016at 9:55 am

      Thanks Matt, I appreciate that comment!

      Curious

      September 22, 2016at 10:05 am

      Matt:

      Agreed.

      What would you equip an internal salesforce with to be successful?

      Curious…

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