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It is important to note that just because the landscape of
the business world is changing doesn’t mean it is becoming impossible to
navigate. It is now just a change to how we go about our business. We
must learn that it is okay to leave one company for another and that being let
go from a company is not the end-all be-all. Companies are hiring
constantly now and always looking for talented and experienced people they can
snag from a competing rival (Capelli, 1999). Using rival companies
Google and Yahoo for example, if you worked for Yahoo for two years and
were let go because they closed your department then more likely than not
Google would snatch you up because you have worked two straight years with
their competitor and have the relatable experience that not many entry level
workers would have, and they could benefit from that greatly. It is now said that “high career mobility has
become the “new normal” (Inkson et al., 2012), so situations like this
will become and currently are more likely than not to happen. So,
this means be prepared for your career when you retire to not be anything like
the one when you joined the workforce.
For the longest time people saw their careers a “linear
upward progression from job to job within a single organization” (Sullivan and
They expected, along with this progression, to include more
responsibility, better pay and increased respect for them inside the
company. This was considered and organizational and/or a corporate
thought process for the common worker. This was also how companies promoted
themselves to business researchers and job seeking persons due to the fact of
how desirable it was to them. When people saw a company portraying
themselves as a place of stability and as opportunity to increase their wealth
at one location they were willing to give all their effort and commit whole
heartedly to said company. The workplace was a hardline divided place with the
underlings being nowhere close to the same level of the managers until they
showed their loyalty to the company and their higher ups to then be rewarded
with a promotion or increased pay. Recently though there has be a swing in the
idea of what the business world should look like. Outsourcing,
globalization, people desiring a knowledgeable worker and the
advancement of technology have led to the downfall of the traditional look the
business field has had for the Silents, Baby Boomers, and Many Generation Xers.
Now with the economic landscape being changed and many companies are becoming
less of a tower to climb and more of a flat style where there are many
underlings and just a few high-level managers organization (Baruch and
Bozionelos, 2011). This leaves many people looking to move up in the
traditional sense out of options because there are less of the opportunities that
the traditional style had. The new employees now, mostly Generation Xers and
Gen Y’s, are expected to gather as much experience and skills from one
employer and then move one to the next one after just a few years if that and
basically crisscross the work environment to move up in pay and respect.
whatever career field you are in can mean that you are in more than one career.
The boundaries between one career and the one next to it have become paper thin
and the employee must now be able to change their personal mindset and even
their physical location much more often than any time prior to now. (Lyons,
“Changing generational norms have coincided with a purported
shift away from traditional organizational careers to a new career model
characterized by increased individual agency, flexibility of career
paths and greater mobility across career boundaries such as job and
organization” (Arthur and Rousseau, 1996).
I personally find it fascinating how much people and
generations as wholes change every 20-25 years. My parents have no clue
about my generation and they will say that themselves. Their parents are
clueless about my parent’s generation and they will say it as well.
There is always something wrong with the generation that follows them,
something different, something that makes the previous generation better than
the next. I feel if you were to go back 200 years or farther you would
have each generation degrading the one that comes next and saying that theirs
was better. Have you ever heard someone say, “Back in my day you wouldn’t
get away with that!” or “Back in my day music was better than this crap” every
generation says that or something along those lines about the next one.
The same principle can be said about the generations of the workforce.
The next generation is always lazy or not dedicated and has their priorities in
the wrong place. This will always be a thing because no one wants the
person who is next to be better than them. News for every generation
before their “next” generation, “The world is always changing so get used to
it” (Mark, 2017)
Generation Y’s were born 1980-now we are global-centric and
have grown up during the rapid growth of the Internet and an increase in global
terrorism (Jinkins, 2008) We can handle change and accept diversity and
want to be included in the group or norm. We are the most educated
work force the world has ever seen due to all the technology and education
advancements in our lifetime. We have infinite information at our
fingertips. We love teams and were raised to place an emphasis on sports,
music or recreational team based activities. Unlike the Baby Boomers as
parents the Gen Xers as parents did not put a focus on work and made it clear
that family is more important than a good job. We are like the Gen Xers
and must navigate a workforce that is no longer traditional and more of a free-flowing
flat system (lyons, 2015)
Generation X’s were born between 1965-1979 and they are the
parents of most college kids today. They are the generation that Baby Boomers
considered as lazy and nondedicated since they placed a higher importance on
family than on work. They are the generation that started to outspokenly
reject authority figures and really started to question whether leaders were
right all the time. They are more independent and have high technical
skill (Jinkins, 2008). They have low commitment to companies and if
they are not being fulfilled at one place they will move on to the next.
The want to be given tasks and left alone to complete it because they each
think they know what’s best. They also need recognition for their work or
they will feel excluded from the group (Marshal, 2004)
Baby Boomers were born 1946-1964 and they are the people who
live to work. They would rather have a good paying job with long hours than a
happy home life. They are not big on authority unless they are the
ones in authority. They tend to be open to change and a lot more
optimistic than The Silents. They started the view that your own
gratification is more important that anyone else’s and they tended to work for
money in search of that self-gratitude. Today’s workforce sees that sense of self gratitude
as Baby Boomers being entitled. Many of their retirement savings fell through
because of a market crash and because of that they will have to work much
longer than previous generation and many of them say they will probably never
stop working for the fact that either they love to work, or they need the
money (Jinkins, 2008).
The Silents were born sometime between 1922-1945,
they are a generation that is mostly out of the workforce.
They are a minimum of 72 years old right now and are only working if they
either sucked at planning for retirement or just love working.
They are very patriotic having grown up during WWII and have the highest
respect for authority out of the four generations. They work like horses and
are just as dependable and trust worthy because of their deep value systems.
When they work as a team they need their leader to enforce the rules and
agreements. They are the generation to say, “Well we have never done
it this way before.” (Marshal, 2004)
Currently, there are four generations at work in the
work force, they are The Silents, The Baby Boomers, Generation X’s,
and Generations Y’s (Millennials). Each generation has all their own quirks and
differences but for the most part they can all coexist in the workplace without
Makes Them Different and The Change of The Workforce
Generations at Work;
Management & Organizational Behavior
Makes Them Different and Problems That Occur
Generations at Work