Baby Boomers & Millennials: What We Can Learn From Each Other
With estimates of approximately 80 million Millennials and 76 million Baby Boomers in the United States, these two generations combine into a powerful force. With a generation sandwiched between them it seems reasonable to think that Baby Boomers and Millennials would be at odds. Not so fast. In fact, a recent poll by No Collar Workers depicts these two generations as having mutual respect for each other and even something of value to offer the other. Here are a few of their similarities and the ways they complement each other.
The study found that 75% of Millennials yearn for a mentor. It seems that Millennials are not looking for a boss or a manager but rather they’re looking for a coach or a Yoda–a wise person who shows them the way forward. Partnering up with a Millennial is the perfect way to share your years of expertise and wisdom with a receptive audience. As an experienced professional, you can offer a twenty or thirty-something advice on how to handle a sticky situation or relationship. This same young person can teach you how to better use a social network to share updates with your grandchildren online. Coming from more traditional work environments Baby Boomers can offer tips on how to use structure to get things done while Millennials understand the value of “me time”, something which is critical for health and well-being.
While both generations see enormous value in using technology for connecting with friends and family, the “digital native” Millennials have grown up with technology front and center in their lives. Not surprisingly, the study found that 65% of Millennials thought they had important skills to offer the boomer generation around the use of technology. While Millennials think they have skills to offer older generations they see it as a two-way street of learning where both parties have things to share and things they can learn from the other. While Millennials may favor technological approaches to healthcare, Baby Boomers know that ultimately overall wellness in body, spirit and mind is what promotes a long and healthy life.
Like Baby Boomers, Millennials are concerned with inequality and the righting of “wrongs”. Similar to their predecessor Baby Boomers, Millennials are looking to discover new truths and prove there’s another way. Given this, Millennials are sure to be a transformative generation much like the Baby Boomers.
Here’s to the power of these important and culture shifting generations!