BY: Adam Gavriel

With American’s work-life becoming longer and longer by the year, and potential employees entering earlier we have three generations beginning to inhabit the workplace. The baby boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1982) and Generation Y (1982-2001) are all attempting to coexist in the workplace, but it’s not so peachy.

What leads to the turf war among these generations is that they all want different things from the job.

“One of the big struggles companies have is with people who are not playing well in the sandbox,” says Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing for Yoh, an IT talent and outsourcing services firm. “And it’s more pervasive when we talk about the situation we have between the generations.”

The “children” in Generation – Y believe that the elders in Gen- X are whiners, while they agree with the Gen – X crowd that the Baby-Boomers only care about themselves and work way too hard. The “elders” in Generation – X believe the “babies” in Gen – Y are self-entitled and arrogant. And then there’s the “nearly retired” Baby – Boomers who believe everyone else needs to work as hard as they do.

What stresses out Gen-X and baby boomers even more about these new Gen-Y kiddies is that they prefer to communicate via emails and text messages rather than face to face or on the phone. Being a Gen-Y(er) myself, this is something I can attest too, it’s very true. I can also understand that this is not the norm in the workplace, well, at least not yet. Face to face is king, especially when trying to build connections! Which we have stressed her on out of our mind before, is the name of the game.

What all these generational differences come down to is the fact that an estimated 76 million Americans will be retiring in the upcoming years, while only 46 million will be entering the workforce. Jobs left behind by Baby Boomers and Gen – X employees will be filled by the new, arrogant, hate talking to your face Gen – Y workforce.

The only way to solve this turf war is to find a firm that has the system in place to agree with it, or to make sure the job you get from Crossroads Consultingis going to be one that you’re going to love for a long time. Mentioned on Tuesday in our blog about the Three R’s of Resume writing (read below) we mentioned reliability. Reliability goes further than just being loyal to an employer and working in one spot for more than 5 years. It won’t be a surprise question in an interview to be asked a question about a time you had a difficulty in the workplace, and how you worked to solve it. With the generational war being such a hot topic of discussion in the HR world, you can set yourself apart from the competition by knowing about it beforehand.

Research. Research. Research.

Know the field you are going into, know everything you can about the firm you are interviewing for.

What do they do? Who is the CEO? Who will be the hiring manager? HR Representative? How big is their workforce? How diverse is the workforce between ethnicity and even generational gaps? If you take the time to learn your employer it will show him that you have interest in the position, and could set you apart from the competition (more on this in a blog next week, stay tuned!).

Come on over to Crossroads Consulting where we can show you our job listings so you can jump into the one you love and begin to make an efficient workforce by closing the generational gap once and for all. If you’re not confident about your interviewing or resumewriting skills, we can help you with that too.

A start to finish executive recruiting firm, remember that Crossroads Consulting is here putting the “human” back into human resources.


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