I am no more defined by my generation than by my gender, race, nationality or sexual orientation. And neither are you. Who we are as individuals might be influenced by where and how we grew up, but there’s more to us than a simple demographic.
Don’t tell me that because I was born within a certain timeframe, I conform to a generational profile. Just because I’m a Boomer, doesn’t mean I’m an inflexible Luddite. I don’t spend my days in the kitchen, baking cookies for my grandchildren, wearing sensible shoes and my hair in a bun. (I baked cookies only once when my kids were growing up, and while they were cooling on the counter, the dog ate them.)
With Millennials now shaking up the workforce, pundits are already trying to predict what this generation will be like when they report for their first day of work. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy! Their careers have barely begun and we’re already pigeonholing them. I don’t want to be put in a box, and I’m not about to put my grandchildren into one either.
The Gen Z effect. No one likes to be stereotyped— not in life or in sales. So when I heard about The Gen Z Effect, a new book by Thomas Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen, I picked it up immediately. It postulates that there are generational chasms we’ve been taught to expect and accept, but that “Gen Z is not a birthright; it’s a conscious choice to adopt new behaviors.” So what is the Gen Z effect? According to the authors, it’s “what happens when the simplicity and affordability of technology unites generations more than it divides them.”
In other words, it’s what happens when we stop thinking everyone born within a 20-year period is the same—which is ludicrous. Individuals, not generational behavior, change the world. That’s always been true and it always will be.