Baby Boomers at Work: Styles and Preferences
Approximately 79 million babies were born in the United States between 1946 and 1964. This massive generation — commonly known as Baby Boomers — was gifted with values shaped by an era of extraordinarily favorable events: our landing on the moon, John F. Kennedy in office, the Peace Corps, Woodstock, and the Civil Rights Movement, just to name a few. For them, life was powered by an optimistic belief system that associated hard work with significant change and opportunity.
Game On. Bring It.
These politically-adept beings are a proud bunch. They have fought for and seen far healthier and wealthier world conditions than those who came before them and, thus far, those who have come after them. Having been raised by parents of an established style in this era of reform, they entered their careers as advocates of both a strong work ethic and challenging the status quo.
Over the years, this cocktail of behaviors has translated to high levels of confidence, self-reliance, motivation by way of prestige, and the alignment of position with self-worth. In other words, they will stop at nothing to prove their commitment and value to the workplace.
No Pain, No Gain
Present day, Boomers are the heart of management. In their quest to compete with their swollen demographic group, they’ve garnered the nickname “workaholic,” and often support hierarchical structures and rankism in leadership, and value face-time over the vast array of remote alternatives that have cropped up over the last decade.
Unfortunately, their optimistic outlook has been defeated by several severe economic downturns and devastating historical events. According Pew Research Center, Boomers give their overall quality of life a lower rating than adults in other generations, and are more likely to worry that their incomes won’t keep up with inflation. But, true to form, they continue to seek improvement and growth, and have, along the way, attained very high levels of expertise and experience, making them a valuable asset to any team.
Next up: the tools and trends that have come to define them.