You work with them. They work with you. They give you advice. You give them some too. You are the millennial and they were born in ehhh..1952. 😆
The conversation of millennials versus the baby boomers in business, relations and family is a growing. Baby booming offspring love to bring up how distinctly different they are from us. They pride themselves on setting up their retirement funds, being attentive and knowing how to communicate without technology, having tons of experience in finance and cultivating logical decision-making skills. On the other hand, millennials cherish their sense of creativity, willingness to take career and financial risks, use of diverse platforms of digital communication, and growing potential through self-awareness.
It can be agreed upon that Baby Boomers put Trump in office but we ain’t gonna focus on that today. Despite the fact that white Baby Boomers have powered through this election, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, according to population estimates released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau. So it’s obvious that there’s a lot of us that will be working together. It can be agreed upon that both sides bring meaningful assets to the table. Since this is a blog that mostly millennials read, I will be writing from the perspective of a millennial working with a baby boomer. Here are some meaningful tips.
Use the Boomer’s experience to your advantage.
Instead of considering a boomer outdated, try your best to pick their brain as much as possible. They are one of the oldest generations alive today and they’ve lived through decades of drastic changes in social norms and technological advances. In turn, when you listen to a boomer that automatically validates them and they feel like they can spread their wisdom. Which is all they really want to do with young millennials.
Express to them the necessity of digital technology
Millennials are digital natives, we grew up with it as a part of our life. It’s normalized for us. This may be hard for Boomers to understand because during the span of their lives they’ve went from paper and pencil, to typewriters, to room-filling computers, to pagers/beepers, to dial-up internet, to cell phones and to social media. It’s been a lot to process and get “hip” to in such small amounts of time. So, don’t be so hard on them when they want to stick to what they know; put yourself in their shoes. However, teach them the basics of social digital communication and allow them to choose what they want to stick to. Teach them about new models and software so that they can feel in tune with what’s going on. If working on a campaign, include a method of digital communication and a method of traditional communication that way both parties are satisfied and affirmed.
Encourage them to think bigger
Boomers know what works. They experienced so much to the point where they have several methods or finite methods of getting things done. Nevertheless, they sometimes don’t consider what could possibly work. Their perspective could be, why would I try this if I know something that is going to work and has worked for years? Why reinvent the wheel? (They LOVE that saying.) Your job is to get them to consider the possibilities that they didn’t know existed. For instance, my friend works for a school district marketing team. She explained to me that it was hard to get her coworkers to visualize an Instagram page ran by various high school SGA’s in the district. Something so average to us was very unheard of to Boomers. However, once the idea was thoroughly explained and cultivated it was able to be a success. Sometimes you have to get Boomers to see what they don’t think is there.
Comment below some ways in which you’ve worked with Baby Boomers and how they were successful or need refinement.
Be easy and work together.