X, Y, Z – what are the different generations?

The world has changed dramatically in recent decades: globalization and digitization have become an integral part of our lives. And an end is far from being in sight, i. These developments continue to progress. In addition, there is a demographic change: the fertile generations belong to the past; the generations Y and Z value other things. This also has an impact on the job market. So the employee of the future will be able to choose between the offers of several employers.

But what are the differences between the different generations in detail? Or to put it another way: what characterizes these groups? The following article introduces the people from the different birth years a little closer.

Typology from 1922 to the present day

The so-called generation typology is divided into five different “phases”. Each of these phases corresponds to a certain period in which the people of the corresponding generation were born:

  • Traditionals: between 1922 and 1955
  • Baby boomer: between 1956 and 1965
  • Generation X: 1966 to 1980
  • Generation Y: 1981 to 1995
  • Generation Z: from 1995.

The individual generations are each characterized by their very own characteristics in relation to the values ​​of the people and the requirements to which they are / were exposed. Thus, each generation has had specific developments and experiences (such as economic crises or wars) that have had a significant impact on people’s lives. These effects affect not only the work style and the private life, but also, for example, the fundamental attitude towards life. In addition, the type of communication and the relation of the groups of people to technology / technology are two categories, in some cases marked differences.

Note: Since each person is individual and has his own ideas, experiences and views, the statements about the generations are to be understood with limitations. That means: Two members of the same group can be completely different – and probably are. In addition, it is not uncommon to overlap generations. More about this later in the article.

The generations in the overview

In the following sections we introduce the generations exactly. The generations X, Y and Z deserve special mention, as these are the three “most recent names” in our society.

The Generation X as “Analog Natives”

The Generation X is also known as Generation Golf. Members of this group spent their childhood, or at least a large part of it, without a computer. From a smartphone and other typical for today’s habits quite apart. Thus, the people experienced the technological change from analog to digital in adulthood. The new technologies presented a great challenge, which the generation had to deal with consciously.

In addition, the Generation X is characterized by a high motivation to work and by a generally high (education) (= particularly many academic degrees). The members of the group work independently and pragmatically. Although the “Xes” attach great importance to high quality of work and professional development, they see leisure as an important concept (keyword work-life balance).

Generation Y – the main thing to have fun with

This generation is also referred to as Millennials. The relatives are with the Internet, the Smartphone u.ÄÄ. grown up so that they have close contact with these media in everyday life. The “Ys” attach great importance to self-realization and general freedom, without lacking in team spirit and the ability to work together (keyword: teamwork). The Generation Y subordinates the career, as long as the job makes sense and fun.

Another difference to generation X is that the “ys” no longer strictly separate private life and the workplace, i. For example, the work is often taken home or the child comes to the office.

Generation Z – together to improve the world

The members of the youngest generation are so-called digital natives. Her life is characterized by rapid technological progress. In an experiment in which people have to get along for weeks without a smartphone and Co., they would hardly find their way around. Even social networks such as Instagram, YouTube and Twitter are normal. Thus, this generation is much more international than the other “letters”.

The “Ypsilons” are more cosmopolitan than their predecessors, but less optimistic and more safety-oriented than Generation Y by the negative news they receive every day. At the same time, relatives develop the feeling of having to improve the world – such big ones Change is no utopia for her.

Summary to the generations

As can be seen in this article, there are sometimes serious differences between the years, but also common interfaces. The members of each generation are / were exposed to specific experiences and events that have strongly influenced or influenced personality development. Despite belonging to a generation, each person makes his own experiences, so that a person must always be regarded as an individual with his own ideas.