Millennials vs. Gen Z

There's enough "rizz" for all of us

Hey there! This is your friendly reminder not to warm up your pizza box in the oven unless you want to alert all of your neighbors with your fire alarm that you are, in fact, having leftover deep dish for breakfast. Oops! 😳

Today’s tunes: Gen Z didn’t get to wear either 1) a rhinestone chunky belt on top of a tank top or 2) three layered polos with popped collars while belting JoJo’s hit “Leave (Get Out),” and it shows. It also happens to be this edition’s hot topic (they definitely don’t remember that store either). Let’s get into it.

—Rod

The Great Millennial Vs. Gen Z Debarte

 question 
How do I contain myself when a Gen Z coworker mixes up “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” by Panic! At The Disco with “1985” by Bowling for Soup during a team-wide presentation? I’m trying to stay professional but my Millennial heart can’t take the mix up. It’s so tough to work with Gen Z sometimes! Any advice for bridging this big generational gap?—A.

 answer 
May I suggest scheduling a mandatory all-hands meeting to ensure your Gen Z coworker doesn’t make this grave mistake again? Kidding, but I do totally hear you on the challenges of working with other generations. We have really different approaches to work (and clearly different cultural references).

Whether it’s Millennials thinking Gen Z has no fun, Gen Z calling Millennials “cheugy,” or Boomers saying we all have it easy compared to what they went through “back in the day,” generations do things differently…

And that’s a-okay!

Because there’s a lot we can learn from each other. That is, once we overcome the pop culture language barrier. At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team (pro-raises and better PTO policies). So keep these tips in mind the next time your Gen Z coworker asks if Baby Spice is Ice Spice’s mom.

Try doing something fun together. And I mean actually fun, not forced office fun. You could…

  • Make a shared Spotify playlist and ask coworkers of all ages to add the songs they sang into their hairbrush getting ready for the 10th grade dance.

  • Pick a day to all wear whatever the latest “what’s old is new again” trend is together. Ballet flats and Luke Danes core, anyone?

Keep in mind what you can learn from your coworkers, regardless of whether they remember a time before TiVo. This was a big lesson for me—just as I thought cargo pants were a thing of the past, I never thought I’d admit other generations could maybe be doing things better? But they are!

Some trends that are worth the hype:

Gen Z on work/life balance: Gen Z is great at setting boundaries. Not overcompensating at work when you’re being under-compensated in your paycheck? Genius. Setting up working hours on your email and Slack so you don’t find yourself answering Nancy from finance at 9pm? Love it. Actually taking your time off and not apologizing for it? Icon behavior.

Millennials on mental health: Therapy was pretty taboo before the words “my therapist told me” became the theme of every Millennial bottomless brunch. Somehow Millennials have managed to make being vulnerable cool and we’re here for the ways that’s improved work! Yes ofc “we can do hard things,” but that doesn’t mean we have to do them alone. Asking for help when you need it—and offering little support when you can—goes a long way.

Boomers on networking: If there’s one thing we can learn from Boomers, it’s networking. Like…how do my parents and bosses know so many people? How we connect these days may be different, but the old saying “it’s all about who you know” still rings true. As cringe as it may feel to connect face-to-face with a stranger, building a professional network is important for professional growth.

Bottom line: While we may never agree that “lukewarm regards” is the best way to sign off on an email, each generation can still add value and positively influence work. It just takes us all putting in a little effort to meet each other where we are.

What’s one thing you’ve learned from another generation that actually has helped you in the workplace? Reply to this email and let us know; we’d love to hear about it! 

Got a Q for me to A? Submit yours here.

Things To Send Your Work Besties

…after you google what “no cap” means.

Therapists weigh in on the biggest things Millennials talk about when it comes to relationships with our parents—no, you’re not alone in the whole I’ll never live up to their standards thing.

I’m always looking for ways to de-stress, and recently that’s included box breathing! Try this in the middle of your work day when you feel like throwing your laptop out of the window. 🙃 

Speaking of Gen Z, NPR’s Tiny Desk with Olivia Rodrigo is anything but cheugy.

That’s all for today folks! Make sure to give yourself a pat on the back this week. You deserve it. I’ll see you back here next Wednesday!

IDK WHAT DO I KNOW?! LMAO!

—Rod

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