There are currently more and more Millennials entering the
workforce and Baby Boomers are preparing for retirement, which leads to some
definite generational gaps developing at work. Whether it’s younger people
managing older employers or vice versa, there is a huge number of challenges
arising because of the differences in age.
While generational diversity in the workforce promotes a broader range of
talent, the awareness and impact of these different role players are key to
understand in your job search.
One such area is during the job search and interview
process. The challenges in terms of generational gaps are plentiful so what do
you need to know?
If you’re a job-seeker of the baby-boom
generation, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by the way things have
changed in the job market. Job boards and networking are now seen as vital ways
in which to start your job search. There are many misconceptions around
older workers but the reality is that as baby boomers you are flexible when it
comes to chances in the workplace, goal-oriented and more devoted and engaged
than your younger counterparts.
When you interview for a new position, you have the
opportunity to convince those in charge of hiring that you’re just as
passionate, energetic, adaptable and technologically savvy as those half your
age. It’s important to show how you are open to new ideas and how you’ve been
proactive in learning about new technologies or systems in your field.
Use your age
and knowledge gained to your advantage by making sure you convey the
impression that you’re mature and experienced but also an enthusiastic
individual who’s eager for new challenges.
Don’t emphasize numbers of years of experience, but rather, hindsight, learning
from mistakes, self-awareness, and the value you can add as a result of your
X-ers were born between 1965 and 1980, caught between parents who are
aging and children they are raising, many from this generation are trying to
balance family priorities and work responsibilities. You’re in your 30s and
40s, in the middle of your lives, your careers, and have a lot of
responsibility. You’re caught in between two huge groups of people who are, in
their own ways, competing with you head on head. Boomers to the left of
you, Millennials to the right — and you with all the frustrations that come
with being part of a smaller generational cohort.
If you are part of this generation you are known for being
self-reliant and entrepreneurial, traits that show potential employers that you
are ready to tackle any project and don’t need a lot of hand-holding. Your
priorities for job search may be different than other generations as you need
your career to fit into your life especially with the multitude of
responsibilities you have at this stage of your life.
If a boomer is interviewing you, be sensitive to the fact
that they might have different views around benefits like flexitime and working
remotely and therefore avoid leading with this type of questions.
On the other hand, if a millennial is interviewing you talk
more about your enthusiasm and interest for growth within the company as they
tend to be more involved.
Tech-savvy to the hilt, inspired and informed by global trends, thought
leaders, and online influencers, and mostly raised by the baby boomer
generation that empowered itself during economically successful times, millennials
seem to have it all. Unfortunately, what they also have is a bad reputation –
one that warns of being indulged, entitled, and lazy.
First and foremost, it’s important to be mindful that different generations
exist especially during your job search. It’s your job to adapt to the
communication styles of the people you are trying to convince to hire you. You
may find that some interviewers have negative stereotypes about your generation.
Make sure you do your research before going to an interview and review and
prepare some of the tricky interview questions that will be
The chances are very good that you will be interviewed by someone in an older
generation so it’s important to highlight the positive attributes of your
generation, like that you are highly motivated and intensely focused. Many
hiring managers also perceive Millennials as tech fluent, flexible and
excellent team players which are all sought after skills. Use that to your
It doesn’t matter which generation you represent; we
understand that job search is not always easy. Whether you are a candidate
urgently looking for a new job or somebody looking to form a long-term career
building partnership, talk to us. We have a team of dedicated consultants
specialising in the Finance, IT, Engineering, Supply Chain
and Freight industries. They can connect you with Top Employers in South
Africa while assisting you to map both long and short term career objectives
and advise you on what steps to take to reach your ultimate career goal. Communicate
Recruitment connects Great People with Great Careers. Apply today.