New year, new generation: 5 things to know about Gen Z

Michelle Graff

Before we get too far into the new year, I would like to attend to some business from last year.
Just before Thanksgiving, I interviewed Jason Dorsey, president and co-founder of The Center for Generational Kinetics, about his company’s latest study on Gen Z, the generation immediately following Generation Y or, as they are better known, the millennials.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the center conducts annual surveys of millennials and Gen Zers to provide research to companies about their mindsets, worldviews and behavioral drivers.

Dorsey also speaks about the center’s findings—he gave a talk at a jewelry trade show a couple years back—and has authored a few books, including “Y-Size Your Business,” about hiring and retaining millennials.

I wanted to interview Dorsey because while we’ve written extensively about other generations, including the much-covered millennials and the “midults,” I don’t feel we’ve talked enough about the next generation.

The dates for Generation Z are still a bit murky, but, for the center’s survey purposes, Dorsey said they set the upper bound at 1996 because of the history-altering event that took place on a clear September morning in 2001.

Someone born in 1996 will turn 23 this year. When 9/11 happened, they would have been 5 or 6 years old and aren’t likely to remember much about it, unlike most millennials, who have more fully formed memories of that day.

The lower bound remains unset, but Dorsey said for the purposes of the 2018 study, they cut it off at 13.

Now, a couple thoughts about reporting on generational differences.

First, to talk about anyone’s generation is make sweeping generalizations about a huge group of people that aren’t going to apply to everyone.

Secondly, it is not a perfect science; in fact, it is not a science at all. It is a loosely defined set of dates, and the lines between generations are blurred at both the lower and upper bounds.

Born in 1978, I am technically Generation X but feel like I have more in common with older millennials than I do with my cousins who were born in the late ‘60s and early 1970s. There is, in fact, a term for individuals born between about 1977 and 1983 who exhibit a blend of Gen X and millennial traits—Xennials.

Similarly, younger millennials—those under 30—probably are going to be more similar in behavior to Gen Zers than the oldest millennials, who are in their late 30s now.

Read full article

Source National Jeweler