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Move Over Millennials! Here Comes Generation Z


by Glenn Shepard
February 6, 2018
Category: Management




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Did You Know?

As of 2016, Millennials (aka Generation Y) became the largest living generation in America, bumping the Baby Boomers from that position.
Source: Pew Research

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If you’re a Millennial, you’ll like this.

For the last 15 years or so, Gen X and Baby Boomers have talked about you non-stop because you were the new kids on the block.

But Millennials are no longer the youngest generation in the workforce. Generation Z (those born from the end of the 1990s until now) is now graduating college. This means that you’ll soon start hearing less about Millennials, and more about Generation Z.

While it’s too early to be certain how they’ll function as adults, the early indicators are that they’ll be quite different from the preceding generation (as most generations are).

It appears they may have more traditional, old-school values.

Here are four reasons why I predict this:

A. Names

Just a few years ago, it seemed like every other baby girl born in the U.S was named modern, newer names like Tiffany or Amber. (This was so common that in the 2012 Mark Wahlberg movie “Ted”, he made a deriding comment about these names.) But since 2013, Emma has been the most popular name for baby girls, and Noah for boys. In fact, all ten of the most popular baby names have been older, more traditional ones ever since. According to the federal government, they are:


1. Noah
2. Liam
3. William
4. Mason
5. James
6. Benjamin
7. Jacob
8. Michael
9. Elijah
10. Ethan


1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Ava
4. Sophia
5. Isabella
6. Mia
7. Charlotte
8. Abigail
9. Emily
10. Harper

B. Grandma and Grandpa Are Becoming the New Soccer Moms

An unexpected trend began occurring when Baby Boomers began retiring. Many sold their homes and moved to be closer to their kids and grandkids. As a result, Generation Z is growing up with more interaction with their grandparents than prior generations had. Many of these Baby Boomers are driving their grandkids to ball games and other extra-curricular activities while their parents are at work. And along the way, these kids are inadvertently picking up life lessons, like the importance of being on time, working hard to succeed, etc.

C. The Economy

Most Millennials grew up in a time when there were plenty of jobs, which gave them great optimism – and arrogance for many. I remember a 2007 story on the TV show “60 Minutes”, in which a twenty-something told Morley Safer that his generation saw nothing wrong with changing jobs four times in a year, because they would not settle for anything less than what made them happy.

But because Generation Z grew up during the Great Recession, they’re starting their careers with less arrogance and less of an entitlement mentality.

D. A More Dangerous World

Remember when you first heard about the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999? Or the World Trade Center attacks in 2001? Or the first time you heard of identity th*ft? Or Amber Alerts?

Each of these probably left you missing a simpler and safer time you grew up in. But for Generation Z, this is all they’ve ever known. A world where mass shootings are constantly in the news, as is the latest story of yet another high-profile man forcing himself on women, is the norm for them.

As a result, Generation Z will enter adulthood with a greater sense of caution. So maybe … just maybe … this new generation will be more like their great grandparents who fought in WWII.

Of course, these are all just predictions for now. Check back in five years and let me know if I’m right.

To Your Success,


Glenn Shepard

P.S. To be clear about Reason B, Baby Boomers want to stay forever young. For this reason, we made up names (like “Poppy” and “Nanna”) when we started becoming grandparents, because they sounded younger than “Grandpa” and “Grandma”.

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