What Gap? Millennials VS Baby Boomers

Can’t stop hearing Millennial this, Baby Boomer that? Well these words are hot topics for a reason. Less than half of society understands the millennial and the other half understands the Baby Boomer. The key is to understand both, get into their heads and bridge the gap between the two. The people who can do that will be successful in their careers and relationships.

I decided to write on this topic because I find myself in the middle as a Generation X, aka GenXer. Baby Boomers are wanting to reach the younger generation, the Millennial. For me, it started with the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii wanting to create a Young Professional Program to help build up the leaders of tomorrow. Seven years later and a lot of hard work we have an amazing program that offers just that. I am proud to be a founding member on the steering committee and their Ambassador for the past two years. This has led me to joining the Catholic Charities Hawai`i board as I sit on their Program Board, Finance Board and most importantly, their new venture, Your Generation, aka #YourGen group that attracts young professionals under the age of 45. My other endeavor has been within my career industry, Real Estate and volunteering for the Honolulu Board of Realtors, East Oahu Regional as their Vice Chair. I see the gap within my industry as well and being a second generation REALTOR® working with my business partner, mother and Baby Boomer, Yumi Laney for the past 13 years. I too am worried where our industry is headed. I feel I have a social responsibility to help bridge this generation gap and keep Hawai`i thriving in the business and philanthropy sectors; our future relies on it.

To start, stereotypes exist for a reason and everything I am about to write is extremely generalized and stereotypical so please don’t be offended but know, this is what I have observed and so have many who have studied the different generations recently. Also note, not all who fall under a certain age become anything like their stereotypical generation so rest assured if you read this and beg to differ. So much goes into who a person is, how they think, what they believe and who they become. So even if this isn't you, understanding how you may be perceived will help you communicate and connect with others more proficiently.

Okay, here is my take on what happened. All you Baby Boomers, yeah you hippy crazed college liberals who started riots, burned down buildings, rebelled against your parents with sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, well you were cool and admired for your past but let’s face it, you are now way more conservative and set in your ways today. You have created empires from scratch, started with nothing and now have established yourselves with a successful money-making career to perhaps a late retirement out of boredom or fear of letting go. Maybe you have a grown family or two like the Brady Bunch, have made your money and now, you are ready for the next stage in your life, PURPOSE. It’s all about you and your legacy. Of course this purpose and legacy differs for every person. For some it’s passing down their company to someone who will carry on it’s good name and have it grow. Others is traveling the world, tackling new and real experiences that they put on hold their entire adulthood because they were raising children and/or were workaholics. Or perhaps it’s centered around family, giving back to society or investing your wealth into the future and promising youth you choose to mentor.

You come with a wealth of knowledge, the entrepreneurial spirit, the American Way, huge successes and catastrophic failures, money to invest, opportunities for the next generation and the key here: the experience and money the Millennials do not currently have. Your job is not done and thank God for grandchildren because you love them to death and when you think of giving back for the future, you are clearly thinking about them and not these entitled Millennials flooding the business world and soon running the world you are living in...yikes!

Well with that mouth full, on to the Millennials. So who is a Millennial? Take a look at this chart (Click Here) easily breaking down the different generations and is more specific than most I have found. Okay we have all heard about the Millennial stereotype and here are just a few traits, perhaps controversial but none the less, ones to highlight:

I hope I have shed some light on a Millennial for a non-Millennial and also for a Millennial who may not see their generation this way. This is Part 1 of 3 to my Bridging The Gap series, stay tuned for Part 2: Why the Millennial is the way they are and Part 3: Solutions to Bridging The Gap. Until next time, #LiveSmart.

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