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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

In addition to my study of the millennial generation is my current research on the generation following them. Jean Twenge has given them the name iGen because their generation has always had digital devices like the iPod and the iPhone.

They were born between 1995 and 2012. In fact, the leading edge of the iGen generation are now graduating from college. In many ways, they are different from previous generations. Here are a few characteristics that Jean Twenge talks about in her book and articles.

First, it appears that iGen is more focused on work than the millennial generation. A higher percentage of them were willing to work overtime to get a job done. That changed perception might have to do with the fact that they experienced the Great Recession a number of years ago.

Second, the iGen generation is taking longer to work, drive, and date than previous generations. This will no doubt have an impact on the workplace. Twenge observes that, “Managers who learned to be cheerleaders for millennials will find they are more like therapists, life coaches, or parents for iGen’ers.”

Third, the iGen generation is not as confident as the millennial predecessors. Various surveys show they are less confident about their career prospects. They have lower self-confidence than the previous generation at the same age.

The latest generation also seems very concerned with safety. They have turned out to be safe drivers. They are less likely to binge drink than the previous generations. And they want “emotional safety” — meaning they want to be protected from offensive comments and conflict.

Finally, they are obviously tied to their phones and social media. They are likely to socialize using their phones rather than getting together in person. If we want to reach this new generation, we need to see how they are different due both to their social experiences and their digital devices.

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