Generation Gaps Can Benefit a Team

When I interviewed in 2019 for my position at UC Davis, I remember feeling old for the first time ever in relationship to my career.

The interview committee was made up of a few 30-something-year-olds, and I had the distinct (yet unfounded) feeling that the Millennials thought someone in her 50s might be too old to understand what modern communications is about.

In my first handful of meetings, I recall feeling that I needed to really demonstrate my youthful disposition. "Dudes, I’m a Gen-X’er who totally understands how to talk to the younger generation!” is what I tried to convey.

But this was a me-problem. My colleagues were not vibing me with “OK Boomer” thoughts, and every single person — from college students to genuine Baby Boomers — was happy to swap ideas. I came to see our department as a dynamic group who brought a range of experiences and perspectives.

A column I read at solidified this notion: It listed three benefits of a multi-generational team and workplace, which included remembering that “In the workplace, looking at people in terms of which generation they’re from can be misleading … everyone is still part of one collective team, working toward one common goal.”

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