Generation Z (born 1996-today)

Every generation comes to an end, Baby Boomers, Generation X; they’ve all had their day. So, what’s next? What happens after Generation Y? And how will the last generation adapt to the next?

Generation Z

Generation Zers were born in the years from 1995-2009/12 (depending on who you ask) and will begin ‘coming of age’ in 2013-2020. They have grown up in an environment packed with technology and diversity, even more so than Generation Y.

Penelope Trunk, founder of Brazen Careerist predicts the next generation will quickly take over and push themselves into positions of leadership, positions that Gen Yers avoided as they are more comfortable leading from the middle rather than the top. Penelope attributes this desire for power to two different aspects of the lives of Generation Z.

 : Generation Z have grown up surrounded by war, economic demise and random shootings. They will therefore strive to create and surround themselves with stability.

: Raised by Generation X parents, Gen Zers will develop their parents confrontational traits, making Gen Yers seem much weaker than them in comparison.

Although it may seem impossible now, Generation Z will also be even more tech and Internet savvy than their previous generation. Growing up in an age where technology develops rapidly and is incredibly sophisticated has created scores of pre-teens that will be tweeting before secondary school!

If this is what we can expect to see in the new few years, what happens beyond that? Talk has already begun of a ‘Generation Alpha’ – the generation set to have the biggest impact yet!

Social researcher, Mark McCrindle, dubbed the next generation ‘Generation Alpha’ in his book The ABC of XYZ and stated that “this generation is likely to be the most formally educated in history. They will begin schooling earlier and study for longer.” Much like Gen Y, Gen Z are born after the so-called digital ‘boom’ and will therefore be digital natives, but on a higher scale than Gen Y.

Using technology to become more productive, Gen Alpha will not be accused to becoming lazy thanks to technology as Gen Y has been. McCrindle also boldly claims predicts that Facebook will die with Gen Y and that the next generation will not begin working until their mid 20’s, but will continue working into their 70’s and 80s.

With each generation benefitting from the developments of the last we are set to continue evolving positively.

The Generation After Y
The generation that follows Generation Y has already been given a suggested moniker – Generation Z. Children who are being born now fit into this generation. Some social critics stipulate that children born in the early and mid-2000s are the oldest in Generation Z. A firm name has not yet been attributed to this generation, but a wide variety of different names have been offered in various countries, including ‘Generation Wii’, ‘post-millennials’, ‘Digital Natives’, and ‘Homeland Generation’. Since this generation is literally still in its infancy, traits and trends are not yet clear enough that one can stereotype. However, unlike previous generations, Gen X-ers will have grown up with digital technology in full swing all around them. Generation Y adults were born in the 1980s and 1990s, and so the generation as a whole saw the progression from Atari’s reign over computing, through internet dial-up and tamagotchis, up to the introduction of the first generation iPod mini in 2004. Mobile phones have been reduced to less than one tenth of their original size, while their capabilities have sky-rocketed. Generation Y has had to adapt and learn as each new digital technology was introduced, and in the 80s in particular, it took years for new developments to be released to the general public. Nowadays, application updates are constantly available, and the newest technologies are made public with alarming immediacy. Generation Z children will grow up to become adults who can operate any gadget without so much as a glance at the manual. The generation currently being born will be the most au fait with digital life, and will become the ‘computer geeks’ who will transform things far beyond what Generation X adults could ever have dreamt of.

Aside from their digital lives, Generation Z adults are predicted to be the most liberal and diverse of all. The focus on the global community will make most of Generation Z totally at ease with people their age from any and every ethnic and cultural background. Their social circles are likely to be significantly more diverse than that of their Generation X or Baby Boomer predecessors.


About the author

Lisa Mangelsdorf

I confess that I work to live rather than live to work. But when I can combine my passions into my work, I work best. This blog brings together discussions about one of my passions which is connecting people. I endeavour to fight the norm by chasing flexible working options and change seekers, hence my involvement with this blog. I'm fortunate to be connected with a global team at GAIA Insights. Retaining Gen Y within the workforce is an issue for most businesses across the globe. For help contact us because we know EXACTLY what they want from the workplace and we can help your business retain that key talent.


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