Generation Fusion

September 01, 2017

An article caught my attention the other day. It was written by a journalist, Sue James. She said “There’s no gap between generations now. Generation fusion has blurred the lines”. In the same article, she noted that technology is also helping to bond the generations. “Parents and grandparents integrating their lives with their children is a growing trend.” Grandma and Grandad help with the childcare and children help their parents and grandparents with social media.

It is certainly true in my case, as both my adult sons are good friends and are always ready with coaching tips for my social media!

The generations are also expected to collaborate more with each other at work as, in some organisations, up to five generations working side by side.

A piece of research also crossed my path from the US about Generation Z (young people born in the 90’s). It was asking if the work place is ready for them? They will make up 20% of the US workforce by 2020; they expect to work harder than previous generations and 82% of them expect their parents will influence their career decisions the most.

 Are you ready to help your generation Z, or younger children make career decisions?

In the UK we also know that parents have the greatest influence over a child’s career choice, and young people say they look to their parents as the first port of call for support and guidance about their future.

As generations fuse, we now know the whole family of caring adults will play a part in influencing career choice. We also know that all family members will learn what is needed together, to play an even greater part in career conversations.

When young people want a conversation with a parent about their future, they certainly don’t want to feel their parents are stuck in their past generational prejudices of generation X or baby boomers. They may even be stuck in their own parent’s generation. 

Young people today want parents/family who are understanding and willing to explore the current real world where young people will have their own valid thoughts and values.  These values are certainly influenced by home life, but generation Z and younger will be forging careers in an increasingly digital world and looking for meaningful work. Their access to information and career options will give them many more choices than previous generations.

For some young people, this need for a conversation about their future starts early, whilst others are not ready to discuss their future until their late teens or early twenties. In fact, some parents have asked us for tips for getting their young people to talk to them at all!

Young people want parents who can listen when they are ready to talk and will not make assumptions or judgements. The first conversations about career, need to build inner confidence to explore the options and foster self-reliance, initiative and career resilience.

In an age when generations are blurring, parents and children can learn from each other when making choices about the future and can do it together.

Our Parent Career Coach web site will have tips for parents to ensure you can start and build a trusting relationship with your child and work together to help make wise career choices.