Millennials vs. Boomers: Work

What MnMo readers think about the changes in how we work and why

battle of the ages, millennials, baby boomers
Millennials and Boomers at work

Photo by Kevin White

“I feel that a lot of Boomers were not educated past high school, and that college was not the main way to obtain a career like it is for Millennials today. So for Boomers, they went straight into the workforce and began growing their careers without the burden of $30,000+ of debt. And if Boomers did go to college, their classes were a fraction of the price they are today.”

“The major difference is the proportion between salary and cost of living. For Boomers, salaries were able to let them get a house, education, trips, raise a family, save for retirement, etc. much faster than Millennials. Some statistical analysis shows it will take millennials twice as long as Boomers, even GenX.”

“We oldsters don’t spend as freely using credit, but of course there are tons of exceptions. We believe that education will lead to better jobs—no longer necessarily true. We usually did better financially than our parents—not necessarily true for our children.”

“For most of their lives, Boomers have been saving a large amount of their money. So now, I feel that boomers are getting to the point in their lives when retirement is in their near future and they will be spending that saved money on experiences. Millennials, on the other hand, do not save very well compared to Boomers. I personally save what I can, but what is the point of a “savings account” when no one can find one with an interest rate over one percent?”

“Millennials are dealing with a different world than the Boomers had to deal with when they entered the workforce. Education is more expensive and the salary benefits of obtaining an education are smaller. Companies have less commitment to Millennials—you won’t see the pension plans of the good ‘ole days. So, Millennials are balancing how to save for their future—without the help of companies and with the burden of increased student debt—all while trying to find a fulfilling career.”

“I think Boomers are more rigid, stayed in one job or profession long-term, and are conservative spenders. Millennials seem to change jobs often, be more entrepreneurial, and have more expendable income (because they are delaying home ownership/marriage/having children?). These are mostly anecdotal or observational opinions.”

“Boomers expect to have one job forever, while Millennials have many over the cours of their working life.”

“I know lots of very smart Boomers who took a ‘creative’ post-high-school path (college over several years or even not finishing at all) who are very senior in their fields/companies. There’s no way that would fly now.”

“Boomers tend to have stronger work ethic. They also seem to have more patience and know that it takes time to build a career, lifestyle, etc. Millennials tend to feel more entitled and seem to think things should happen instantly and want immediate satisfaction. Milllennials tend to lean on the more creative side and are more free spirited which can be good but often it seems these attributes end up having a negative affect on their work ethic. These things also spill over into their spending/saving habits—want instant gratification and find it hard to save vs. Boomers which now the time will come when they can enjoy life…after they have worked for and earned it.”

‘Millennials aren’t as afraid to move around, have multiple jobs. It’s less about the security of a workplace and more about exploring what is out there.”

“To me, Millennials seem like they’re entitled. They want immediate gratification instead of putting in the hard work over time. They also don’t seem as loyal to employers as my generation. I’m not sure if they’re searching for the perfect job that doesn’t exist or they get bored easily or what, but the loyalty doesn’t seem to be there on the same level.”

“Boomers tend to have a strong work ethic, believe that you need to work hard to get the things you want/need, and work at one job their entire life, when possible. Millennials, on the other hand, seem to have a sense of entitlement. They were raised in an environment that everyone was great, everyone got a participation trophy, there were no losers or winners because that meant that someone else wasn’t as great as another person, and this is reflected in their work, education and spending/saving habits.”

“I definitely think Boomers have the upper hand when it comes to spending/saving habits. However, Millennials are more interested in choosing the career they want that best fits their lifestyle—something they are passionate about, rather than a typical 9-5 job. I also believe that Millennials adapt more to change than Boomers.”

“Work: Millennials are constantly seeking approval and they bounce from job to job. Education: Millennials are leaving college with way higher loans than their parents did, but aren’t getting paid any higher. Spending/Saving Habits: Boomers buy houses and travel when they’re retired, Millennials rent and travel the world before they’re 30.”