Have you ever had a nickname you didn’t want? You were in the third grade and crapped your pants and some dumb kid called you ‘Stinky’ and it stuck, for life! The rest of your life you got to go around being called ‘Stinky’ and having to explain this to people.
I think most people in those situations try to create a new nickname! “Hey, guys, just call me Dice! I was at summer camp and all the guys there called me “Dice”! We played this game with dice and I was really great at it, anyway, it stuck. So, you guys can call me Dice, I’m cool with it.” Okay, Stinky, we got you!
There’s only one rule in nicknames. That rule? You can’t make your own nickname!
To my surprise the great folks at MTV decided it would be a great idea for the kids over at GenZ, that generation under the Millennials, to just come up with their own generational nickname. The MTV crew actually surveyed thousands of high school kids from across the country to determine what they would prefer to have their ‘generation’ called.
Say hello to The Founders!
Why the founders? Well, apparently this next generation has attached itself the Silicon Valley culture of founding companies. Not they have really actually done this, but it’s what they identify with, so why not act like you started this whole dot com, startup thingy.
What do we really know about these Founders? A few things for sure, that I think will help organizations understand this next generation entering the workforce:
1. They were raised during the Great Recession. Not since the Great Depression, have so many kids witnessed parents and adults close to them lose so many jobs and struggle financially. This will impact their work ethic, the importance of keeping a job, etc. Think the opposite of how Millennials view work! The Founders probably have more in common with the Greatest Generation, than the Millennials.
2. They have never not had a Smartphone. This will impact how they do their work, how they socialize and how they communicate. The Millennials had flip phones to start!
3. The media has bombarded them with unrealistic views of what work looks like. Google is an outlier, not the norm. Yet, they tend to believe it’s the norm because the ‘Googlized’ work environment gets so much publicity. 99% of work environments do not look like Google. This will cause some ‘hey, I didn’t expect this’ moments for a ton of kids in their first jobs.
I hate naming generations. Millennials, Founders, Gen-X… They’re kids. They won’t know their ass from a hole in the ground, and you’ll have to teach them most everything they’ll need to know about your company and your jobs, because our educational system continues give them real-world skills to compete.
Call them whatever you want. Entry level always seems to fit best.