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Photography of Alvaro Montoro being a doofus
Alvaro Montoro

Honorary Tortoise

A group of women talk around a laptop

Elder Millennials Make the Best Managers

People born in the early 80s understand Gen X and Millennials better than they understand each other.

opinion personal career

"Elder Millennials" is a despised term by... Elder Millennials. But still, they prefer it over the alternative "Geriatric Millennial." People born between Gen X (1965-1980) and Millenials (1981-1996) are a generation within their own generation-a lost micro-generation.

Elder Millennials are Millennials by age and Gen X at heart. Their culture is close to Gen X, growing up watching The A-Team, Knight Rider, or MTV... but also with the Power Rangers, Dragon Ball, or the rise of Cartoon Network.

Elder Millennials were there when the digital era boomed. They have lived the "pre-digital" era like Gen X and understand how it works like Gen Y. They grew up both with and without cellphones, with and without the Internet, and with and without the surveillance and public scrutiny that younger generations had to suffer with these technologies fully.

It goes beyond culture. Elder Millennials were also born early enough to remember major historical events like the Cold War or the fall of the Berlin Wall; and late enough to join adulthood while getting a complete understanding of 9-11 and its consequences. Millennials might have been alive then, but they didn't grasp these events as Elder Millennials did.

This in-betweenness gives them a better understanding of the generation before them and the members of their own generation. They have insights and connections with both of them.

The oldest members of Gen Z have barely graduated college and getting into the work market. They are a force of their own... but are not ready to be managers yet. Baby Boomers are mostly retired or with their minds to it. That leaves a workforce of Gen X and Y.

(Older) Gen Xers are approaching that retirement point, too. They would naturally be in management positions by age, but many lack the connection with Millennials' style. They see them as lazy or entitled (just as Baby Boomers saw them), and generally, they don't understand them.

People born in 1980-85 are in the "sweet spot": around 40, midway in their career, with a balanced combination of professional expertise and personal experience. They are the perfect bridge, the missing link, between the two main generations that conform the workforce at the moment.

They understand the in-person office working style, embrace remote work, and thrive in the hybrid environment. So, with all these advantages, where's the doubt? Put an "Elder Millennial" in your life and your company's management. You won't regret it.

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