The Xennial Generation in the Workplace
Generation xennial refers to people born after Generation X and before Millennials. The xennial generation has a unique perspective on the technological age which can be of benefit to almost any industry.
In this article, we define the term ‘xennal’, explore how a xennal works in the modern workplace, and offer some tips for xennials who want to highlight their unique characteristics when looking for a job.
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- 1 What is a xennal?
- 2 Common characteristics of xennials
- 3 Current xennial jobs
- 4 How do xennial characteristics transfer to skills?
What is a xennal?
Xennials are considered a micro-generation between Generation X and Millennials, and were born between 1977 and 1981.
Xennials are generally identified by their unique relationship with technology. People in this age group grew up without a computer or mobile technology at home, a fact that immediately sets them apart from Gen X and Gen Y.
Most xennials first encountered personal computers and cell phones when they were in their mid-twenties. They spent their childhood using analog technology, such as rotary telephones, record players and cassettes. Xennials were also the last generation to go through their teenage years without social media.
The economic recession in the United States has affected xennials a lot, as some have struggled to pay off student loans or find jobs in fields of their choice. As the xennial generation grew older, the transitional nature of their childhood affected the way they function and interact in the workplace.
While Millennials were still in elementary school, most Xennials were finishing high school and leaving home. Today, xennials have been part of the global workforce for 20 years, as most graduated from college and entered the workforce as early as 1995. During this period, some moved up from status. from the youngest employee of a company to that of winning and filling leadership roles.
The xennial generation has found jobs in a wide variety of industries. No matter where they work, xennials are most likely to use their technical expertise, practical experience, and communication skills to excel in their careers. Xennials often use the closeness of their generation to communicate effectively with fellow Gen Xers and younger people.
Common characteristics of xennials
Although attributes may vary from individual to individual, certain characteristics are commonly seen in the xennial generation. Used well, these features can be useful in any workplace.
1. Xennials tend to adapt
In their youth, xennials witnessed an unprecedented change in society due to the rapid development of technology. This change has forced xennials to quickly adapt to the changing environment. Specifically, xennials have experienced the extreme shift in the use of rotary phones to cell phones, which has mobilized both personal and business communication. They learned how to effectively use personal computers that were brought into their homes and workplaces.
Instead of balking at change, xennials are generally eager to take on new situations and implement new methods. Due to their natural potential for versatility, xennials are known to be able to absorb information and use it quickly to solve problems. Xennials can be both non-traditional and innovative.
2. Xennials tend to be inclusive
Xennials are often a bridge between the older and younger generations. Xennials understand Gen X because they likely grew up learning from and interacting with them as children. Additionally, xennials can also communicate and empathize with millennials, who have experienced adulthood youth that are relatively similar to theirs. This ability to connect across generations is a unique asset for many xennials.
Xennials are known to find common ground among the different generations that occupy their workplaces. Xennials can act as mediators when a conflict arises due to differences of opinion over the value of maintaining current methods or implementing new ideas. Being able to include and sympathize with a multitude of generations can set a xennial apart in the workplace.
3. Xennials tend to be focused
Xennials are generally responsible and reliable in the workplace. Unlike their millennial colleagues, who may struggle with tasks they don’t find exciting, xennials are usually content with working hard to complete the tasks given to them.
Growing up without the internet or social media means that most xennials have better attention spans than their younger colleagues. Since they are still on the verge of reaching middle age, most xennials also still have a fresh and relatively young outlook on their jobs and their place in the workforce.
Ideally, a xennial has the work ethic of a Gen X and the energy of a Millennial. This combination of attributes makes xennial a useful addition to most offices. Learning to value this characteristic could benefit a xennial looking to be successful in the workplace.
Related: 10 best skills to include in a resume
Current xennial jobs
Partly due to their versatile nature and tendency to be tech-savvy, xennials can be hired in many different fields and industries. Each generation differs in their preference for certain job titles or places of work, but xennials may look for jobs in:
- Mass Communication https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/what-are-communication-studies-jobs)
- Public relations
- Graphic design
How do xennial characteristics transfer to skills?
Xennials have unique characteristics that translate well into professional skills. Knowing how to showcase your strengths when applying for a job can go a long way in helping a xennial in their career. Here are some tips on the best way to highlight the skills and attributes of being a xennial:
How to include xennial skills in a resume
When listing skills on a resume, xennials should include any technical expertise they may have gained at home or on the job. Hands-on experience in computer applications, systems, and programming can differentiate Gen X xennial. Include a description of your proficiency in computer programs commonly used in the workplace and any experience with social media platforms.
Xennials should also include a detailed summary of their responsibilities in past positions. In competition with millennials, practical experience will make a xennial more attractive to a potential employer. Highlight any experience you may have with workplace communication, solving practical problems, or training coworkers.
Xennials are often excellent candidates for leadership positions because of their team skills. Communicate that you can use your experience to become a leader in your workplace.
Read more: 10 resume writing tips to help you land a job
How to include xennial skills in a cover letter
In cover letters, xennials might want to explain their vision of what they can bring to an organization or business. A Gen X employee can focus on sticking to established methods, while a millennial has the potential to introduce new technology. When it comes to progress, xennials foster important common ground.
Employers may be interested in hiring older employees who can introduce innovative methods without sacrificing the original values of the company. Communicating your mission statement, personal values, and goals for your professional future is an important part of an effective cover letter.
Read more: How to write a cover letter
How to highlight xennial skills in an interview
During interviews, xennials can show their ability to interact with a wide range of ages and backgrounds. A xennial might be able to find common interests and values with older and younger interviewers. Showing an ability to communicate with anyone with confidence will greatly benefit a xennial who hopes to accurately convey the inclusiveness of their generation.
Many of the specific skills and strengths of a xennial can be interpersonal. Therefore, speaking face to face could be the best opportunity for a xennial to convey its value as an employee. Emphasizing your natural adaptability, work ethic, and commitment to teamwork could have a positive impact on your job interview.