The business world has changed from emulating AMC’s, “Mad Men” to HBO’s, “Silicon Valley.” Instead of posh cocktails, whiskey glasses, and corner offices, we have beanbag chairs and ping pong tables that represent the tech sales culture.
Both Generation X and Millennials have influenced what was originally a Baby Boomer workplace. These younger generations are changing company culture all over the world. Here are three differences between the Baby Boomer and Millennial workplace, and how you can use this knowledge to your advantage.
The Tech Sales Culture in the Workplace
Imagine showing up to work and finding yourself among men drinking with colleagues or smoking alone in the confines of their offices. This was the (slightly unhealthy) reality for many companies during the Sixties. Most employees enjoyed the privacy of their own offices, or large, private cubicles. Employees would drink and smoke throughout the entire day, especially during the popular three-martini lunch.1
For the modern employee, the idea of having an entire room to call your own feels like a foreign concept. Instead, you find yourself at an open-office desk or communal table, which allows for constant interaction with coworkers. Many C-level executives today don’t even have separate offices; they opt to be among their employees. Drinking and smoking is no longer accepted during working hours, but employees will, of course, enjoy the occasional happy hour alongside their coworkers.
The dress code for most offices has changed drastically since the Sixties, and not just in the tech bubble of Silicon Valley. For men, it was common practice to wear suits every day to work, and many women wore pantyhose or pantsuits. Casual dress has become more acceptable, though there are still offices that require business professional attire.
Though there is still a societal push for women (and men) to look attractive, it is thankfully no longer a requirement in order to land a job.2 Casual but fashionable has become the new trend for women in the office, or a hoodie and jeans if you’re in San Francisco.
Finding a Job
In the past, people would commit to one or two companies throughout their lifetime and build a career that way. Now, people change companies more frequently, with the average U.S. worker lasting around 4.6 years in one position.3
Finding a job in the Sixties was also a slightly simpler process. How you presented yourself in interviews, at work, and in your résumé was usually all that your prospective employer would know about you. Now, with Facebook, Twitter, the Internet in general, and even dating apps, information is abundant. Due to this, the hiring process has become far less controlled, as people can discover your entire background by typing a few words into Google. In order to be noticed now, job seekers are doing everything they can to be unique and interesting.
Though we Bettsers love the crazy world of “Mad Men”, we couldn’t live without the inclusive and creative culture that has been created by the most recent generations. More importantly, we wouldn’t give up our ping-pong table for anything!
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