Did you know that there’s another baby boom on? Since the mid 2000s, the fertility rate in the U.S. has been at its highest since 1971, meaning that the generation preliminarily known as Generation Z is actually larger than its predecessor, the mammoth Generation Y. The new boom is thought to be caused by a confluence of factors including a greater number of procreating immigrants and a high population of childbearing-age women – including those who have put off having children until their 40s.
Generational expert Neil Howe coined the term “Homelanders” to describe today’s children, stating that they are growing up in a time of "greater public urgency and emergency, both at home and around the world."
Generation Z-ers/Homelanders are speculated to be similar to members of the Silent Generation, who grew up during the Great Depression and came of age during World War II. Like the Silents, Homelanders are likely to be focused and hardworking.
Says Tim Elmore, founder and president of the international non-profit Growing Leaders: "The Homelanders exhibit far more realistic expectations than Gen Y. It is my guess this generation will be more practical when choosing majors in college and subsequently careers. The downside to this: because of their calculated nature, they will likely be a much less entrepreneurial and innovative generation than Gen Y."
The Homelanders will also be the first truly global generation, interacting with peers around the world at a young age and paying close attention to world events via technology. With America’s first African-American president as a role model, diversity is a given and they will not be phased by ethnic, racial, or cultural differences. Due to parental emphasis, they will be more interpersonally savvy than their device-crazy predecessors.
As they grow, the Homelanders are likely to be debt-ridden, but still optimistic about their futures. Accustomed to having information about anything they’re curious about immediately available, they will be more formally and informally educated than previous generations.
Coming of age in the 2020s, the Homelanders will go to work in a society that moves at the speed of Internet 3.0. Their highly developed multi-tasking and cognitive processing abilities will come in handy because many will be contingent workers, meaning they are employed for a variety of organizations doing a variety of tasks. And with the aging Baby Boomers and major skills shortages to contend with, there will always be plenty of work to do.
The Homelanders won’t be particularly motivated by salary because they won’t own (or want to own) as many things as their parents and grandparents, and they won’t bat an eye about moving overseas if that’s where opportunity takes them.
Do you have young children? What traits do you see in them that will be relevant to their future lives as employees?