Differences between Gen Z and Millennials

How to identify a Millennial or Gen Z’er? Are Millennials and Gen Z similar? What is the difference between both generations? How do these generations communicate?

Joep Wittebrood

Aug 8, 2021 06:04

The difference between gen z and millennials


Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2012, whereas Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. In 2019 the oldest Millennials turned 40, which means that they have been part of adult life for a while. Gen Z is now maturing into young adults — the oldest in this generation are now in their late twenties and most are still in their teens or younger.

In this blog, you will learn more about these generations and identify some similarities and differences.

Are you a Millennial or Gen Z’er? Take a fun quiz to find out which generation you belong to. 

How to identify a Millennial or Gen Z’er?

Now that Gen Z’ers are increasingly entering work environments, let’s learn more about Millennials and Gen Z — what is characteristic of these generations and what do they care about?

First of all, it’s important to be aware of the differences between these generations to prepare yourself to start working with Gen Z’ers. After all, if you are a Millennial or a Gen X, you will probably find yourself recruiting Gen Z’ers.

If you are not sure which generation you or your employees belong to, I invite you to take a fun quiz. For those who are not familiarized with BuzzFeed, they are a cool digital media company, which leverages data and innovation to reach hundreds of millions of people globally. They create articles, lists, quizzes, videos, and also, you can find life & style and trendy content.

BuzzFeed created a quiz that will tell you with absolute certainty if you are a Millennial or a Gen Z’er. Have fun taking the quiz!

Start the quiz

Did you enjoy taking the quiz? Now you certainly know if you or your employees are a Millennial or a Gen Z’er!

What are the differences between both generations?

Gen Z is more entrepreneurial. According to several kinds of research, Generation Z wants more independent work environments. Instead of being part of companies or big corporations, they want to create startups or businesses, which made them more entrepreneurial at an early age.

Millennials grew up with limited internet access. Millennials played PC games like solitaire, Black Hole Pinball, or Minesweeper. Do you remember those games? Gen Z already grew up in a technological world. What for Millennials was taken as amazing and inspiring inventions, is now taken as a given for Gen Z and this is why Gen Z has higher expectations.

Marcie Merriman, executive director of growth strategy at Ernst & Young, made a report of Gen Z, where she mentioned:

When it doesn’t get there that fast they think something’s wrong.”

They expect businesses, brands, and retailers to be loyal to them. If they don’t feel appreciated, they’re going to move on. It’s not about them being loyal to the business.”

You can find more information on her “Rise of Gen Z: new challenge for retailers” report. 

Millennials and Gen Z in the working field

Both generations are multitasked. Millennials were able to focus more at school or any other task that they needed, while Gen Z struggles more with focusing. Why? Simply because Gen Z has too many distractions going on. However, because of all these distractions, they also can work on multiple tasks at once.

Companies are already employing Gen Z, but they are struggling with how to keep them in the workplace. As we mentioned before, Gen Z is looking for more independent work environments. They are fast learners and capable of learning something by themselves or through a more efficient, non-traditional route and talking about multitasks.

Going back to which generation can focus better than the other one, Millennials can focus better than Gen Z. This is because Gen Z lives in a world that needs constant updates. This generation processes information faster than others, because of all the apps that they use, but their attention might be significantly lower than Millennials.

To be a good leader for them, you have to understand the differences between both generations. Understanding their needs and interests will help you to work and guide them better.

How do these generations communicate?

Millennials were the first generation who had internet access. Therefore, they were considered the first global generation. But as more of the world comes online, Gen Z will become more global in their thinking, interactions, and relatability.

Gen Z has never been without the Internet and needs to know the “why” for everything. They want to be a part of something bigger. Both generations are addicted to their digital devices, of course, Millennials in a lower way. When we wonder why Gen Z is always on their phones, it’s because they have never been without one.

So the way that both generations communicate is through digital devices, wherever and whenever. Not to mention as well that both generations like to have face-to-face conversations. Millennials know more about how to listen while surprisingly Gen Z preferred the method of communication in person.


Having a Gen Z team in the workplace will always be joyful to work with. They will always be focused on making the world around them better and more inspiring. Obviously, there will always be some challenges, but if you have an open mind and understand their similarities and differences, you will have quite good results working with them. 

Millennials will focus on having a job that allows them to make an impact in the lives of others and live a desired quality of life. They work best in teams and they like to create a “family” atmosphere at work.

At blackbear, our community of skilled professionals consists of all kinds of generations. This makes it possible to match challenges to Solvers that are best suited to achieve maximum results.

Curious about the power of our Solvers? Use the quick scan to discover the possibilities for your questions free of charge.

Source: BuzzFeedEYGlassdoor

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