Differences between Gen Z and Millennials

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

Generation Z was born in 1995 and 2012, while Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. In 2019 the oldest Millennials are turning 38, which means that they find themselves now entering into adult life, while Gen Z is now rising. This generation is just turning 24 this year, and most are still in their teens or younger.

In this blog, you will understand more about these generations and how you can identify with some similarities and differences. Are you a Millennial or Gen Z’er? Take a funny quiz to know to which generation you belong to and learn about Gretha Thunberg and how this Gen Z girl is influencing the world.


How to identify a Millennial or Gen Z’er?

Now, Gen Z is getting into the working field. Let’s learn more about Millennials and Gen Z!

Both generations have similarities but also differences. It is important to know the distinctions between both to prepare yourself to start working with Gen Z’ers. If you are a Millennial or a Gen X, you should 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!


Take the Quiz

Click here to start the quiz now

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?

This is how Gen Z differs from Millennials. I will start by mentioning that 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, this means that you needed to dial-up using companies such as Prodigy or CompuServe. Do you remember that iconic noise to connect to the internet? Also, Millennials played on their PC’s solitaire, Black Hole Pinball, or Minesweeper. Do you remember them? Gen Z grew up already in a technological world. What for Millennials was taken as amazing and inspiring inventions, are 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. 

Marcie Merriman EY Americas Cultural Insights & Customer Strategy Leader
Marcie Merriman, EY Americas Cultural Insights & Customer Strategy Leader. Source: EY

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

Millennials and Gen Z in the working field

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. Just think about how this kind of flow might reshape a company’s office.

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 process 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.

General comparison of how the generations differ
General comparison of how the generations differ. Source: NACE

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 themselves 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 how to hear while surprisingly Gen Z preferred the method of communication in-person.

Who is Greta Thunberg?

As you read before, Gen Z is more interested in social justice. Greta Thunberg is a 16 years old Swedish environmental activist on climate change. As you might know, in August 2018, she started a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish Parliament that has since spread all over the world. The movement is called Fridays For Future. Her speeches, in different countries, have made a worldwide impact and more than a million children demanding action for climate change.

Gretha tries to live a low-carbon life and she is vegan. Therefore, she doesn’t fly. Instead, she sails through the ocean. She has been named as one of the world’s most influential teens by TIME magazine. What do you think about her and the way she is influencing a whole generation?


Having a Gen Z team in the workplace will always be joyful to work with. They will always be focused on make the world around them be better and inspiring. Also, there will always present some challenges, but if you, as a leader for them, have an open mind and understand their similarities, not their differences, you will have quite 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 teamwork and they like to create a “work family” atmosphere. 

If you would like to know more about how to work with these generations, we recommend you to read the “How to thrive talent expectations” blog. You will find solutions, what talents are looking for for the ideal job and how employers lead to success. – Joep. 


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