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What are Each Generation's Career Drivers and Work Styles?

Ingrid Provident, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA

September 1, 2023



What are each generation's career drivers and work styles currently in the workforce?


Baby Boomers are the first generation to actively prioritize work over personal life. They distrust authority and large organizations. Their values were shaped by the rise of civil rights and the Vietnam War era. Boomers are optimistic yet responsible for the “Me Generation” moniker. Their career drivers include a strong work ethic and company loyalty, hoping for financial stability through pensions and 401Ks. Their work style tends towards delegating and teamwork, believing you should pay your dues and work up the ladder.

Generation X is called the “slacker” generation and the “sandwich” generation. They question authority but initiated the concept of work-life balance, unlike their career-driven Boomer parents.  Gen Xers possess strong technical skills and more independence than previous generations. They prioritize work less, leading older Boomer managers to sometimes question their dedication. However, Gen Xers follow rules and are resourceful, innovative, and driven to develop niche skills that allow them to take on challenges. They are perceived as adaptable and less concerned with long-term job stability, changing jobs readily.

Millennials, or Gen Y, are the first truly global generation coming of age during rapid internet growth and rising international terrorism. They adapt well to change and deeply value diversity and inclusion. Their educational opportunities expanded significantly due to tech advances during their upbringing.  Millennials are considered the most teamwork-oriented generation today. They grew up heavily programmed by parents with structured activities, while Boomer parents intensely focused on careers. Millennials are our most optimistic generation.

Generation Z is gradually replacing the retiring Veteran Generation. They are our youngest employees, comprising about 5% of the workforce in 2020 but estimated to rise to over 20% by 2025. Gen Z is highly concerned about financial security. They are more pragmatic than Millennials and thrive when given clear direction through step-by-step coaching and frequent face-to-face communication with leadership. Since Gen Z will make up the largest percentage of the 2025 workforce, paying attention to their needs can greatly benefit companies looking to expand.

This ATE is an excerpt from the course Multiple Generations In The Workplace: Effective Communication To Enhance Diversity, presented by Ingrid Provident, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA.

ingrid provident

Ingrid Provident, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Ingrid M. Provident Ed.D, OTR/L, FAOTA, is a National Education Specialist, for Select Rehabilitation. Dr. Provident has held positions of Program Coordinator, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, and Associate Professor at major Universities in Pittsburgh, PA.

Ingrid is a highly engaging speaker who holds clinical degrees in Occupational Therapy and Educational Leadership. She has worked in multiple practice settings with the adult and geriatric populations.

Ingrid has been an educator in formal academic settings and presented in more than 70 state, national and international venues. Dr. Provident has facilitated multiple presentations on wellness, communication, and health care. She is a published author and mentor with a passion for assisting in the development of professionals.


Related Courses

Multiple Generations In The Workplace: Effective Communication To Enhance Diversity
Presented by Ingrid Provident, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Ingrid Provident, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Course: #1033874Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Well Organized'   Read Reviews
The importance of understanding the different generations in the workplace, in order to promote satisfaction and facilitate their ability to work together in harmony, is discussed in this course. The varying characteristics of the generations and ways to effectively communicate with and manage individuals with differing generational viewpoints are described.

U.S. Healthcare Services & Diverse Populations
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This course provides information regarding some of the barriers that minorities face in the healthcare setting. It also discusses ideas for improving patient-centered care for diverse populations, and for supporting coworkers of diverse backgrounds.

Strategies for Creating a Culturally-Inclusive Mindset
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Implicit biases affect how people perceive, evaluate, and react to others. This course will provide an overview of implicit biases, including what they are, where they come from, and their effects. Strategies will be discussed that can reduce the influence of implicit biases, in order to allow healthcare professionals to better meet the needs of those they serve.

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Culture and spirituality are two of the most significant factors that influence the therapist-client relationship and the outcomes of the therapy process. This course examines the aspects of culture and spirituality that are frequently not discussed but help the therapy practitioner understand, relate to, and serve the client more effectively, resulting in better outcomes. It includes discussion of the HOPE questionnaire to assess spirituality.

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