bohemian: characteristic of living and acting free of regard for conventional rules.
boomer: a person born between 1946 and 1964.
But we’ve just discovered there’s another term being bandied around out there to describe boomers who refuse to act old – zoomers. In fact, it’s in the title of a new book, 101 Ways to Make Generations X, Y & Zoomers Happy at Work.
According to a review of the book this week in Forbes, zoomers are typically workaholics:
In their minds, if you’re not the first person in the office and the last one to leave, you’re probably not working hard enough. If you’re a zoomer, knowing this is the first step to working with individuals who don’t share this same “super woman” mentality.
Hmm…not sure that describes our little club…bohemian boomers aren’t hung up on workplace perceptions. We’re concerned with results, not appearances. Maybe zoomers and bohemian boomers aren’t the same. In fact, read this next excerpt from the review and see if you agree with me that bb’s have more in common with Gen Y than zoomers:
At the same time, a baby boomer boss might think a Gen Y employee who wants flex time lacks dedication. But that same Gen Y employee might say, “If I can get my work done in half the time, then why am I still hanging around? After all, I can do it faster and smarter with technology.” Gen Y workers believe their efficiency should be measured based on results–not physical time.
Hear-hear! Like Gen Y, bohemian boomers embrace technology; we have first-hand experience that it allows us to work smarter, faster and from anywhere we choose.
If you think about it, there is a difference between refusing to act old (zoomers) and refusing to act your age (bb’s). Zoomers may be more accurately described as baby boomers who fear being perceived as too old for today’s workforce, so they compensate by continuing their workaholic ways and accusing their younger colleagues of lacking a strong work ethic. Bohemian boomers are more pragmatic; they observe their Gen X and Y co-workers and adopt the practices and techniques they see will benefit themselves.
With that in mind, consider this next bit of advice from the book:
Like it or not, Gen Y individuals are the workforce of today and baby boomer leaders cannot afford to write them off. That means taking the time to understand and work with their values and work styles. Whichever generation you fall into, you’ll need to tailor your communication style accordingly.
For traditional baby boomers and so-called “zoomers,” this may be a challenge. But for bohemian boomers, I say “no problem!” We already think young, in that we keep an open mind and embrace new ideas, positive change, and the latest technology.
Take heart that in these tough times, we bohemians are ideally suited for today’s multi-generational workplace. It may be just the edge you need to compete in today’s business world.