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Podcast #157 – Millennials vs. Generation Z: Timeless Advice for Both Generations

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Podcast #157 - Millennials vs. Generation Z: Timeless Advice for Both Generations

Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter and veterinary recruiter, Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary employers hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about Millennials vs. Generation Z and the career advice that applies to the members of both generations. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I’m glad to be here for our first podcast of the new year. Today is the first day of 2020!

Julea: That’s right Stacy. Happy New Year!  So, Stacy, we’ve talked on more than one occasion about the Millennial Generation. But today, we’re going to discuss the generation after the Millennials, is that correct?

Stacy: Yes, there is a generation behind the Millennials, and that generation will soon be joining the workforce themselves. In fact, Generation Z is anyone who was born in 1997 or after. Some of those who were born in 1997 recently graduated from college and are either working in their first job or seeking employment. My own kids are in this generation. My oldest child is in college right now and is about two and a half years from looking for her first post-college job. I have to admit that it’s a little surreal for me.

Julea: What is that?

Stacy: Well, I’ve been an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter for about 23 years. That means I started in the recruiting profession before or around the time that the first members of Generation Z were born.

Julea: Yes, I can see how that might be a little surreal. Stacy, to set the stage for our Millennials vs. Generation Z discussion, what are some basic differences between the two generations?

Stacy: That’s a great question, and I do have an answer for you and our listening audience today. First and foremost, Millennials are referred to as digital pioneers, whereas the members of Generation Z are digital natives.

Julea: What does that mean exactly Stacy?

Stacy: Well, Millennials were born during a time when there was a lot of technological innovation, including the beginning of the Internet and wireless technology. They witnessed the creation and the development of these things, while the members of Generation Z were born into them. When Gen Z was born, the Internet already existed. Cell phones already existed. Social media had just started. And smartphones arrived on the scene when Generation Z were in elementary school. So there is no generation that’s as fully immersed in the digital realm as Generation Z. Even Millennials can’t compete in that arena.

Julea: What other differences are there Stacy?

Stacy: To help answer this question about our Millennials vs. Generation Z discussion, I’d like to draw upon an article by the Huffington Post. That article addresses some of the key differences between the two generations, and I’m going to list a few of them now.

First of all Julea, the members of Generation Z are less focused than Millennials. That’s because they were born into a fully digital world with 24-hour news cycles and constant stimulus and sources of information. However, on the flip side of the coin, that also means Generation Z is better at multi-tasking than Millennials. That’s because they’ve basically been multi-tasking since birth, jumping between computers, smartphones, and tablet devices.

In addition, the members of Generation Z have higher expectations than Millennials. Once again, that’s because they’ve been born into a fully digital world. They never had to experience landline telephones. Or dial-up Internet connections. Or even pagers. They’re accustomed to getting information and convenience almost immediately. Let’s face it, two-day shipping is something they’re absolutely used to. For the members of every other generation on the planet, that’s a convenience and a luxury. For Generation Z, it’s almost considered a birthright. They expect it.

Julea: That’s interesting. I had never thought of it that way before. Are there any other differences?

Stacy: Yes, there are. According to the Huffington Post, the members of Generation Z are more global. Not only was Generation Z born into a fully digital world, but they were also born into a truly global one. Technology connects the world on a global basis, and this is something that Generation Z has experienced from the very beginning.

The last thing that I want to mention in terms of Millennials vs. Generation Z is that Gen Z is more individualistic than the Millennial Generation, or any other generation, for that matter.

Julea: What does that mean Stacy?

Stacy: It means the members of Generation Z have been shaped by social media almost from birth. They’re accustomed to life not only in the “real world,” but also to life online. As a result, they recognize the importance of standing out and of being different. For Generation Z, being different is good. They strive to stand out in a good way, because making a difference and making the world a better place is important to them, even more so than it is for Millennials.

Julea: Stacy, all of that is great information. Now, the title of this podcast episode includes the words “timeless career advice.” What do you mean by that?

Stacy: The most effective strategies and techniques for enjoying career success are the simplest. And when I say simplest, I mean they’ve remained the same over time and they’ve applied to every generation that’s ever been part of the workforce.

Julea: So what worked for professionals 100 years ago are the same things that will work for members of Generation Z?

Stacy: Absolutely! In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you went to college, to a trade school, or simply have a high school diploma. It doesn’t even matter how much talent you have or how many skills you possess. The timeless career advice that I want to discuss today doesn’t depend upon any of those things. That means anyone can use these strategies to achieve more success.

Julea: So what are these strategies Stacy?

Stacy: Well, Julea, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve discussed some of these strategies on our podcast show before. And I’m mentioning them once again today because they are timeless and they do lead to more success. The first strategy is to practice “The Principle of Reciprocity.” In fact, if I had to give just one piece of career advice to anyone, not just Generation Z, it would be this one.

This principle means that when someone gives us something, we feel compelled to give something in return. Simply put, it means to give first and not to take first. I know this may seem counterintuitive in today’s me-first society, but it’s the best way to approach your career. Unfortunately, though, not everyone approaches their career like this.

Julea: They don’t Stacy? Why is that?

Stacy: No they don’t. I’ve encountered professionals of all ages who’ve had the attitude of “As soon as my employer gives me a raise, then I’ll work harder.” That’s the wrong attitude. The right attitude is to improve the value that you provide to your employer and be the best contributor you can be.

And speaking of which, value is part of the second strategy on our list. Specifically, remember that your value is ultimately the most important factor in your career success. The more value you can offer, the more valuable you are to employers.

Julea: Stacy, is that why you’re such a big advocate of continuous training and education for Animal Health and Veterinary Professionals?

Stacy: Yes, that’s exactly right. A person must always add to their value, and that includes if they’re a member of Generation Z. You can never stop growing. If you think that you’re just standing still, you’re not. You’re actually falling behind, because everyone else around you is moving forward. Even if a person has just finished school and has graduated, they must still be of the mindset that they need to always be learning.

Julea: That certainly makes sense. What’s our next strategy?

Stacy: The next strategy is being aware of personal branding and practicing positive personal branding. Once again, I have a quote by motivational speaker Jay Danzie, who said:


“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.”


The important part of this quote is, “how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you.” Personal branding is based on the type of experience that you provide to other people. So if you haven’t thought much about personal branding, especially if you’re a member of Generation Z, then I encourage you to start thinking about it now.

And personal branding dovetails nicely into the fourth strategy on our list.

Julea: Which one is that?

Stacy: Intangible value is just as important as tangible value when it comes to your career. A person’s technical skills are important, of course, and so is their experience. However, when an Animal Health employer or Veterinary employer is looking to hire a new employee, they want more than just technical skills and experience. They want intangible forms of value, as well.

Julea: What specific kinds of value are you referencing Stacy?

Stacy: Well, Julea, I have seven intangible forms of value that can make a huge difference in a person’s career. They are:

  1. Being prompt and punctual
  2. Being positive
  3. Being energetic
  4. Being passionate
  5. Being prepared
  6. Being flexible
  7. Doing what you say you’re going to do, or to put it another way, being reliable


As I said, none of these things have to do with talent, technical skill level, or experience. Instead, they have everything to do with desire. A person must have the desire necessary to do the things that will help them be successful. And once again, this leads right into our fifth and final strategy.

Julea: What would that be?

Stacy: My final strategy is that absolutely nothing replaces hard work and desire. It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter which generation you belong to, and it doesn’t matter how talented you are. This is a reality that has never stopped being true.

And to illustrate this point, I want to quote Napoleon Hill, an American self-help author:

“The person who works harder when the boss isn’t around is headed straight for a better job. It is a foregone conclusion that you will never reach great heights of success if you perform at high levels only when others are watching you. The most exacting standards of performance should be those you set for yourself, not those set by others for you. When your expectations for yourself are higher than your boss’s expectations for you, you will never have to worry about job security.”


Julea: Napoleon Hill isn’t even alive, is he today Stacy?

Stacy: Oh, no. He’s not. In fact, he wasn’t part of the Baby Boomer Generation or part of any other generation that we recognize. He was born in 1883. One of his well-known books is Think and Grow Rich, which is one of the 10 best-selling self-help books of all time.

However, that does not matter. It also does not matter that Napoleon Hill did not work in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession or that he’s not a Millennial or a member of Generation Z. He knew what needed to be done in order to achieve success, regardless of a person’s profession. His formula for success is built upon timeless wisdom that is just as relevant today as it was during his time. And that’s why I wanted to include him in today’s conversation.

But I also have a quote from another famous person who is still alive. They’re not a Millennial or a member of Generation Z, but they are a member of Generation X.

Julea: Who is that?

Stacy: Actor and entertainer Will Smith, who said, “The only thing I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period.”

And we all know how successful Will Smith is.

Julea: I’m sure everyone in our listening audience would like to be as successful as he has been!

Stacy: Absolutely. And we can learn a lesson from both Napoleon Hill and Will Smith. If you want to make yourself distinctly different in the workforce and the workplace, then you must have the desire and the determination to work as hard as you need to work to be successful.

Julea: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information. We’re just about out of time for today. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s episode?

Stacy: In terms of Generation Z vs. Millennials, it’s not just about comparing two generations or pitting one generation against the other. The bottom line for both of these generations—and for everyone else, for that matter—is there simply are NO shortcuts to success. That was true for Napoleon Hill. That was true and is true for Will Smith, and it’s true for everyone who has ever reached their goals and achieved high levels of success in their personal life, their professional life, or both.

And that’s exactly why this is timeless career advice not just for the members of Generation Z, but for everyone working in the Animal Health or Veterinary Profession today of any generation.

Julea: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information. I invite our listeners to join us next time when we address more hiring and employment issues in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. We hope that you’ll join us then!

Stacy: I look forward to our next podcast of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!  Meanwhile be sure to check out our hot Animal Health Jobs and Veterinary jobs on The VET Recruiter at www.thevetrecruiter.com

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