I'm not under 30 but I certainly know what it's like to feel overlooked and dismissed.
I won't reveal any specifics, but I will go on record saying I am definitely not in the Gen Z age group. I do work with them and mentor them because I'm trying to provide a leg up into the workforce and into real life, and it's harder than ever to make it. Many young adults in this age group--roughly elementary age up to freshly minted college grads--emerge into adulthood with a heavy debt-load and worries about finding adequate employment.
I don't always agree with their antics. I don't always understand the memes, either. What I do understand is that older generations can be dismissive, and that's a problem.
That's why when I heard about an "official" catchphrase they use, it made perfect sense.
According to a recent report, the phrase "OK Boomer" is now an apt description to relay how they feel. It's basically their way of saying they are tired of being overlooked by those who already have good jobs, a retirement account, and are close to paying off a mortgage.
Those of us over 30 know that life is not always easy, but we've made a dent on college loans. And, we have some experience in the workforce. We'll survive, hopefully.
Young adults? There is a lot of uncertainty.
For every famous YouTube personality there's a guy struggling to find an accounting job and a rental place. While there are gamers rolling around in piles of cash off of their Twitch earnings, it's extremely rare. It's not exactly the best way to view college grads with a marketing degree and absolutely no job prospects. Many Gen Zers are mature and hard-working. When they say "OK Boomer" they are making a statement about their future.
The advice I usually give to every Gen Zer? Turn that dismissive attitude you feel from older generations into a springboard for success. Prove them wrong.
I usually tell the Gen Z students I've mentored to start early with their LinkedIn profile and connections, to build up work experience as soon as possible. Leverage your future: Ask for endorsements, build up your social media profiles, take any job interview you can, pursue multiple internships, find the thing that makes you different.
Some of those more "dismissive" folks out there probably lived with mom and dad into their 20s and saved up enough money to buy a house (e.g., boomers probably paid around $60,000 for a starter home). Some are dismissive and rude because they see themselves and their own maturity.
Others are worried. I know many, many Gen Zers who are intelligent and savvy. They grew up with widespread access to technology. They were born into the Internet age, and they will eventually dominate the tech landscape and far beyond that.
Honestly, the dismissiveness from Baby Boomers is a ruse because we all know Gen Z will take over the leadership roles soon enough.
Someday, the boomers will be saying "OK Gen Z" and they won't be using the phrase sarcastically. It will be to accept whatever direction that age group provides.