FUTURE PERFECT

How to prepare for the generation that follows the millennials

This question originally appeared on Quora: What will the generation after the Millennials be like in the workforce? Answer by Scott Hess, EVP, Human Intelligence at Spark SMG.

I call the generation after millennials the “post generation” (people born after 2000). This is a group that will be defined by how it navigates and integrates the seismic social, cultural, economic and technological shifts that occurred just before they hit adolescence. In fact, unlike previous generations, what came before their formative years will likely be more important than what occurs during them.

The post generation is inheriting a world that is post-Obama; post-Facebook and social media; post-mobile computing and smartphones; post-9/11, Columbine, and Sandy Hook. Post-“Don’t ask/don’t tell,” and same-sex marriage rights. Post-legal marijuana.

Post-millennial.

They’re also a group that invests untold time and energy “posting” their brave new experiences across an ever-expanding social ecosystem.

A few key traits:

Precociousness: Due to a rampant and largely unbridled exposure to grown-up ideas, brands, devices, and content, they’re “old” before their time. They expect sophistication and navigate around safeguards and dumbed-down content.

Pluralistic: They’re all about collaboration and community, and their ideas about trust are less about monolithic experts and more about crowd-sourced consensus.

Female-powered: To Posts, women are physically and mentally powerful. They’re disproportionately represented in college; have achieved parity at the management ranks at work; and attitudinally are attuned to closing the gap at the executive ranks. And their icons are pure power: Ronda Rousey, Serena Williams, Hillary Clinton (think “texts with Hillary”), Angelina Jolie, etc.

Pragmatic: Burned by the recession (and its impact on their parents), less reliant on cookie-cutter constructs like brands, religion, and political parties, Posts will be focused first on “what works,” not just on what’s cool.

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