Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Gen X

In law school, I worked for a summer for one of the deans, who had me read and report on a book about the various generations and their workplace peccadilloes. Traditionals, for example, really liked staying with one company forever. Hire one of them and you've got them for life. Baby Boomers... I forget, but I think they enjoy security, too. As the children of Great Depression survivors, they don't like risk.

Gen X, though, is restless. According to this book, they tend to be completely disillusioned by the pension system and are likely to change jobs just because they are feeling like they aren't increasing their diversity enough and therefore damaging their employability. Companies who want Gen Xers to stay on, therefore, should provide lots of opportunities for movement within the company. No Gen Xer wants to be a one-trick pony, 'cause when the robots can do your job, you'll be unemployed.

Worse, if possible, are the Millennial generation. Millennials are the very definition of multitaskers--they don't even want to only do one job at a time. Companies who employ Millennials should provide a rotating job schedule so that they... well, don't get bored doing the same thing day in and day out. They have no patience for that--they were raised on TV, video games, and the internet.

Though my birth year falls at the end of the Gen X span, this book acknowledged what it called "cuspers"--those on the edges of their generation who will likely exhibit traits of the bordering generation, too.

All of which could explain why I started out as a theatre arts major, became a lawyer, and am now, simultaneously, a wanna-be writer.

So do you fit nicely into your generation?


  1. I don't fit nicely into my generation. I was born in 1963 which puts me into the baby boom catagory. But all of my siblings are Gen X's.

    I have long felt that I wasn't part of either group and called those cuspers the lost generation because we are often forgotten about. I could go on longer but I won't.

    1. I sometimes also call those at the tail end of Baby Boomers the forgotten generation as well.

  2. My hubby is text book Gen X! I think this is fascinating.

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  4. Let's try this again...

    I was born in the final hours of the Baby Boomer era, December 1963. So I have many qualities of that generation. But though I am loyal to a fault and like stability, I am often restless. So no, I don't fit nicely at all. Like Eric said above, I feel like slightly forgotten.

  5. Total Boomer here. We are who we are because of where we were when ______. They think another generation will manifest relating to 9/11 because there will be those who remember a world before that happened and those who don't.

    Great choice.

  6. I'm total Gen X and I've got the odd jobs to prove it.