I was in the lunch room the other day at work when I overheard a conversation two older guys were having at a table next to me. They were talking about Generation X. I’m a member of Gen X, and proud of it. I was born in 1975 into a dual income family. I have 2 sisters and we lived in an upper-middle class part of Louisiana. At 15 my parents divorced after 20 years of marriage. I spent half of my education in private and public schools so I consider myself lucky to have experienced both. I also went to college. I have my parents to thanks for all of this.
In my early 20s, I learned how important history was to shaping how our world had evolved in our thinking and how we responded to crisis, conflict and prosperity. I became fascinated with whatever I could do to learn more about world history. I have LSU to thank for this.
I’m a self professed junkie for diversity, learning and understanding. I have my former employer, Shell to thank for this.
In my research I found a few things about my generation worthy of discussion and debate…
- Generation X has learned that personal loyalty and commitment to a company does not translate into job security, resulting in frequent job changing. (Source: ValueOptions) This is spot on. Yep. I am the CEO of my career. And, I like it that way.
- Gen-Xers are independent thinkers. As the divorce rate rose in the 1970s, Gen-Xers were left to look after themselves while both parents entered the workforce. As a result, many Gen-Xers developed independence and self-reliance. They prefer to do things their own way and thrive in casual, friendly work environments (Source: How Gen X Works. Yep, independence means I don’t need to punch a clock. For the first time, I suppose my parent’s divorce was good for something!
- Generation X is going to have a harder time retiring. According to the Daily Finance in May of this year, 41 percent of Gen Xers have saved less than $100,000 for retirement, 15 percent have begun borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, siphoning funds out of their 401(k) plans ahead of retirement and 23 percent have stopped contributing to their retirement accounts altogether. Nope. Not me. I don’t want to work past 60, ya hear me?
- The stereotype of Generation X holds that those born during this period feel alienated and disenfranchised, with the “X” in the phrase describing the lack of identity these people seem to have. They reportedly don’t know where they belong and have no real course in life, although they know for sure that they are not part of the generations that precede and follow their own. Who wrote this? Lack of identity …hardly! Alienated? Nah. Disenfranchised? Nope. I’m just ready for the boomers to retire. It’s our turn!
Long Live Generation X!