X is for Generation X


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Different data gives slightly different dates to describe Generation X. These are the children of the baby-boomers.  1965-1979 (age- 48-34), 1965-1982(age  48-31) 1964-1981(age  49-32)

So it is safe to say they are now between the ages of 31 and 49.

But who really is Generation X ?

TAG WORDS AND PHRASES,  Accept diversity, Pragmatic/practical, Self-reliant/individualistic, Reject rules, Mistrust institutions, PC, Use technology, Multitask, Latch-key kids, Friend-over family, work best in a casual, friendly work environment, Involvement, Flexibility and freedom, Need a place to learn

A marketing study, “Gen X: Flirting With 40,” stated that Gen X has matured into a group of “technologically savvy, adventurous pragmatists.”

  • A higher percentage of Gen Xers married later than their parents and stay married, and most want to be married.
  • Generation X devotes more hours to work than average and pursues continuing education, although they are the first generation to make less money than their parents. They are over educated and under employed.
  • As former latch-key kids, Gen Xers were expected to be wimpy, neglectful parents, however over 84% of Gen X parents expect their children to earn a college degree.
  • Two-thirds of Generation X are satisfied with their jobs.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 meaning very happy, the median happiness score was 8.

The term Generation X really became popular as a label for the post-baby boom generation after publication of a 1991 novel by Canadian author Douglas Coupland titled, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, which portrayed the lifestyles of young adults during the late 1980s—people who were members of what we now call Generation X.

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There was a earlier book written in the 1960’s named Generation X by British writer Jane Deverson and Hollywood correspondent Charles Hamblett. Deverson interviewed teenagers of the Mod subculture that originated in London in the 1960’s but the finding were too controversial for magazine articles so they collaborated to write the book. British punk rocker, Billy Idol, later named his band after the book.

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In an article titled, “Generation X: Declaring their Independence” it stated the following:

  • Divorce and working moms created “latchkey” kids out of many in this generation. This led to traits of independence, resilience and adaptability. Generation X feels strongly that “I don’t need someone looking over my shoulder.”
  • At the same time, this generation expects immediate and ongoing feedback, and is equally comfortable giving feedback to others. Other traits include working well in multicultural settings, desire for some fun in the workplace and a pragmatic approach to getting things done.
  • Generation X saw their parents get laid off or face job insecurity. Many of them also entered the workplace in the early ’80s, when the economy was in a downturn. Because of these factors, they’ve redefined loyalty. Instead of remaining loyal to their company, they have a commitment to their work
  • Generation X takes employability seriously. But for this generation there isn’t a career ladder. There’s a career lattice. They can move laterally, stop and start, their career is more fluid.
  • Generation X dislike authority and rigid work requirements. Gen Xers want to work with you, not for you.

Although this is smallest of the current generations in numbers, at this time they are a major contributor to every aspect of our society. Putting it frankly, Gen Xers have taken over the world. The Baby Boomer generation has stepped down and our fate is now in the Xers hands.

Are we in better hands? Time will only tell. As a “Boomer”, I see things through a different lens than Xers. I’ve mellowed a little from the riotous and free-living sixties and seventies. I believe words like loyalty, family, patronage and honor trump just about anything. As much as I adore my children, the majority of Xers seem quite narcissistic. I could be wrong. Ironically, I see the Gen Yers just the opposite.

Since a large majority of readers of blogs are Gen Xers, I’d like your opinion. How do you see yourself? Ares the surveys correct? 

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2 thoughts on “X is for Generation X

  1. I’m a Gen Xer, but I don’t think I fit into the profile completely. Then again, I’ve always been a bit of an outsider looking in. I do however feel that sense of self-reliance as recession and divorce did effect my family.

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