Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gen Xers - Take my poll!

My last blog post was about whether things are really so dire for Gen Xers. We hear a lot in the media about the poor Gen Xers who are stuck and the Millennials are nipping at our tails. I'm just not buying it.

This is not a slam on Millennials. It has nothing to do with them, really. But I just don't think they are going to pass us up - and I really don't think they're doing it right now. The reason is - I don't know and haven't met a single Xer who this has happened to. I hear Xers say it's happening - but they have no personal experience of it. It reminds me of the urban myth of the woman who fell asleep in the tanning bed and fried her internal organs. It's always someone's aunt who knows someone this happened to.

In the past they said Xers would not ever own their own homes. Yet we do. They said we'd never make more money that their parents. Everyone I know does. They said lots of bad stuff that never ended up happening.

Penelope Trunk, who loves Millennials more than any Xer in the world, said that history will mark Gen Xers the real revolutionaries of this era. She also says nobody wants to read about Gen X. I would add - people like to read about the doom and gloom of the Gen X experience - they just don't want to hear a lot of good stuff.

So I thought I'd take a poll. If you are an Xer, please answer honestly. If you answer yes, please tell us about it in the comment section. If you're not an Xer, please feel free to leave a comment, but please don't take the poll.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Kim said...

I lost my job in April, but not because of a millennial....well, maybe yes, because of a millennial. Here's why: the company needed to let HIM (because they weren't happy with him)go PLUS they needed to downsize. I had no expertise in his area, and so I couldn't take on his role in addition to my own. So, they needed to hire someone who could do both.

Kim Luisi, Long Island Generation X Examiner.

Greg said...

I can't say a Millenial definitely beat me out per se, but in jobhunting the last few years, I was often told I was "overqualified" (which to me read as "too old", that they'd prefer a Millenial).

Not about the poll specifically, but one thing you said stuck out to me as interesting...
Maybe this is a regional thing, or relates to socioeconomics rather than generations, but I would cautiously say that at least a third and possibly more than half of my friends, classmates, cousins, etc. in my geographic area, who are fellow Xers, do not make as much as our upper-middle-class Silent parents did, or at very least, have much less disposable income due to inflation. Many of them (like me!) are actually back living with their parents due to job loss, a sick parent, divorce, etc.

jenX said...

i loved it when she said real revoluationaries.

GenXpert said...

@Greg - The regional thing, you may be on to something there. I'm in the midwest (Michigan) and although my father has a masters degree like me, a lot of my friends parents don't have degrees at all - yet all of my friends are educated, whether it be traditional college or trade school. I don't know anyone my age who is an unskilled worker (i.e. automaker).

Anyone have a different experience, and are in a different region?

greenfishgal said...

Currently have a 23 year old co-worker who seems intimidated by my seniority, as though I would automatically get an anticipated job opening. She is very vocal about how she would not work for me and the company would have to find another position for her if I get the job. She is very driven, but sometimes her GenY/Millennial attitude (OMG gotta freak about every little thing cause the world will collapse on itself if we don't reply/respond/react right now) overshadows her abilities. Meanwhile, what was perceived as blase back in the day comes off as calm and cool in the face of pressure. I tend to think us GenXers are going to continue to be on top, simply because we will take a minute to make creative, conscious decisions.

A decision about the previously mentioned position has not been made. This ups the anty for my co-worker. She has been in a frenzy to prove herself, while I am making conscious effort to turn out good work, I believe the pieces will fall into place like they were meant. If that means that I am working for a Millennial...so be it.

gFg
find me on twitter @greenFISHgal

GenXpert said...

@gfg - "what was perceived as blase back in the day comes off as calm and cool in the face of pressure."

This is a great line. I think I may write a post one of these days on this idea. This has also been my experience, but I didn't realize it until just now. When I was younger, I had a boss accuse me of eye-rolling (which I wasn't doing, btw), but now I'd say I'm the cool under pressure girl.

Jennifer K said...

I lost out on a very promising job to a millenial. But I think it had less with her being a millenial, and more to do with her parents' connections.

GenXpert said...

@Jennifer - it's tough when you don't get a job you think is great - no matter the age of person who gets it instead. Trust me, there is always something better out there. It sucks when you go through it, but then when the better opportunity comes along, you think, "I can't believe I'm happy that other job didn't work out, because then I wouldn't get this one."

Anonymous said...
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le @ whoopwhoop said...

working where I do - in conservative local govt - it would be rare for a gen y to score a diretor or above job. I have inhetited a director who is gen y and the lack of real world and people management experience is extraordinary - as in a bad way ... it is taking all my skill and energy to nurture her along ...

in this sector a gen x is still most likey to be passed over for a baby boomer .... and a woman passed over for a man ... sad but true ... oh well we do what we can and then just enjoy the ride :) best le

Thanh Lu said...

RE post by greenFISHgal...I love the comment how the 23yrd old is all frenzy and you are focusing on producing good work...it's funny..I just turned 29 & I have developed a perspective that it all boils down to personal growth/leadership. We have all be there..ignorant and not in bliss- undeveloped and don't know how to be congenial (like any 23 year old).

Many 20-something are hard driven in today's culture and so we/they can be crass, but it would be a better world if the generations can care more and help each other learn and grow, especially the ones that have been there before.

Mo Morrissey said...

I have not found I've lost out on any opportunities, but then again, the jobs that I've applied for have been positions requiring more experience than most Millenials would have at this point.