Friday, February 29, 2008

Are we short changing Millenial students?

As an undergraduate in the early 1990s, I learned how to research in a library. We had to take a research class. That was partly due to the Internet not being what it is today - and partly because that's what you do in college (go to the library).

Apparently, today's students are still going to the library - in fact Millenials go to the library twice as much as older adults. However, although today's college students do a great deal of their research online, they are not being taught proper research techniques. In fact, as Millenials, they are expected to just know how to research on the web simply because they grew up with computers.

I think we do a lot of complaining about young adults these days. Especially when they can't seem to do things we as Boomers and Xers think are basic skills (like research). But who is to blame here? How many Millenials are professors or college adminstrators?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I may be old, but I'm still cool

For years now, I've been telling people that Gen Xers really don't have age issues like Babyboomers. Seriously, Boomers freak out about aging.

However, Xers cannot stand the idea of no longer being "cool." And now a Gen Xer has written a book to prove it! He's a dad who seems to have a sense of humor about himself and is striving to maintain his coolness.

Why does this matter? If you look at it from a marketing perspective, this is a fact that you could use to gain the Gen X consumer. Drink this pop, it makes you cool. Drive this modified SUV, it's big like a minivan, but it's cooler. Wear these gel insoles - they will make you the coolest!

Stealth Fighter parents

Gen Xers are being noticed for their parenting. They are being called Stealth Fighter Parents because they are “even more protective, digitally keyed-in for constant surveillance, sharp eyes on the target, and ready to strike at a moment’s notice to defend their children’s interests,” according to Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of Millennials Go to College.

Although my kids are really young, this makes a lot of sense to me. As Gen Xers we do tend to question a lot of things - and we are skeptical. I think that our kids benefit from that. I know that I am not afraid to stand up to anyone on behalf of my kids.

It's often said that Generation X can not effect change because of there not enough of us. However, since we are parenting the largest generation in American history, I believe we have unimaginable impact. The hand that rocks the cradle...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gen X author gets book deal

A favorite Gen X short story writer will publish her first novel. Watch for Kristina Riggle's "Real Life and Liars" due out in 2009 (Avon Harper Collins). It's GenerationXpert recommended!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Silver Surfers

I came across a new term today - Silver Surfers. This is term being used to describe Babyboomers who use the Internet. They are hip, cool, in their 60s, but not old.

This is where I don't know whether to be fasinated or appalled. Really, what is worse - being old and rolling with it or being old and pretending that you're not.

In a couple weeks, I'll be 37. I teach at a local university and have students who are 22 and think I'm A LOT older than them. They usually think I'm old enough to be their mother. It never bothers me. So I guess I just don't get it.

(Photo is Grandma Moses, for anyone who is wondering. I like to pick on the Boomers when I get the chance.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Obama vs. Clinton

Is the Obama/Clinton race for the Democratic ticket actually a case of Xers versus Boomers in the political arena? That's one argument being made regarding the appeal of Obama to younger voters. Futurist William Draves has discussed the possibility that the current events in the democratic primaries may be a sign that feminism is dead.

I would argue that yes, the Obama appeal is partly generational, but, no, it's not the end of feminism. Gen X women don't see the election as a feminist issue. While Boomer women probably are amazed at how close a woman is to the Oval Office, Xer women are more likely to feel that "of course a woman could be president."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Who invented work/life balance?

We all know the Boomers are known for their fierce commitment to their jobs. And one of the few nice things to be repeatedly written about Gen Xers is their commitment to a work/life balance, family, and friends. However, I saw a post recently by a Millenial who says that it's actually her generation who really has taken a stand for balance.

I'm not sure what to think. I hate to be one of those angry Gen Xers, but come on, isn't it the Gen X dads who have really taken advantage of paternity leave (including my own husband whose career probably took a hit because of it)? Isn't it the Gen X moms who made very deliberate, thoughtful decision regarding full-time or part-time jobs - or staying home full time? Isn't it the Gen Xers who took the grief in the late 90s and early 21st Century for their unwillingness to give all to their employer?

It all makes me long for the good old days when only the Boomers didn't understand us.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Recruiting Millenials - are we making too big of a deal out of it?

It seems there's a lot of internet chatter going on regarding the importance of recruiting Millenials. While I think it's important to have a diverse workforce, are we making too big of a deal out of this topic?

Millenials have great tech skills - and an awesome understanding of social networking. However, are Gen Xers and Boomers really such dinosaurs that the proverbial work world will stop rotating on its axis if we don't have a bunch of 20-somethings on staff?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we shouldn't hire Millenials - we should. But we can't forget that just like every generation before them in their 20s, they still have a lot to learn before they can take over the world.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Retirement - Boomers vs. Xers

By now, most people have heard the mantra that Babyboomers are redefining retirement and the later years will no longer be filled with endless games of shuffleboard. But will Gen X do the same?

I was at a seminar this week and Chicago where the question of whether Gen Xers will also redefine retirement came up. The speaker said that it's too early to tell. However, I completely disagree.

My husband and I have already talked about this topic. I have a 90-year-old aunt who lives alone and spends most of her time alone while she struggles to keep her house up. She refuses to move. To my husband and me, this life is really sad.

We have decided that we want to go to a retirement village when we get old. I'm not talking about a nursing home, I'm talking about those places where all the seniors have their own golf cart and they spend their evenings at special events planned especially for them.

The way we see it, by the time we're ready for retirement village, we can go there with all our buddies, listen to some Motley Crue and party some. Kind of like the dorms, without having to go to class. We will also be able to have quality time with our kids and grandkids without burdening them with having to go get us groceries (we want a place that includes meals).

While Boomers seem to want to spend their later years mountain climbing and motorcycling in an effort to prove they are not getting old, I think Xers in some ways be more like today's seniors (except for the lame membership into the Red Hat society).