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.


Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts. As a Boomer managing a staff with Gen Xers, thank you. I applaud the ideas that there’s more to life than a commitment to a full time job. I can only ask myself how did I end up with a 30 year career and have a feeling of guilt when taking a day off on a whim. There was that time when Peace & Love meant screw the establishment. What Happened???


Anonymous said...

Now *how* can a generation who is only
i starting
to impact the workforce claim such a thing? Millenials may be a force to reckon with, but they do not have a claim on the origins of work/life/balance. Nope. It could be that Gen X paved the way, and that the workforce is only now acquiesing on a larger scale, but it is not a concept forged by the millenials. They just haven't been around long enough to notice!

Anonymous said...

It is my opinion that work/life balance is not a generational thing. Perhaps work "ethics" and their variances are generational but I believe everyone stives for work/life balance. Different people handle their struggle with it differently.

Gen Xers have louder mouths in the workforce. The Gen Xers are a generation to talk about feelings and demand their voices be heard. Boomers and Gen Xers feel the same way about work/life balance- Boomers don't whine about it and they silently rage their battle.

Those people who feel the office will shut down without them if they take a vacation are all ages from different generations. Bottom line- if you want something badly enough you will find a way to make it work and fit it all in and that is across the board regardless of what generation you were born in.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is because we have grown up in a time of such economic stability that we have had the freedom to live in "balance". Our parents lived through a recession and gas rationing, and THEIR parents lived through the Depression. That experience colored their outlook on life, work and values which I am sure they tried to instill in their children. Its like comparing apples to oranges, I think.