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.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Are Xers being sold a bill of goods?

There's a lot of negative stuff about Gen X on the web. It says we're small. It says we're sandwiched between the Boomers and the Millennials. It says we're the Jan Brady of Generations.

My question is - is it really true?

I've had my share of tough times. However, at 38 (almost 39), I have a great job, a great family, a great house, and I live in a great small town. It got me thinking - is the media out to "get" us?

It's true that our generation is smaller. However, although we're only 20% of the population, we're 42% of the workforce (see chart above). That's the largest chunk of any generation working today.

Also, the median age of CEOs in this country is getting lower. Today it's 48.8 years old (45.7 years old for those working for IT companies). The oldest Xers (if you don't count Generation Jones, which I do, but I'm not counting them here) is 44. Well, if half the CEOs are under 48.8 - most of that half are Xers.

It's true, we had it rough starting out. But is it really that dismal for us? Does the data back it up?

I'm curious what you all think.