Ever heard of Generation X?

If you don’t know a great deal about Generation X it is because you are part of the other three, much larger generations that share the work force today.

I am not a fan of labels. To me they often have the look and the feel of a cattle brand because they tend to be on you no matter who you are and where you go. They can be dangerously bias. With that understood, I will now contradict myself by acknowledging and addressing that I am part of a Generation X and this is my clearly biased, amusing and condescending accurate slant:

*Below are a few key facts pertaining to the generations for the sake of the article

Traditionalist.....................................Born from 1922-1945
Baby Boomers....................................Born from 1946-1964
Generation X......................................Born from 1965-1980
Millennials.........................................Born from 1981-2000

Traditionalist about 76 million
Boomers are at about 80 million
Generation X equals to about 46 million
Millennial are at about 76 million

Over the past few years, a popular subject has surfaced “Generations” or more specifically, The effect on the workforce by the retiring Baby Boomers (Suit-wearers who are freaking out that they are discussing retirement) and the Millennial that have now entered the workforce wearing IPODS and flip-flops.

Only a small fraction of these discussions relate to Gen X. We are only mentioned in passing. For years we were too small to bother speaking about at length and it often feels like we are only mentioned to be polite. Often, if we are referred to at all it is indirectly with statements like, “Baby Boomers are nearing retirement, the
US is bracing for a major shortage of skilled leadership” and “With the pending retirement of baby boomers, employers are facing a lack of talent.”

Being part of this group myself, statements like these bother me. Normally I make jokes to the fact that we are rarely addressed as a group. No one even bothered to give us a cool name! (Apparently being sarcastic is Gen X trait so it is not my fault I am like this.)

I have found myself downright annoyed when I listen to discussions about the generations. I understand we are a small group but HELL-O, we are your next C-E-O!

I started writing this commentary about 2 month ago and never finished. A few weeks ago I went to an event that had several different speakers all chat about “Generations in the Workplace”. This prompted me to revisit this unpublished rant. The information was not bad, but it was redundant. Did I mention that the majority of the speakers were baby boomers? Redundant because I really didn’t need one more baby boomer stressing out because they have no idea how to relate to millennials. (Sorry, I am hard to impress, Gen X trait)

One amazing thing did happen at this event. They did speak about Gen X. They didn’t just skip over us.

I think the boomers just realized that they spent years thinking of us as “the kids,” and they would work forever and many still feel that way. All of a sudden the millennial moved in and the boomers realized that Gen X will be the next leaders of the free world and they better be nice to us.

* Disclaimer: The dates and data I collected for this article seem to vary from source to source but it gives you the general idea of numbers and time frames. I have collected my data from several reliable sources and I am comfortable the numbers are fairly accurate but don’t hold me too them!