According to this Business Week article corporate America needs to change the way it does business going forward because what worked with Boomers will not necessarily play with Generation X.
This article came about as a response to a previous report entitled “Ten Reasons Gen Xers Are Unhappy at Work,” which was originally posted on HarvardBusiness.org. I think I blogged about it but am of course too lazy to go back and find that particular post.
Anyhoo… this new article is putting corporations on notice:
Don’t expect that the same approaches that worked well with a boomer workforce will work equally well with Xers. And don’t assume that Xers will come to value the same things boomers did “when they grow up.” Xers are grown up—and they don’t think like boomers.
And we sure as shit don’t want to be treated like them. It just won’t work.
The sound bite thesis of the article is: “Boomers like to win; Xers like to have options.”
Makes sense to me. Even though I currently have a job that would seem rather limiting in it’s options, but then I am not a career-minded GenXer. My job is a job, not a career. If I have a career at all, it is my writing, what I do after I am done working for the day.
I do disagree with the author assertion that Generation X cares about money more than Boomers:
Remember that Xers care about money—a lot. They are probably more money-oriented than boomers, who might be pleased with a promotion (which is equated with “winning”), even if additional financial remuneration is slight or nonexistent. An Xer would almost never find that acceptable.
It isn’t that I don’t care about money. I do. But it is not my main concern, but then my wife makes good scratch, so… My job does not pay much but the health benefits are good, and it offers flexibility so that I can be the one to be available for my daughter. For example, if she gets sick at school because I am so close I can easily and quickly get her. Also, it isn’t a problem for me to leave work on a moments notice.
Also, I’m not so sure I buy the assertion that a Boomer would be happy to take a “promotion” without a pay raise. However, I would not want more responsibility without more money.
I’ll be interested in the book about Generation X that article’s author is working on.