From huffingtonpost.ca: Why Gen X is Unhappy and Hates Working. This caught my attention, partly because I am a Gen X’er and partly because I am inundated with all things Millennial. Articles like this make me wonder if mid-career professionals are being overlooked for the shiny new generation.
Much has been written about attracting and retaining Millennials, and it makes good business sense to want to appeal to the next generation of leaders. Conversely, many of my Boomer peers are being groomed for top leadership positions, and this, too, makes sense.
The gap, it seems, is the lack of attention and support companies lend mid-career employees.
Gen X is the least understood group in the workforce today. They have been ignored because of the many brilliant boomers before them and the magnificent millennials who followed them. These people are your bread and butter, they have worked through more recessions than their parents or grandparents ever did.
The author mentions a study (no details were provided) that found Gen X’ers are unhappy and companies are at risk of losing them if they decide to try the entrepreneur route.
When we reviewed the data from 300 participants, we found that that Gen X feel they just going through the motions of collecting a paycheck. When Gen Xers aren’t thriving they aren’t great culture keepers. They leave, many become entrepreneurs. The most successful entrepreneurs are in their Forties or Fifties. This means your organization will, in short order, lose not only your boomer-aged culture capital that is retiring but your Gen X cultural capital.
Given today’s tough economic landscape, I’m not convinced there will be a huge Gen X exodus from corporations to entrepreneurial ventures, but it could become more likely when the economy improves. If companies continue to overlook Gen X’ers, mid-career professionals will have to make a choice if they want to increase job satisfaction. They either have to get creative in paving their own paths or look into starting their own businesses.
On a final note, I often write in generalizations when I write about trends. I understand this trend does not reflect the culture of all companies. I hope all my Gen X readers are fortunate enough be shocked that this happens at all! I’ll leave you with one final quote:
It was once said that when you are 20 you think everyone is talking about you, when you are 40 you don’t care who talks about you, you go for it, and when you are 60 you realize that no one ever was talking about you. ~Author Unknown