I love the opening to this article addressed to managers trying to figure out their Gen X employees:
"Let's say you're a baby-boom generation manager (age 40 to 58), and you've got a team of people in their late 20s to late 30s working for you—or, heck, maybe you report to one of them. Does it puzzle you when a 30-year-old employee with a great track record and a stellar future goes out on maternity leave—and decides not to come back full time, opting for part-time work instead? Or when a Gen X dad asks for more time off—a lot more—to spend with his family?"I should probably send that link along with my next request for shorter workweeks, extended leaves or other newfangled arrangements that don't really fit the corporate mindset. This got me digging into how Gen Xers are approaching parenting:
- Gen X Keen on the ABCs of Raising Gen Y
- Gen X turns out some grade A parents
- The grunge generation grows up
"Gen X moms and dads tend to be homebodies - they are willing to sacrifice one spouse's income to have a parent at home with the kids, and frequently have to go into debt to own a house. Sometimes they choose arrangements, such as each spouse working a part-time job, that ensure that both parents get time with the children."Much of this stuff rings so true for me -- I see it in the decisions and trade-offs I'm attempting these days, and in the values of many of my peers. One blind spot in this thread is the number of Gen Xers choosing not to get married or have kids, but I also see parallels in those choices because they're showing that we want to rewrite the old rules and create our own reality free of previous constraints and expectations.
At least some boomers resent the implication that Gen Xers are turning out to be better parents than they were, and of course there is always someone looking to capitalize on every demographic trend. The study referenced in all of these articles was done by Reach Advisors, a marketing consultancy that is doing their own kind of lifestylism project, except they're making a lucrative business out of it. Where did I go wrong?