Happy Hour with the Generations
Here is what different generations think about each other in the workplace – provoking and uncensored! (Granted, these are simply two of many unscientific opinions…) For the full article, including Gen Y’s POV, go to Gaia Insights
From a Gen X perspective…
Baby Boomers – Enough Boom Already
To the 1.2 billion Baby Boomers around the world: While we admire your hard work ethic, historical knowledge, flamboyant success and intense commitment, please consider retiring because we want your big wig role, NOW! You climbed the ladder to the top and have had many years of corporate pampering, so please throw in the towel and give Gen X a chance to join the C-Suite before some tech-savvy Gen Y steals our spot!
It’s time for some rest and relaxation, travel the world, enjoy life, take a break from moving, shaking and schmoozing your whole career. I bet your bank account is so high, it’s in some Caribbean island, that’d be a perfect place to visit. You’ve worked incredibly hard your entire life, while raising some pretty, let’s say, interesting heavily indulged Gen Yers, who could use your attention. I think now is the right time to retire and spend time with them.
Why do we ask? Many Gen Xers have kids to put through college with n0 funds saved and no athletic scholarships on the horizon. If you stay, can you at least donate to their college fund?
Generation X – The Sandwich Generation (Again!)
Here we are again, sitting in the middle of 3 generations trying to juggle work and family while trying to get attention from our Boomer bosses, or really attention from anyone. At 1.9 billion globally, we too are a large generation, yet so unnoticed. Most of us are in the same job that we’ve held for over 15 years, staying put because we crave our paychecks, fear the unknown from the 2008 recession and heck yes, we’re beyond comfortable with our work-life-balance. Finally someone, some organization, has recognized our needs such as flex time. Why leave?
But Gen X needs to get out of their comfort zone before it’s too late, before they are glued to the corner desk to ride out their career. We should consider looking for jobs in new organizations, taking a risk with the intent of moving up. We’re scared but we’re also talented and experienced enough to lead Gen Y and Gen Z. Boomers ain’t movin’ out, so let’s find a new sandbox to play in.
Gen Y – Why Not Me
Gen X is celebrating your maturity, and as a result we are beginning to enjoy working with you despite our different styles. We have learned to embrace your enthusiasm and zest for life even though your uppity lack of commitment continues to annoy us. As latchkey kids, Gen X was ignored in childhood and it’s a struggle to accept your younger Gen Y peer ignoring you. While Gen X appears to be unemotional, we are probably the most emotional of all generations due to what we’ve endured and how intensely we’re raising our children. So try to think about someone besides yourselves, you could learn a lot from us, especially about raising kids, holding a job and settling into a stable life.
We realize Gen Z is riding on your coattails and soon you will have to share the spotlight which may be very hard for you. Look out for Gen Z – they have all of your strengths and then some. Gen X is going to bond with Gen Z and Gen Y could feel left out for the first time ever in their lives. So Gen Y, please come back down to earth and try a little harder to get along with everyone.
Gen Z – Stand Back for Z, Everybody
Wow Gen Z, we are blown away by your enthusiasm and motivation to work here, to work in the corporate world. But really, are you sure this is what you want? We’ve been here 20 years and believe me, it’s not that exciting (though Gen X is quite cynical). But we’re glad you find it amazing – and congratulations on your position. Did your Gen X parents make you do this, did they get you the job like Ms. Millennial’s parents did over there? It’s impressive that 60% of Gen Z wants internships, so congratulations on getting in.
So what do you want from Gen X? Just email me a list because we’re exhausted by our own Gen Z kids and really don’t want to deal… unless you can share some of your social media skills, so I can stalk my kids and make the company look good. See all the people here that look like your parents? We’re waiting in line for a promotion, waiting for the even older people to retire. But in the meantime, because we care about our kids, and kids your age, we’d like to become your mentors.