Gen X – stuck in the middle again

Posted On August 5, 2014

The numbers show it. And so do the conversations. Generation X is stuck in the middle. In “10 things Generation X won’t tell you” MarketWatch author Quentin Fottrell delivers a fairly thorough assessment of why Gen X is “poor, ignored and jaded.”

Gen X numbers roughly half to two-thirds of its generational peers. Depending on whose statistics you use, there are about 49 million Xers compared to 75 million Boomers and 89 million Millennials. No wonder people aren’t paying as much attention anymore. But it’s more than that – Xers have been around a while. They were the thorn in the side of management years ago, but the Matures who truly didn’t understand them are almost fully retired and the Boomers have gotten used to them. The Millennials, though, are bringing a whole new set of headaches and tech-savvy. So they get the focus.

But what does this mean for advancement? If Boomers are staying around longer and Millennials are being closely studied and groomed for leadership positions, are Xers doomed to middle management forever? That’s the story behind points 6 and 7 in Fottrell’s article. Boomers are sticking around and Millennials are impatient to get ahead, so Xers aren’t feeling overly optimistic.

Could this mean even more entrepreneurism as jaded Xers set sail for unchartered waters where they will at least be in control of their own destiny? Seems very likely…at least once they get out of debt and have more flexibility to do so.

Categories: Generation X, Succession Planning, Work, Workplace