Generation X (1965-1979)

Generation X was born between 1965 and 1979. Although there is no consensus on the time period that effectively covers, people born since the early 1960s and until the late 1970s are included in this generation. Those born in this period represent the pop culture of the 1970s and are often dubbed as latchkey kids because they have often been left alone at home, once both parents worked, which explains their independent and adaptable approach to work. Sometimes referred to as the lost generation, this was the first generation of children exposed to situations of divorce and to the concept of children day care. During childhood, Generation X has become the most unprotected in modern history. This generation was marked by the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the Watergate[1] political scandal and the first man landing on the moon.

This generation has learned to be independent since a very young age and turned that value into a remarkable brand as it advanced in the world of work. When Generation X first began to emerge in force in the labor market, the economic decline of 1980 took place. During this period, in which the members of Generation X began to leave the universities and finish their degrees, between 1975 and 1995, the reduction of the employment rate emerged and, consequently, organizations reduced the number of employees and many of the latchkey children watched their parents become unemployed. This event triggered a change of values of these young people in what it comes to loyalty and job security. The competition for jobs was shaking. For the first time in history, it was not expected that this generation would be able to reproduce the lifestyle of their predecessors.

Generation X is arguably more qualified than the previous generation. Due to their education and increasing maturity, they are also more conscientious and pragmatic about starting a family. This generation has an entrepreneurial spirit, a do-it-yourself attitude and, in contrast to previous generations, embraces change in the workplace. The members of this generation are career-oriented, but place a strong emphasis on family time and strive for a balance between personal and professional life. They enjoy their autonomy and freedom—work to live rather than live to work, which is not always easy for the baby boomers to understand.

A flexible workplace is important for the member of Generation X, as well as a constructive feedback. Generation X and baby boomers have different work ethics— Generation X moves for diversity, challenges, responsibilities, and creativity while baby boomers have a preference for stricter approaches.

Generation X has suffered a strong influence of the globalized world and the dedication given by their parents to their professional careers. The members of this generation entered the labor market approximately between 1985 and 2000, and they carry as core values the balance between personal and professional life, the importance of family, and the satisfaction and quality at work.

Summing up, Generation X prefers less formality and less conventional hierarchies, placing merit above status and is less loyal to organizations, compared to baby boomers. The members of this generation know how to work with computers and give a strong value to money and benefits, while they seek for balance between work and personal life.

  • [1] The Watergate was a political scandal in the 1970s that occurred in the USA and culminated inthe resignation of the USA President at the time, Richard Nixon.
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