By Melissa J. Anderson
Much of the information about generational conflict in the workplace revolves around smoothing out the differences between Baby Boomers and Millennial employees, often ignoring the talented, diverse, and highly adaptable middle child – Gen X.
According to a recent report from the Center for Work Life Policy, The X Factor: Tapping into the Strengths of the 33- to 46-Year-Old Generation, the generation of individuals between the ages of 33 and 46 are hard at work, highly educated, and highly ambitious.
At the same time, the report says, Gen Xers are frustrated – the Baby Boomers ahead won’t seem to retire and the horde of ambitious Millennials behind them are eager to push them out of the way. In fact, according to the study, 41% of Gen Xers were not satisfied with their rate of advancement, and roughly half (49%) said they felt their career was stalled.
Having survived three recessions since entering the workforce, and many deeply in debt, one would assume that this generation of workers was living up to its characteristic sullenness. But, according to a new report out of the University of Michigan, Gen X’s gloominess faded away in the 90s. Today, this generation is happy.
That gives employers a big reason to take notice – rather than focusing career development and advancement initiatives solely on its youngest workers, they need to pay attention to Gen X employees too. Or else they will happily take their education, experience, drive, and adaptability to another company that will better support their needs.