When we spoke with author Donna Fenn about Gen Y entrepreneurs and the relationships between the generations, one of her statements generated the most comments by far: "the most obvious generational conflict I've observed is between Gen Y and Gen X." Readers offered a host of possible explanations for Fenn's observation, but now a one blog is seconding her impression. The Huffington Post is claiming that the recession is intensifying Gen X's discontent at work and leading to more conflict between those in their 30s and 40s and the two larger demographic bubbles that sandwich them:
They're antsy and edgy, tired of waiting for promotion opportunities at work as their elders put off retirement. A good number of them are just waiting for the economy to pick up so they can hop to the next job, find something more fulfilling and get what they think they deserve. Oh, and they want work-life balance, too.
Sounds like Gen Y, the so-called "entitlement generation," right?
Not necessarily, say people who track the generations. In these hard times, they're also hearing strong rumblings of discontent from Generation X.The article goes on to describe how Gen X is growing increasingly fed up with perpetually playing second fiddle to the Boomers on the one hand and competing with brash (and generally cheaper to hire) members of Gen Y on the other. As a result, surveys find Gen X employees are generally less loyal, more likely to complain of lack of career progress and more likely to be looking to change jobs. They may be the cause of a "resume tsunami" once hiring picks up again, concludes the article. So much for that stereotype of the Gen Y job hopper.
Does this grim portrait of Gen X middle child syndrome mesh with your on the job experience?