Identity Crisis: GenX? Or Baby Boomer?
Posted by Kathi Chenoweth on June 2, 2008
The article is titled “GenX is taking over – with rules of its own” (written by Patricia Bathurst). With a subheading: “It’s time for those born between 1965 and 1980 to step up at workplace”. Apparently Dad thinks I am GenX…., that got me thinking… I have never identified myself that way.
GenX “dislike authority and rigid requirements”. This really doesn’t sound like me…I am all about structure and organization. I can’t help but feel a little disconcerted, maybe even insulted, that my father is accusing me of being GenX! Does my own father not even know who I am?!?
So then I dug into the details I’ve been avoiding. Well, in reality I barely missed being a Baby Boomer –by 33 days. I was born 2/2/1965 – the very beginning of GenX! In fact, half of the kids in my class at school would’ve been Baby Boomers, including my best friend born in Nov 1964. And what? The January and February babies were leading the new wave? I hardly think so. At the end of the day, we all sat down to watch the Brady Bunch no matter which group we belonged to.
GenX also apparently has no corporate allegiance. This can’t be me. I’ve just completed fifteen years at Oracle (and PeopleSoft before that). This is only my second job since college and I’ve been out of college a loooong time (you have to do the math yourself on that one).
The article also identifies GenX as developing career “webs” versus “paths” and tending more towards lateral moves, new opportunities versus traditional climbing of the corporate ladder. OK, well, that does sound more like me. I break out in hives whenever I feel that someone is going to ask me for my five year plan. Plan? I don’t have a plan. I just want to do something interesting and challenging. It’s worked out pretty well so far. This might also have to do with my lack of navigational skills.
And somehow GenX was the first wave of technical revolution. I’m sorry I must’ve been outside playing Kick the Can when that happened because I sure didn’t notice it! Well all right. We did get a microwave in the late 70’s. And later a VCR. It didn’t feel like a revolution….
So, I don’t know, I guess I’m a mixture of both. I used technology to find shoes and my husband, but I still cut articles out of the newspaper and show them to friends. I take after my dad (also not a Baby Boomer) that way. I didn’t get a CD player until 1995, an iPod only last fall.
I’m curious how others view their generational “labels”. What do you think? Do you feel like your label (Baby Boomer, GenX, GenY, Millennial) defines you?