Presley, Hendrix, MTV, or Cobain?Here is an interesting article about my generation--X and the one after me, millennials. The article talks about each generation's employability, but still offers some good.
Generation X and The Millennials: What You Need to Know About Mentoring the New Generations by Diane Thielfoldt and Devon Scheef August 2004
Which of the following means the most to you?
Elvis joins the Army.
Jimi Hendrix dies
Kurt Cobain dies.
Your answer, of course, depends on your age—or more specifically, on the generation you belong to. While pop music milestones may not seem all that important, the sum total of experiences, ideas and values shared by people of different generations makes for a melting pot of work approaches and priorities. Once you understand where the newer generations are "coming from," as a Boomer (born 1946-1964) might say, it’s easy to target your mentoring style to bring out their strengths and make the most progress. Remember to discard biases and pre-conceived notions, and you and your mentees from all generations enjoy your generational differences—and similarities!
Generation X: Declaring their Independence
The 51 million members of Generation X, born between 1965 and 1976, grew up in a very different world than previous generations. Divorce and working moms created "latchkey" kids out of many in this generation. This led to traits of independence, resilience and adaptability. Generation X feels strongly that "I don't need someone looking over my shoulder."
At the same time, this generation expects immediate and ongoing feedback, and is equally comfortable giving feedback to others. Other traits include working well in multicultural settings, desire for some fun in the workplace and a pragmatic approach to getting things done.
Generation X saw their parents get laid off or face job insecurity. Many of them also entered the workplace in the early '80s, when the economy was in a downturn. Because of these factors, they've redefined loyalty. Instead of remaining loyal to their company, they have a commitment to their work, to the team they work with, and the boss they work for.
For example, a Baby Boomer complains about his dissatisfaction with management, but figures its part of the job. A Gen Xer doesn't waste time complaining-she sends her resume out and accepts the best offer she can find at another organization.
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