in the office: Oh well, whatever, nevermind

Tamara J. Erickson at Harvard Business talks about 10 Reasons Gen X’ers Are Unhappy at Work

Many of you X’ers are not thrilled with corporate life. You tend not to trust institutions in general and deeply resent the Boomers’ confident assumptions that you will be motivated by the same things that Boomers have long cared about. Many of you have told me that you are planning to leave corporate life “soon” – to start entrepreneurial ventures or work for smaller companies – options you feel will suit you better than the corporate roles looming ahead.

She makes some good points, and I’ve experienced more than a few of her examples. I don’t feel that being unhappy at work is exclusive to Gen X, but in my time I’ve definitely felt the cultural clash between my father’s working generation and mine.

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3 Responses

  1. Gooster says:

    I read that article yesterday, and sadly, I agree with her! The boomers and the Y’s have a lot in common, and both record setting generations in numbers. We are the mystery fluff in the Oreo of work life!

  2. pyack says:

    There was a symbiotic relationship inherent in the Boomer’s love of corporate America. The corporation promised steady employment, decent benefits, including pension, and chances for career advancement.

    That dream died in the 90s when companies no longer were loyal to their employees and employees returned the favor. If you look at the average length of a resume these days, you’ll notice that most people of our generation move around ALOT. It’s not atypical for an IT professional to switch jobs every two years.

    No wonder there is dissilusion with corporate America. No wonder the smartest people work for consulting firms and body shops. It’s every man for himself now.

  3. lacochran says:

    The biggest generational work attitude change I see is a sense of entitlement that all the 20-somethings I know have. I don’t know where it came from or why but I can’t imagine it’s going to serve them well. 🙄

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