This is part four of a five-part article:
Senior associates and junior partners at most law firms most likely belong to Gen X. These are lawyers between age 34 and age 49.
Transformative events that took place during the formative years of Gen X include Nixon’s resignation, the Challenger disaster, Desert Storm, AIDS, and the recession and resultant job loss of 1973-195.
“With dual-career parents either at work or divorced,” said Turner, “Gen X grew up as ‘latch-key’ kids who knew how to use a microwave to cook their own snacks and meals. In addition, Gen X saw their parents and other adults laid off en masse by employers during the recession. As a result, they see themselves as free agents and not long-term employees loyal to one employer.
“As a result,” said Turner, “Gen X grew up independent, self-directed and entrepreneurial. They are highly skeptical of the choices made by their parents to be workaholics and jeopardize family life. They value family life more than work life. They work to live, not live to work. They dote on every aspect of their children’s lives.”
In the workplace, Gen X also looks for close, family-like connections. “As entrepreneurs, they mistrust and dislike bureaucracy,” said Turner. “Unless scheduled for court or an important meeting, they dress casually. They are the generation most likely to show up at the office with tattoos and piercings.”
In today’s workplace, it is important to honor the entrepreneurial approach of Gen X and give them a lot of autonomy. Other generations should avoid micro-management and insistence that there is just one correct way to approach a representation.
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