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Growing up, the various generations were not a concern nor a known discussion. I grew up as a Generation X with the notion you work, and you retire. I’ve been working since the day I turned 16. No one pushed me or said go get a job. I had a friend in high school who had been working in the fast food industry. During a discussion she mentioned helping me get a job. I went in for an interview weeks before turning 16 and voila I was a working teenager.
Over the years of working I wanted to learn more. Technology was growing, and I was as interested as the next person. I often worked alongside individuals that were older or younger than me. When I worked with individuals my age, I seemed to be the happiest. Some of my employers made it difficult to be myself while working with Baby Boomers and Millennials. I became more and more unsatisfied with each job after my 20s passed.
My Role Raising Millennials and Generation Z
I have step children that are Millennials and teenagers that
are Generation Z. I can understand why
the two generations are placed in two categories. Technology and times have evolved and changed
with every generation which set the standards for their learning and growing
abilities. I wanted to work hard for my
future to achieve what I never thought I could.
However, my generation has and is raising children while trying to
figure out how to maintain a work life balance like the Millennials.
My Millennial step children stayed with their grandparents if they weren’t with their mother or us. My Generation Z children stayed in after school care and with sitters. These generations see their mothers and fathers both going to work to maintain a lifestyle that has now gone from basic needs to basic needs and technological needs. Articles on the internet talk about the Millennial’s contribution to the economy. Generation Z is just now beginning to enter the workforce. My Generation X has begun the entrepreneurial path and has become the highest percentage in startup founders.
Trying to Fit in With Other Generations
I once tried to fit in, and I attempted to be as conservative as the elders I worked with. However, now I am also finding myself trying to fit in with the younger generations I raised. The workforce has revolved around the new generations, but where do I fit in? I am still working with the Baby Boomers exiting the workforce. What people seem to forget is that people like me in Generation X are continuously learning and constantly using technology as a means of business.
The talk has been about how to address the integration of the Millennials; however, no one has addressed concerns of where my Generation X fit. Not only are we stepping into the Baby Boomer positions at work, but we are also interviewing with and answering to Millennials while taking on other positions. Yes, the younger generations have grown up with technology, but my generation has been using technology for decades. Generation X has evolved with the technologies that have afforded us the opportunities we’ve had in the workforce.
Many Years of Work Ahead of Us
Baby Boomers and Generation X are now working harder and
longer years. Not only are people living
longer, but the once standard retirements and 401k contributions are becoming a
thing of the past. People are moving
from job to job to accommodate layoffs and growth. Investments are completed on an App. Millennials want the freedom of working from
home and working harder to work for themselves; however, individuals like
myself are striving for the same. I have
created two businesses and I am working harder than ever to make a living.
As much as I don’t want to, I know that I will work at least two more decades. I would love for my website and knowledge in bookkeeping and accounting to withstand that time, but with time come changes. Regardless of our traits, knowledge, or expertise all generations must change with each era. Social media, software, computers, and trends force all of us to adjust so we can continue to earn money. I become older and fear for the future I once had years to think about.
I remember WordPerfect for DOS the same way my children will
remember Microsoft PowerPoint. Eventually,
the Millennials, Generation Z, and Generation X will all be working side by
side. We are fortunate to be living
longer so each generation needs to look upon each other as an attribute. I encourage business owners and co-workers
alike to treat each other with respect.
If you are of the younger generations reading this don’t forget that you
will one day be the older person at work that sits next to you now.