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Characteristics of Generation X

What Defines Generation X

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Generation X includes individuals born between 1965 and 1976 (approximately 50 million people)who tend to be more educated than the previous Baby Boomers. This generation is significantly smaller than that of the Baby Boomers who preceded them. Since they grew up with technology, they are comfortable working with computers and technological devices in the workforce.

Background:

Generation X grew up much differently than previous generations before them. They grew up in an era where divorce and working moms were commonplace and thus created a group of individuals who became very independent and resourceful and who learned to adapt to a wide range of circumstances very early in their lives. They grew up during a period of hard economic times which deeply affected them as they began to enter the workforce and felt the need to become extremely self-sufficient as they met the tasks of the job.

Characteristics:

Members of Generation X enjoy receiving instant feedback and are most comfortable giving feedback to others. Another trait of Generation X is their pragmatic approach to getting things done and their desire to include an element of fun in both their personal and professional lives. Due to the lay-offs and job insecurity of their parents, members of Generation X often lack a sense of company loyalty and they feel the need to take care of their own needs over those of their employer. Rather than staying in a job where they're feeling dissatisfied and unappreciated, Generation X will begin sending out their resumes early to secure a better job.

Generation X dislikes authority and they prefer to have responsibility and flexibility in their job. They choose a hands-off approach when dealing with supervisors and also prefer to work alongside them rather than for them while receiving frequent feedback on their performance. Members of Generation X enjoy learning new skills and much prefer to have supervisors supply them with an outcome while giving them the freedom to figure out how they will achieve the desired results. Mentors of Generation X will do best by providing continuous feedback and suggestions while giving them the opportunity to figure how they’ll approach a project on their own.

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