In a lifetime of work, most Gen-Xers have not been able to gain the support of their Baby Boomer bosses, let alone push past them. Now a new batch of Millennials are graduating right into senior management roles, leaving Gen-X stagnant in roles where, often, they are earning 40% less than they did a decade ago to perform the same job.
What does this mean to the overall future health of the workplace? Will Millennials, who may never know what it means to try to pay a mortgage, raise a family and prepare (eventually) for retirement on a stagnant wage, steamroll over society and be just as unaware as the Boomers of their effects on the Middle Class?
Generation-X has seen the before and after of the Boomer equation. We’ve experienced trial and error from the comfort of the middle and are ready to lead intelligently from the top, teaching the Millennials as we go. We’re mentally prepared to retire early and get out of the way quickly, but financially, we need access to the pay that befits our experience in order to make that happen. The pay employers are all too happy to pass on to our successor generation, leapfrogging right over us.
In part, it’s because we don’t look the part of a leader. We like our casual dress and our work/life balance, which stakeholders have deemed bad for profits. In part, it’s because we do see the damage done to the economy and the planet and we’re not afraid to call the world out on it. That makes us look like troublemakers. In part, it’s because we don’t conform to the Boomer-built status quo. In part, it’s because we don’t stroke those Boomer egos like their Greatest Generation parents did. We do call them out on their shit and they don’t like it.
As free range kids, we had to test boundaries. Most of the time we were left alone to figure out the world on our own. On a very intrinsic level, we know what works and what doesn’t. We’ve been there, done that in a way that a Millennial with a spanking new degree will never understand.
Generation-X is not ready to be put down yet. Use us for what we know and pay us appropriately. We promise to relinquish the throne before we’re 60, 70, 80. We won’t make you wait like the Boomers are doing to us.