What I’ve learned from Generation X.


Another meme has popped up on the associations blogs. This time it’s a Gen X meme, started by Maddie Grant and I was tagged by Matt Baehr.

Well I’m not a Gen Xer, though I am spitting distance away from being one. Most of my friends are Gen X, so I figure I’ll play along and look at what Gen X has taught me.

1. “Slacking” is really just figuring out how to be more efficient – The Xers have always had the stigma of being slackers, yet if you have a question about how to do something, ask an Xer. They’ll tell you the quickest way to get it done and look like a rockstar doing it.

2. Being “rebellious” isn’t a bad thing – It just means the system isn’t working anymore and you’re sick of keeping your mouth shut about it. It’s okay to not dress like your parents or have the same goals as them. If the system isn’t working for you, be like a Gen Xer, say enough is enough and go after what you want.

3. Starbucks IS tasty – The working world has always been powered by a steady stream of coffee, but Gen X embraced a high-powered version that is completely customizable to your taste. Sure Starbucks may be “the man” now, but their popularity has helped to inspire millions of espresso-drinkers to open up their own independent fair-trade coffee shops where you can bring your laptop and get your work done while experiencing a nice caffeine buzz and change the world one cup at a time.

4. That geek is chic – It started with flannel, but then things that were fashionable started to have a tinge of geek, things that were geeky (like the glasses on your face) became a fashion statement. Sure it’s upsetting that my frames cost as much as my car insurance payment now, but damn do I love them. Thanks for making my face a place of fashion and saving me from those horrible pink frames I had in elementary school that ruined many a school picture. (No, I will not be including a picture)

5. It’s okay to be me – I think maybe the Millennials are taking this one step further (I think tattoos will be fully accepted in the workplace one day), but if we are, we have the “Baby Busters” (my new favorite term for Generation X) to thank for paving the way. They stopped listening to what their parents thought they should be and made their own way. They thinned the forest so that Gen Y can stamp down the path.

I know there were some questions in some of the earlier memes about whether or not Gen X has sold out, that’s for them to decide about themselves. I will say though that if any of them feel like they have, they’ve made it so us Millennials don’t have to. So thanks to Gen X for making it a little easier for us in Gen Y to embrace who we are.

Since this is a meme and I’m HORRIBLE at guessing an individual’s age, I’m just tagging some association peoples and they can contribute to the meme how they see fit.

Cynthia D’Amour
Lindy Dreyer (I know Maddie let you off the hook, but…)
Beth Kanter
Lauren Fernandez


54 Responses to “What I’ve learned from Generation X.”

  1. Really great post. I feel the love 🙂 I think your point about how Gen X “made it so us Millennials don’t have to” (sell out) is particularly interesting – I feel like we’ve definitely paved the way to some extent for trusting yourself and doing your own thing. I love the phrase “roam before you pave” – in this context, it’s almost like we’ve done a lot of roaming, and Gen Y will be able to pave their own path a lot more quickly.

    Thanks for playing!

  2. 2 Sharon Kneebone

    Great post, Lynn. I especially like the comment about being rebellious. I am always asking “why do we have to do it that way?”

  3. Well done Lynn. Love how you caught Gen-Xers at their best.

    I just posted my response to your tag at http://cynthiadamour.com/2009/09/28/still-dancing-to-the-tune-in-my-head/

  4. Thanks Ladies for reading my post!

    Gen X taught a lot to Gen Y. It’s now our turn to let loose and see what we can teach Gen X!

  5. Lynn, I love your post! As a fellow Millennial, I couldn’t live without my daily dose of Starbucks and rock a small tattoo on my ankle. Thanks, GenX!

  6. Love that Geek is chic – what a great meme .. perfect to set the stage for integenerational mentoring

  7. Shannon – As a fellow tattooed Millenial (though more extensively tattooed I believe) I can totally relate. My last office, which was definitely a Boomer environment, such things like having a tattoo that peaked out was definitely NOT allowed. Now that I’ve in an environment that is a bit more Gen X friendly, it’s not an issue. A work place where I can be me and not hide myself has definitely become a need on my list.

    Beth – Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see post from you? And all the credit for the meme goes to Maddie, she knocked this one out of the park. 😉

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  1. 1 Cynthia D’Amour on Leadership and Life » Still Dancing to the Tune in My Head
  2. 2 Twitter Trackbacks for What I’ve learned from Generation X. « SNAP’s Blog [snapblogger.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com
  3. 3 Splash: A Blog from MemberClicks » Blog Archive » The Xer Meme: Thoughts from the bottom of the (generation) ladder
  4. 4 Lazy Is Good! – The Buzz Bin
  5. 5 Lazy Is Good!
  6. 6 Can Gen Xers Revolutionize the Workplace? – The Buzz Bin
  7. 7 X-er Meme: Sell Out? Who, Me? | Spark Consulting
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