Issue No. 41 - June/July 2008
Life for Gen X, Y, and the Boomers
by Peter Nicholls
There’s a wide perception that the baby boomers have got it made, gen X’ers worry about work life balance and gen Y’s are enjoying making hay while the sun shines.
It’s a bit like having three children – the eldest (Baby Boomers) being the golden-haired child, the second (Gen x) is the meat in the sandwich, feeling like they are always losing out to the other two and wanting number one to move out so they can get their room, and the third (Gen y) is expecting everything the older two get.
Grey Worldwide’s recent Eye on Australia 2008 survey found:
•Baby Boomers worry about having enough money for retirement, the environment and the loss of a sense of community.
•Gen X’ers feel they are doing it tough, stressed out by pressures and expectations from other people – family, employers, banks… you name it.
•Gen Y’ers want to get on with life but are frustrated by the cost of getting what the other two have – especially their own home.
Segmenting the population this way is popular with business managers and others trying to better understand people’s needs. But it’s fraught with dangers. Everybody’s different.
Individuals are responsible for their own actions. We deal with life’s pressures, stresses and problems in our own way. The generational differences are more to do with the types of problems being faced.
What each of these generation groups do have in common is that they all have problems that cause them stress and the source of the problems is usually outside their control.
If left untreated, the stress can and does lead to serious emotional health problems.
The answer lies in realizing the stress is usually not in the problem but in the way we respond. It’s less about what others tell us to do and more about what we expect of ourselves, or think others expect of us.
For generations we’ve been indoctrinated to believe work is the way to success ...