As Gen X entered the workplace, the world went digital and the economy slowed. Both changes made the work week longer.
Always-able Gen X has adapted in clever ways. Like watching less TV (fewer hours than slacker Booms) and putting in work hours after putting the kids to bed. And then there are the major changes, like having fewer kids, and having them later.
How has Gen X adapted?
They sleep less for starters. The "sandwich" generation squeezed between aging parents and young children, Gen Xers say the first thing that slips away is the nightly 8.
Recently, studies have revealed fundamental life-changing concessions to the incursion of work on personal time. For one thing, Xers marry later than previous generations, in part to establish career traction before starting a family. In addition, Xers delay having children, are have fewer children or choose not to have children at all. The DINK (dual income no kids) demographic keeps growing. Among Xers who have children, women are likely to take career breaks to find balance, while men change jobs or pass on a promotion in order to have family time.
Then there's the Gig Economy.
Gen X was the first generation to place value in short, project-oriented work--essentially working full out for a while, then taking time off, then going full out again. Fast, slow, then fast again. That's another way of finding balance.
Lowered expectations come into play as well. The vast majority of Gen Xers say they have given up on the traditional American dream. Success is not about a house and kids. It's about having a sense of input about your schedule, about your time.
Generational expert and keynote speaker, Amy Lynch helps the generations understand each other. She has spoken to 100s of groups from MTV and Comcast to Boeing, J&J and the staff of the U.S. Senate. Contact Amy about your next event.