‘Whining Got Us Nowhere’: Gen X Is Notoriously Laid Back But Often Overlooked — 79% Say They’re ‘Forgotten’ In The Workplace

In recent discussions about generational dynamics, Generation X, often termed the “Forgotten Generation,” is a pivotal yet understated force. Comprising approximately 65 million members, the demographic is the smallest generation by population.

But its influence is profound. You may not hear as much about Gen X as baby boomers or millennials, but the generation is the silent workhorse. Gen X makes up over one-third of the workforce and at least half of its managers. Despite its size, Gen X contributes significantly to contemporary society, offering valuable insights into the complexities of modern life and work.

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A question posed on Quora — “Why is Gen X overlooked? — has sparked thoughtful dialogue. Jeff Gib, a contributor to the platform, offers insights into the overshadowing of Gen X by the more vocal generations that flank it. Gib attributes Gen X’s understated presence to their resilience and adaptability, forged between the eras of pre-digital and digital ascendancy.

“We don’t whine that much,” wrote Gib, noting the generation’s blend of traditional and digital literacy that has equipped it with versatile problem-solving skills.

Gib reflects on the challenges his generation faced: transitioning into adulthood with minimal support, pioneering the digital frontier without precedents and confronting economic adversities without today’s platforms for collective voice.

“Whining got us nowhere. We had to make a living. We know what it’s like to be broke,” he said, highlighting the perseverance and self-reliance that characterizes Gen X.

The “slacker generation” label that shadowed Gen X in the 1990s and early 2000s has since been reconsidered. Now, many from this generation balance raising children with caregiving for aging parents, contributing silently yet significantly to advancements in technology and environmental awareness.

Educator Scott Van Vlack recognizes their pioneering efforts in digital use.

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“We were the first generation to figure out how to utilize computers en masse and improve our lives and the world around us,” he said.

Despite being stereotyped as the latch-key generation, content to work independently, Gen X faces significant challenges in the workplace. Their laid-back demeanor might be misinterpreted, leading to them to be overlooked for promotions. PeopleScout surveys reveal a concerning truth: 79% of Gen X feel neglected at work and overshadowed by both younger and older colleagues. This sentiment is amplified by data showing they get promoted by 20% to 30% less often than millennials, despite their leadership skills.

As companies prioritize nurturing millennial talent, Gen X’s contributions are often undervalued, which has consequences. A significant portion of Gen X is leading the Great Resignation — 37% more left their jobs in early 2022 compared to the previous year. Employers must focus on retaining and engaging this experienced and valuable workforce segment, especially as they approach retirement.

However, work struggles aren’t the only concern. Gen X also faces a significant wealth gap issue, making retirement a daunting prospect. Reports suggest most people’s desired retirement savings goal exceeds $1.1 million, while the average Gen Xer expects to have around $660,000. This translates to over 60% of Gen Xers feeling unsure about reaching their retirement dreams.

This unique situation stems from being the first generation to rely heavily on 401(k) plans instead of pensions. They’ve shouldered the burden of economic crises, stagnant wages and rising living costs without the traditional safety net of pensions.

These particular challenges Gen X faces emphasize the importance of strategic financial planning. Consulting a financial adviser becomes especially important as they approach retirement. An adviser can create personalized strategies to bridge the wealth gap by focusing on smart investments, maximizing retirement contributions and considering real estate investments as a means to build a more secure financial future.

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*This information is not financial advice, and personalized guidance from a financial adviser is recommended for making well-informed decisions.

Jeannine Mancini has written about personal finance and investment for the past 13 years in a variety of publications including Zacks, The Nest and eHow. She is not a licensed financial adviser, and the content herein is for information purposes only and is not, and does not constitute or intend to constitute, investment advice or any investment service. While Mancini believes the information contained herein is reliable and derived from reliable sources, there is no representation, warranty or undertaking, stated or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information.

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This article ‘Whining Got Us Nowhere’: Gen X Is Notoriously Laid Back But Often Overlooked — 79% Say They’re ‘Forgotten’ In The Workplace originally appeared on Benzinga.com

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