Generation X Values Have Implications for Career Management Some experts argue that the same…

Generation X Values Have Implications for Career Management Some experts argue that the same career management approaches that work with baby boomers don’t work with Generation Xers. Gen Xers don’t have the same values as baby boomers. Teen experiences as latchkey kids and watching their parents get laid off from corporations helped to shape Gen Xers’belief that one of their most important priorities is to take care of themselves under any circumstances. Many Gen Xers feel that the traditional corporate career path is too narrow, emphasizing an “up or out” mentality. Gen Xers view the availability of multiple career paths as creating options and providing them with an opportunity to gain a broad set of business skills. Companies that are known as good places to make personal contacts are valued by Gen Xers. Gen Xers also value their children and their family relationships. This means that they have strict standards about how many hours they will work or the amount of business travel they will accept. As a result of the incompatibility between their values and those of large companies, many Gen Xers have left “Corporate America” for smaller companies or to start their own businesses. Consider the question: “A career is . . .?” How would Gen Xers define a career? How would Baby Boomers define a career? What are the similarities and differences? Do you think that differences in how a career is defined between generations (e.g., Baby Boomers vs. Gen Xers) are greater than differences that might exist within any one generation? That is, are there really generational differences in how a career is defined? How can companies use their career management systems to attract, retain, and motivate talented Gen X employees? Consider each step in the career management process and provide recommendations for what managers and the company should do to appeal to Gen Xers’ values.


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