It’s cool stuff. I get engrossed in the nuances of Gen Y versus Gen X versus the Baby Boomers. And of course now, we’re learning more about Gen Z – that group of kids who have never known a world without the Internet, mobile devices and technology at every turn.
What does it all mean? How do we work together in the office? How do we parent, consume, live?
Based on my birth year, I’m technically a member of Gen X, but I’m on the cusp. I can relate to Gen Y and hold some of their core values too. For example, I’d define myself as pretty independent, a little skeptical and fairly pragmatic. But like many people in Gen Y, I value workplace flexibility, embrace diversity and want to collaborate and create.
Still, there is one area in my life where I have digressed from the typical youth persona. I’ve actually worked for the same company for over a decade. Gasp!
According to the Gen X and Y summaries, I’m supposed to be bouncing all over the place. Remain loyal to one organization? That’s just ridiculous!
To be honest, the years have flown by. Given that I’ve had three kids during this period of time, I’ve certainly been on my share of maternity leaves … and I wasn’t exactly looking to jump ship and learn a whole new industry as I was simultaneously juggling sleepless nights, breastfeeding and new motherhood. It was comforting to have some stability and control during these chaotic years. And I’ve had a great network of colleagues supporting me both personally and professionally along the way.
Additionally, I work for a pretty large company, so while I’ve been with my organization for 10-plus years, I’ve bounced around within the existing walls to keep things fresh.
Yet, every so often, especially as I read these studies and profiles about “my generation,” I question my tenure. Am I secretly a boomer residing in a thirty-year-old body? Will I be that Gen X anomaly who works with one company for a lifetime?
I suppose only time will tell. But the crazy, control side of me wishes I had a crystal ball to see what my professional future holds. I have some visions, and I know I need to be the driver, but I think I’m still figuring things out.
Maybe I got lucky and found the perfect company at a young age, or maybe my next career is on the horizon. I just hope I can stay stimulated, challenged and contribute in big and small ways.
How has your career path unfolded?
Have you bounced around or remained loyal to one organization?