The Lucky Ones
Born In Between Gen X and The Millennials
“Two roads diverged in the woods, and I… I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost
Does this sound like a Gen xer or Millennial?
I was born in 1979. Technically, that drops me into the Generation X era, 1961-1981. Generation Y, known better as the Millennial Generation, spans from 1982-1993. However, some research has shown that Gen X actually ends in 1977, which means many of us fall into the Millennial Generation. Either way, these few years of 1978-1980, draws the conclusion that individuals born during this time period are somehow caught in the middle, making us float between one generation to another depending on life’s twists and turns. This can cause a feeling of not being sure where we belong.
An article in Forbes talks about the difference in the work force:
Xer’s Live to Work. Xer’s are very independent or “individualistic generation.” They want a corner office with the trappings of success.
Millennials work to live. Millennials have many passions and are focused on making meaning, not just money.
This slideshare talks about the two in the dating world:
Dating and sex took place for Gen X ers, but it was driven by fear of AIDS: So, this brought us either to settle down super early or spend our 20s dancing from club to club.
It’s highly common for Millennials to be “friends with benefits.”
Technology allowed relationships to become intimate before even meeting.
As a result, Millennials have a strong desire to turn to more traditional dating.
As often as I talk about the positives of both generations, it’s reassuring to know that we can choose to live in both. Being an introvert, a free-spirit, artsy, business minded and a yogi, clearly reveals merit to this theory, as these are key characteristics of both generations.
Although I can confidently admit that my experiences during the 80’s and 90’s helped shape and create who I am today, reality finally hit me in the face when I graduated from college.
As I pranced my 21-year-old self to NYC to tackle my first fancy internship with The David Letterman Show, I can say now how naïve I was to think my career was on the right track. The world was my oyster, till it wasn’t. One can argue that graduating from college in 2001 should have been an exciting time. Who could have ever imagined the downward spiral of the government, or the unforeseen tragedy of 9/11. This period turned out to be the most frightening and uncertain time for all of us.
Once we were striped from our false sense of security, like most of us, I embarked on a spiritual journey while in parallel forged ahead with the mission to create a pathway to refining my profession and ultimately attain a dream job I could be passionate about. For better or for worse, I was living my early twenties with feelings of punishment yet, mixed with a sense of freedom. As cushy jobs, economy and global allies fell out from underneath our feet, terms such as social economy, disruptors and 4-hour work weeks became the norm.
This is where being caught in the middle of these two generations turned into a positive rather than a negative. The days of freaking out about my present and future, “what am I doing with my life,” ended as soon as I declared my F*CK IT Moment.
All the research, studies and talks on these two generations clarified my thinking to be true. I continue to consume these studies to figure out my own identity and where I fall in. We are actually not caught in the middle, but actually benefit from being touched by these two amazing generations. This reality provides us with the special gift of diversity and endless possibilities to grow. The world really is our oyster.
Check out a few of the “caught in the middle” innovators:
Danae Ringelmann, Slava Rubin and Eric Schell, Co-Founders of Indiegogo
Jeremy Stoppelman, Founder, Yelp
Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia & Nate Blecharczyk, Co-Founders of Airbnb
Tamara Ralph & Michael Russo, Creative Director and CEO, Ralph & Russo
Here are some references that have inspired me, which I hope will inspire you.
If interested in up to date info on the Millennial Generation: Check out Cassandra Report
More on Generation X: Jeff Gordinier, author of X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft But Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking
Intrigued by the patterns of Generations: Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069
Interested in growth hacking techniques? Check out this book, by Millennial Ryan Holiday. Quick read and easy to produce tactics. Are you still feeling “caught in the middle?” Check out my coaching program and let’s connect. FREE Consultation just for you!