from the not-what-people-expected dept
Ten years ago, Generation X perfected the slacker ethic. They couldn’t find good jobs, and focused on doing very little. Or so the popular press would have you believe. On the whole, I always thought it was mostly a bunch of fairly loud folks who wanted to make themselves feel special, while most people didn’t really care how their “generation” was defined. The whole slacker thing lost a lot of its excitement when people started making millions through dot com stock options. However, now, after the collapse, Fortune is taking a look at what’s happened to “Generation X” these days. Because of the boom, things are a bit different. Many of them are deeply in debt, and aren’t in a good position to get out of debt. While older generations had a predictable career path – starting at the bottom, and steadily moving up the corporate ladder – Generation X may have screwed up everything. They started with ridiculous salaries, and now have to get used to surviving on salaries half of what they had before. People who had CxO titles now need to get used to working entry level jobs. This rapid shift means that many won’t be able to build up the types of savings that would let them retire at the same age as their parents. All of this seems fairly depressing. Of course, I think a lot of the discussion is based on the assumption that this recession is permanent. I think that’s unlikely.