X’s, Y’s and Generalizations

I love articles that make big bold generalizations, like this one in Time titled “What Gen Y Really Wants.” This piece manages not just to generalize about Y’s, but also X’s and us Baby Boomers. A triple threat! I’ve done my own version of this, in an article for the Poynter Institute titled “Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss.” I, however, used that wonderful covering line when you are making generalizations:

It’s folly to try to sum up any generation, especially the post-war Boomers whose oldest members will be 60 next year and whose youngest, born in 1964, are barely into their 40s.

Of course, then I go on to generalize. I do, however, think this is an important issue in the workplace. It is clear that that boomer trait (GENERALIZATION ALERT!) of working too much isn’t one totally shared by my younger colleagues. They seem to have much more of a life outside of work than I did at this age, and are more than willing to want to live it. (We had life outside of work, but we scared to mention it to our Great Generation bosses, who worked even harder and longer than we did. Maybe it’s why some of us who are turning 50 are wondering, if that all there is, when we think about work.