Career Insecurity Zone

The oldest of Generation Xers are now over the age of 55 years and are entering a career insecurity zone.

I am encountering older Gen Xers who are questioning their career path (just like baby boomers who started doing this 10 years ago). This is particularly true of those who have been laid off or feel they could be laid off due to the COVID-19  Pandemic.

We know from the past that being over 50 years of age puts a big bullseye on your back when the economy falters. published an article called If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours. This was a joint effort with the Urban Institute. You can read their full study in the post: How Secure Is Employment at Older Ages?

In entering the career insecurity zone, they are asking the same questions that baby boomers did, but for different reasons.

Generation X Characteristics

Those who I see encountering these career crossroads have the following characteristics:

  • Raised in single-parent households – Almost half of generation X was raised in single-parent households.
  • Education was seen as a gateway to success and happiness – Almost all thought that, when they completed their degrees, they would get great jobs and achieve happiness. Many achieved the first goal but not the second.
  • Generation Xers have the lowest divorce rate because they delayed getting married to avoid the same experience as their parents.
  • Many married later in life and they may still have children in high school and entering their college years.

Generation Xers at the age of 55 have greater obligations and have smaller retirement accounts than baby boomers did at the same age.

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