Sam Vincent
Sam Vincent
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

In the current generational war, does Generation X have the best characteristics of the Baby boomers and the millennials with none of the downsides?

Unless you live under a rock, I am sure you have seen the crass words being exchanged, between the baby boomers and the millennials.

Opinions differ about the parameters that define each group, but boomers are generally thought to have been born between 1946 and the early 1960s and millennials, between the mid 1980s and the early 2000s.

The basis of the feud is boomers don’t like millennials because they think they are feckless, whiny, scared of hard graft and obsessed by status and more interested in posting a selfie to social media than doing anything useful and Millennials see the boomers as a rapacious generation that have pretty much ruined everything for them by living too long and absorbing a good amount of taxpayers’ money for their care.

But what about Generation X? Using the above, purposely inexact, measure, Generation X-ers were born roughly between the mid-Sixties and the start of the Eighties; initially thought of as nihilistic slackers who would never amount to much but, mainly in their forties and fifties, is this their time?

The million dollar question is do Generation X have the benefit of the best characteristics of both boomers and millennials, but none of the downsides? Do they know how to work hard and play hard?

The opinion is that Generation X-ers are very industrious, they created the internet (and made it what it is today); walked round with phones the size of rucksacks and sent the first text-messages; knuckled down and worked hard - now writing books; making and directing TV and movies; getting up early to go to work; and coming out in the middle of the night to fix burst pipes.

This is usually followed by a sweeping generalisation that boomers live in the past and have ransomed the future, that Millennials fear the future and are ignorant of the past whilst Generation X acknowledges what has gone before, learns from it, and resolves to shape the future into something better.

Yes, they really are perfect aren’t they…..but wait, did Generation X benefit from the post-war world that the Boomers helped to build? Will they soon be supported by the millennial dominated workforce?

Generation X were paid by the state to go to university, they are (on the whole) the last generation to be able to afford home ownership and get a mortgage, they found it easier to get a job but also remember the three million unemployed and the systematic destruction of UK heavy industry as well as when interest rates hit 17 per cent.

The trick that everybody is missing in this “generation war,” is that everybody needs to work together. Each generation blames the one before; when in reality each generation should be accountable. Boomers should pass on their wisdom, X-ers should learn from the Boomers’ mistakes and millennials should looking to learn from those who have gone before them, before it is too late.

We work with lawyers at all different levels, from junior paralegals to senior partners, covering roles in all different practice areas. So if you’re a boomer looking to take a step back, an X-er looking to take a step up or a millennial looking to take the 1st step get in touch.

For more information contact Sam Vincent at BCL Legal.

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