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Baby Boomers: Talking About My Generation (Part 3)

Aug 21, 13 Baby Boomers: Talking About My Generation (Part 3)

After the blog about Traditionalists, we must move onto the next generation: Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers were born from 1946 to 1964 or so, and are often known as the boom after the war. Baby Boomers are the generation that today is retiring from the workplace in droves. They experienced the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Lib, Vietnam, and the US Space Program, just to name a few of the major changes during their generational upbringing. This generation grew up in prosperity. Where the Traditionalists were adults during America’s most prosperous times, the Baby Boomers were youth and coming of age. As a result of this prosperity, they are idealistic and optimistic, two words that are key of this generation.

The Baby Boomers tend to be known as the work alcoholics. They were promised the American Dream, so they sought it out, which meant work, work, work. They work more than they do anything else. Even today as many are reaching retirement, they consider staying on and working longer or starting a new career in retirement. As the Montana Office of Public Instruction says, the Baby Boomers want to build a stellar career. They are not interested in just working because that is what you should do, as the Traditionalists were, but Baby Boomers want to work and excel in their professions.

Like the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers likely had only one career though they might have had more than one job in that career. This is because they want success and promotion. Success means money, title, and recognition in their careers, and the Baby Boomers will work to death to achieve these.

In their youth, the Baby Boomers tended to be less conservative. In fact, they protested and demanded social change in terms of civil rights, gender equality, and innovation. However, as they have aged, they have trended toward more conservative. According to the West Midland Family Center’s (WMFC) research on the generations in the workplace, the core values of the Baby Boomers include:

  • Anti-war
  • Anti-government
  • Anything is possible
  • Equal rights
  • Equal opportunities
  • Extremely loyal to their children
  • Involvement
  • Optimism
  • Personal Gratification
  • Personal Growth
  • Question Everything
  • Spend now, worry later
  • Team-Oriented
  • Transformational
  • Trust no one over 30
  • Youth
  • Work
  • Want to “make a difference”

They changed quite a bit from their Traditionalist predecessors who were loyal to their families, country, government, jobs, and traditions. The Baby Boomers sought out change in many areas of America society, culture, government, and life. The WMFC lists attributes for both Traditionalists and Baby Boomers, and one can see quite a change:

Traditionalists

Committed to company

Competent

Confident

Conservative

Dedication

Doing more with less

Ethical

Fiscally prudent

Hard-working

Historical viewpoint

Honor

Linear work style

Loyal to organization/employers (duty, honor, country)

Organized

Patriotic

Respectful of Authority

Rules of conduct

Sacrifice

Strong work ethic

Task-oriented

Thrifty—abhor waste

Trust hierarchy and authority

Good communication skills

Baby Boomers

Ability to handle a crisis

Ambitious

Anti-establishmentism

Challenge Authority

Competent

Competitive

Consensus Leadership

Consumerism

Ethical

Idealism

Live to work

Loyal to careers and employers

Most educated as compared to other 3 generations

Multi-taskers

Rebellious against convention beginning with their conservative parents.

Traditionally found their worth in their work ethic but now seek a healthy life/work balance

Optimistic

Political correctness

Strong work ethic

Willing to take on responsibility

You will notice that I highlighted the only three commonalities between the general attributes of these two generations. Much changed from the Traditionalists to the Baby Boomers. Stay tuned to see what changed with the Generation Xers.

Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

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About 

Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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