Generation X the new variable

Managers need to learn to deal with a growing work force faction – Generation Xers, says Minter Ellison national managing partner Phil Clark.

Mr Clark said Generation Xers, those born between 1965 and 1980, made up more than 75 per cent of the staff in Australian law firms.

Moreover, GenXers will make up 90 per cent of the staff in organisations in five years’ time.

The one-time corporate deserter turned “mediocre” ski instructor describes himself as a “baby boomer with GenX tendencies”.

Mr Clark said research into Australian and New Zealand firms found GenXers wanted to build skills in a range of areas so they could move on to more interesting tasks.

“They are not scared of changing jobs without having another one to go to.

“The concept of working in one firm – or even one career – is


“On the other side of the coin, a lot of people are coming back to firms with much broader skills.”

Mr Clark said GenXers’ goals were not necessarily in line with their company’s goals.

“They see their work as a way of funding their leisure,” he said.

Mr Clark said 95 per cent of those surveyed said they wanted to work overseas in the next two years.

He said GenXers wanted to work for strong, ethical leaders.

“They want understanding,

trust, open mindedness and good communication,” Mr Clark said.

“They demand information about how they are going. They seek rewards, recognition and praise.

“For many of them partnership in a law firm is not the holy grail.”

Mr Clark said a significant number of those surveyed said they did not want to become robot partners.

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