What’s All This Nonsense About Work-life Balance?

Are Gen this and Gen that all that different?

Banner with words work, gen z, gen x, gen y, millennials and silent gen

                  • Gen Z: Born 1997-2012
                  • Millennials: Born 1981-1996
                  • Gen X: 1965-1980
                  • Boomers: 1946-1964
                  • Silent: 1928-1945

Fact: Millennials stay with their employers just as long as Gen Xers did when they were 27 to 42 years old, the same age as Millenials today.

Not only that, but college-educated Millenials stay at their jobs longer than Gen Xers did — again, considering the age factor.

Surely, though, Baby Boomers stuck with their employers way longer than Millennials.

Wrong again.

Fact: Back in the day, Baby Boomers engaged in as much job-hopping as Millennials.

Believe it or not, that’s what the data show.

We forget what we were like.

We exaggerate the differences among generations and attribute those that do exist to the wrong factors.

Simply put, women forced society to notice that unpaid work is work.

But to you, balance might involve more “work” and less “life” than it does for me -or vice versa.

In short, all work-life balance is not created equal.

People experience the balance a job offers differently. Most of my teacher colleagues didn’t find the summer break to be long enough. But a couple proclaimed to be ready and glad to be back after the break because they’d run out of things to do. And both of them worked in summer school!

The number of hours worked isn’t the best measure of balance.

With categories and infinite statistics comes the impulse to craft ever neater stories about each group, stories that become less and less nuanced and that we twist so they fit our own biases and experiences.

The work-life balance conversation is biased.

Another reflection on work: Why Why I Side With the Quiet Quitters.

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