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Gen X Professionals Need to Guard and Transform in the Evolving Workplace



Gen X will have to engage in some quick learning to retain relevance

The workplace of the 2020’s has an exciting mix of professionals from Generation X to millennials and Gen Zer’s. They are caught in a silent workplace makeover with each jostling for relevance on the corporate ladder, which is revolutionizing the job market.

Each category has their core skillsets and traits. But the younger ones with more impactful outputs are dismantling all myths related to work experiences. The digital disruption and innovations have undermined the emphasis given to experience as a significant differentiator.

With the availability of younger talent with more transformative credentials and lower cost burdens, Gen X jobbers need to bring something more.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, with job losses mounting, Gen X professionals are at the receiving end, as their costs and skills have come under the scanner in today’s workplace. And they are striving hard to retain relevance.

With the availability of younger talent with more transformative credentials and lower cost burdens, Gen X jobbers need to bring something more. With technology ruling, their skillsets are either not adequate, or replaceable at a lower cost.

Interestingly, we had already witnessed a fierce, but subtle, competition between the millennials and Gen X’ers. What drove this was just economics – why do companies have to retain a resource at a higher cost when that can be replaced by a better skillset at a reasonably lower price?


In recent years, we have replaced more than one-third of executive roles with younger professionals, and which resulted in windfall benefits to the company. The 150 candidates we recruited were 25-40 per cent cheaper than Gen X’ers in their respective work roles. Besides this factor, it helped in building up our digital work culture.

They were coming with more proactive approaches that worked wonders. Their progression was swift, and their traits are helping companies build a more robust and cohesive workplace.


Technology adaptation and transformative mindsets are the need of the hour, but not all Gen X’ers have managed this. Many are still caught in a complacent mode, putting them at the risk of obliviation.

Is it therefore time for these professionals to be mindful of their professional vulnerability. These must make the move to acquire new skills and effect a 180-degree change in their attributes.

They can’t afford to delay. They have to adapt to the accelerated pace of change their skills will need to be put through and let digital transformation make a marked difference. The post-COVID-19 marketplace is making it worse for them.

It is not the age bias, but economics that will rule these moves. It is best to hire a more transformative workforce at a lower cost than retain those earning higher salaries… and not making a distinct contribution.

Personal and professional development through mentoring and functional upgrades through upskilling are measures professionals in the 40-55 year age group have to take. This transformative requirement is not just for change, but a matter of survival as more destructive forces evolve.

Those in hibernation and denial must see this on the wall. The Gen Z and millennials will dominate two-thirds of the mainstream and well-paying jobs. It’s time to recalibrate and reboot.

Gen X needs to buckle up on skills – and mindsets – to lead them.


Source: Gulf News

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