Insights & Ideas

Hey Gen-X: It’s the perfect time to try consulting

Allie-In-ActionLooking for a midlife career change? We have a job for you.

Being a Gen-xer isn’t so bad these days. Gen-x fashions are coming back and 80s songs are all over TikTok.

However, if you’re not satisfied with your job, you’re in good company:

  • According to Gallup, only one in three Gen Xers is engaged in their work.1
  • 37% of Gen Xers are considering leaving their current employers to advance their careers. 2
  • A recent MetLife study showed that Gen X is the least happy generation in today’s workforce.3
  • College-educated Xers are the most unhappy—many report that their job lacks purpose and just isn’t living up to their expectations.1

Phew! Whether you actively dislike your job, feel overlooked for promotions, or just seem stuck on autopilot; it’s easy to get discouraged. But, the good news is: You have choices. One of those choices is consulting.

Gen Xers make excellent consultants

At Salo—where we specialize in finance, accounting, and human resources consulting—senior professionals, like you, are in high demand. After all, you’re everything clients want: knowledgeable, experienced, and confident in your abilities.

In fact, studies show that Generation X has several qualities that are perfect for consulting roles. Statistically, Gen Xers are:

  • Independent, innovative, and highly adaptable: Once they know what they need to do, they’ll figure out the best way to do it.4,5
  • Technically astute: Gen Xers embrace technological advances and are as digitally proficient as millennials6 (for example, they use social media more than any other generation7).
  • Excellent collaborators and communicators: Being stuck between two larger generations, they can communicate with both.2
  • Self-motivators: They thrive on flexibility and will get their work done if left to their own schedule.8

Being a consultant is good for your career (and you)

If you’re like most Gen Xers, you’re very loyal to organizations that treat you well.2 However, loyalty only goes so far. Gone are the days when the only path to success was putting endless hours in your time at one company. As a consultant, you can take control of your career and your lifestyle.

Today, a stint as a consultant can be an invaluable asset on your resume. Consulting gives you the opportunity to explore different organizations, industries, project types, technologies, and job functions. Having experience in multiple functions is one of the most important things employers want in today’s market. In fact, according to research, the greatest predictor of becoming an executive in today’s workforce is experience in multiple functional business areas.9

Even if you don’t have executive aspirations, consulting has myriad advantages for people in midlife. You can choose your assignments—helping you discover what kind of work really makes you happy. It allows for a flexible lifestyle—allowing time for the family commitments and personal projects that often arise in your 40s. And, finally, research also shows a midlife job change can be good for cognition, longevity, and overall wellbeing.1

  1. The Atlantic, “Quit your job: A midlife career shift can be good for cognition, well-being, and even longevity.”
  2. DDI World, The hidden potential of Generation X
  3. MetLife, “Thriving in the new work-life world”
  4. Fast Company, “Why You Need To Pay Attention To Gen X Leaders”
  5. DDI World/CNBC” Global Leadership Forecast 2018”
  6. DDI World, “Generation X Leaders”
  7. Nielson, “Annual Social Media Report”
  8., “Different Motivations for Different Generations of Workers: Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z”
  9. The New York Times, “How to become a C.E.O.? The quickest path is a winding one” 
hr manager talent solutions
hr manager talent solutions

Allie Davis

Talent Connections Manager, Chicago