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Generation X showing hard work, ambition in work force

Nov. 13, 1997

Generation X-ers are proving their name invalid. When the media labeled our generation 'Generation X,' the world was given the impression that those belonging to this group are slackers who lack ambition. According to a recent Knight-Ridder News Service article, more Generation X-ers are starting businesses at younger ages than any of the preceding generations. One out of every five small business owners is between the ages of 25 and 34, according to the Federal Small Business Association.

Gneration X is the term used to define anyone born between the years 1968 and 1980, according to some sources.

One example of a successful Generation X-er is Stanford University student Joe Liemandt, who postponed his studies a few months before graduation to start Trilogy, a well-known software company.

His company is expecting $120 million in revenue this year from an impressive clientele that includes Chrysler, IBM, AT&T and Boeing, according to Knight-Ridder.

Ten percent of Generation X Americans are involved in starting businesses. This is three times higher than any other age group, a 1995 Babson College study reports.

So with these examples from our generation, how can we be coined slackers?

Instead of starting at entry-level positions and working up existing ladders over many years, Generation X-ers are creating their own ladders by starting new companies.

Baylor students are starting their own businesses as well through enterpreneurship courses.

Tamara Smith, a Springfield, Mo., senior and Paula Gonzalez, a San Diego graduate student, run Gift Baskets Galaxia.

Four Baylor entrepreneurs started Skyline Industries and perform marketing work for HTM, a local shuttle service.

The Collegiate Entrepreneurial Network Associates have a free Internet site to help college students start and maintain their own businesses.

The site reports that 40 percent of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. The site said starting your own business puts you in control of your life. CENA offers help lines, bulletin boards of ideas and financial aid for college students with entrepreneurial ideas or existing businesses.

Generation X-ers are maneuvering around the flooded job market and disparaging stereotypes by creating their own jobs.

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