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Generational Gyrations The business cycle gives rise to generations of haves and have-nots: How do "jealous" Gen Xers manage "arrogant" Yers?

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Over the years, there's been much written about Generation Xin the workplace. Only 10 years ago, Xers were turning corporatepolicy on its ear. Baby Boomers saw young Xers as brash andunmanageable, and Xers saw themselves as self-reliant individualswho didn't need (or trust) traditional corporate structure.

As they say, what goes around comes around. Now in their 30s andlate 20s, those Gen X upstarts are finding themselves in asituation they've never faced before: managing a youngergeneration-the new group of employees in their early 20s known asGeneration Y, which has a different outlook on life and work.

"Gen Xers had the mac-and-cheese years of struggle where,even after grad school, they still found themselves working up theladder. Now a 22-year-old kid walks in who can't shave yet andwants an $80,000 salary," says Steven Rothberg, 35, founderand president of Minneapolis-based, a jobsearch Web site. He says most Gen X-led companies he recruits forbegrudgingly accept the demands of the market. "They hate it,but they deal with it. They feel they're having to pay unfairwages," he says. "There's an under-lyinganger."

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