The Quick Report

10 Skills Gen X Has the Rest of the World Should Master

Gen X had to learn a lot in order to make it through their upbringing. There were no participation trophies, and no gold stars for the whole class when they were young. Here are ten skills Gen X has that the rest of the world needs to master.

Relying on No One

man walking on street near buildings
Photo by Timothy Dachraoui

Gen X was the latchkey generation, leaving home from school to let themselves in while their folks were still at work. This made them self-reliant in ways that generations to come after simply haven’t been. That’s naturally a skill that helped them through the worst life could throw at them.

Managing Time

person holding white mini bell alarmclock
Photo by Lukas Blazek

What do you do with your time when you’re unsupervised? Gen X had a lot of time to think about that, and their skills in that field were still coming in handy throughout their adult and working lives, too.

Easygoing About Work

a person using a laptop
Photo by Windows

Gen X has always been easygoing when it comes to employment. They often bounced from job to job back in the day just to find the best hours. So, it’s no surprise they managed to adapt to working from home or whatever else their job could possibly throw at them.


woman leaning on wall wearing sunglasses and striped shirt
Photo by Maria Teneva

Gen X kids were told harsh truths about the world at a young age. They grew tough in the face of these unyielding facts and weren’t coddled along the way. That’s not to say that younger generations are coddled, exactly, but this underlying toughness made Gen X uniquely suited to adapting to adult life.


person using black and silver laptop computer
Photo by Daniel Thomas

Given the chance to set themselves apart, Gen X has always been efficient and hard-working. When you’re sandwiched between two massive, noisy generations, it’s your job to outperform them both. That didn’t change just because a technology changed out there—it was a chance for Gen X to prove themselves.

Working With a Team

person in blue long sleeve shirt using black Surface
Photo by Surface

Whether it was group projects in school or throwing together killer parties on the weekends, Gen X knows all about pulling a team together. When everyone started to meet over Slack or Zoom to discuss projects, no one was more prepared than the generation who learned to coordinate with teams before cell phones were commonplace.

Tech Savvy

person's hand on MacBook near iPhone flat lay photography
Photo by Cytonn Photography

Contrary to popular belief, Gen X knows a thing or two about technology. Think about this: Gen X navigated college and their early work years doing just fine with computers that were far less user friendly than anything on the market today.

Emotionally Resilient

a man with a beard standing in front of a lake
Photo by Jakob Owens

Gen X has been through a lot, to say the least. This is a generation that witnessed the end of the Cold War, saw the Challenger explosion, and was already grown up around the time of the 9/11 terror attacks. What else could the world throw at them? They’re tough enough for it.

Read More: 20 Phrases You Didn’t Know Were Offensive Now 

Already Skeptics

a blue typewriter sitting on top of a desk next to a tv
Photo by Jorge Franganillo

The members of the “MTV generation” were already skeptical of authority and adept at looking out for themselves. As such, they are well suited to second-guessing all kinds of misinformation and take steps to educate themselves and their families.

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Used to It

a sign that is lit up in the dark
Photo by Peter Conrad

Gen X was one of the first generations in living memory to have a worse overall quality of life than their parents’ generation. As such, things getting a bit worse out there isn’t anything new for them—there’s no shine to knock off the American Dream for the forgotten generation in the middle of it all.

Read More: 15 Ways Life is Different for Millennials than Baby Boomers