Do you remember Thirtysomething? It was a pretty popular tv show in the late ’80s. Like the title implies, the fictional show (this was before the onslaught of reality tv), took viewers into the lives of 30-somethings as they worked out issues with parenthood, career, marriage, divorce and all those other grown-up conundrums.
I never really watched Thirtysomething because I was a kid and not terribly interested in that kind of stuff. But now thinking back on it and taking a gander at the Wiki entry, it seems that it was very VERY white, basically heterosexual, solidly middle to upper-middle class and suburban. There was/is a market for content geared towards that specific demographic. I’m not hollering “racism” or “classism” 25 years later, but I am wondering what a Thirtysomething type of show would look like that followed say…a group of friends/acquaintences like mine.
I’m 30-something (32 to be exact), black, college-educated, married, entrepreneurial, no kids and I’m a city dweller. Most of my friends could check off at least three of those aforementioned descriptions for themselves. Funny thing is that even though I have all the grown up stuff going on (mortgages, taxes, student loans, career changes, etc), I feel like I still have so much growing up to do. Mind you, I am most certainly a grown woman, but 30-something doesn’t seem as old and wise as it did before I was “of that age.”
The real life 30-somethings in the age of Thirtysomething were working for the same company that hired them out of college, the non-degreed folks had factory jobs, 401ks, perhaps not quite yet completely awful public schools to send their children to and for the most part, they felt they could see a clear road to retirement.
Today is quite different. My cohorts and I can not expect social security, fat 401ks or even an employed tomorrow as jobs are slashed left and right and companies make decisions based on short term revenue.
Perhaps that feeling of “still having some growing up to do” is due in large part to the fact that today’s 30-somethings are forced to be creative thinkers who can successfully adapt to the rapidly changing economic, political and social environment. Even if you’re thinking about quitting your job and doing your own thing, a trip to the bank to ask for a loan is the least of your worries. Where’s your website? Are you tweeting enough? Did you go to the right networking events? Why aren’t your Facebook ads working?
Just food for thought.
Are you 30-something? Are you doing what you thought you would be doing at this age? Do you think this is different that your parent’s 30-something?