Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Generation Now

We've all grown tired of generational stereotypes in the workplace. Baby Boomers are giving presentations on how to manage Millennials, Millennials are sick of being picked on, and Generation X has all but vanished. I recently read an article sighting the behavioral traits of Generation Z (now the Millennials have someone to pick on). It's all a stupid attempt to simplify human beings into manageable categories to limit our desire to transcend simplicity. People are not simple!

It cannot be ignored that we are on the crest of a major sea change in the working world. With this shift comes a massive opportunity for change that has created a great deal of uncertainty. Regardless of when we were born into this beautiful world we all share insecurity when it comes to our uncertain future. Those who find opportunity in the wake of change will win the day.

Will You Be My Peer...?
Those joining the workforce have a desire to be accepted, not as the children of executives, but as established professionals.

The one thing new workers get a ton of is advice. A great deal of said advice is mislead. More often than not the "this is how its done around here" cautionary tales are mired in the failures of those who squandered their early work years accepting bad advice. Don't follow suit.

Can I Lead Now...?
Generation X has been lost in the shuffle. We watched reality bites, shrugged, and got on with our lives avoiding the generational stereotypes that have been piled upon the Millennials. With a new group of workers charging the workforce gates and an aging group of executives unwilling to give up their post, will Generation X get lost in the shuffle? Will they even care?

Loyalty is not what it used to be. Those who thought they would follow their parents legacy by being with one company their entire career have faced unanticipated disappointment. Companies have been critical of "job hoppers" but those who have given their lives to a company (only to receive a pink slip) have learned to know better. You can wait for your company to develop you or you can develop yourself.

Your Not Going To Tell Me What To Do...!
It seems as the sun sets on the extraordinary careers of so many Baby Boomers that they would be willing to share their knowledge. I've seen many examples that prove otherwise. Far too many senior staff members are protecting their knowledge base in an effort to maintain their careers. While it has been deemed a best practice for Baby Boomers to stereotype Millennials, the avenue to reciprocate has been identified as a road to nowhere. The road is shifting. What purpose does it serve to be alone with all you have learned?

We should exist in the workforce with the intent to collaborate in an effort to challenge one another. Titles, tenure, or years on this earth should be secondary. We love the new girl with big ideas and the confidence to share them. We love the middle manager who listens more than he talks. We love the old guy who still acts like a 25 year old. We're really not all that different....

We all have insecurities, we all want to be validated, we all want to be relevant... we all just want to be loved.

"It's OK if you don't know everything" - Ben Folds

Don't Forget to Remember!



  1. While certain generations definitely face their own unique challenges based on what is happening at the time, I agree that we can't lump all people into groups based on their age. An individualized approach is definitely one of the keys to greater success.

  2. Great Points All Around Aaron! Your input is appreciated!