It seems like each day I stumble onto an article, blog post, or special report about the Generational gap in the workplace. It starts out productive for all points of view : how Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers and Millennials can work together… and then it takes a sharp turn and becomes a tutorial for dealing with young people. Typically, these how-to’s are sugarcoated in lots of “compli-sults” (insults shrouded in a faux / weak compliment, e.g. “stuck in their cell phones, but great with technology!”), and generalizations about one of the most diverse generational ranges in history : 1981-2000 covers a lot of ground. Think about that : right now, Millennials range from 14 to 33 years old. Some of us are divorced parents by now, and some can’t even drive. When the recession hit, we were somewhere between 8 and 27.
As a response to these seminars (often lasting several hours) and dime-a-dozen lessons, I’d like to turn the tables for one moment and look at it from the other side of the equation. As a Millennial, how do you deal with Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers in the workplace?
Gen X. Baby Boomers. The Silent Generation. And Gen Y aka Millennials aka Digital Natives. Four generations in the workplace. It’s a topic we’ve all heard about, especially all the data, surveys, and trends. But what do we do with all that data? What is it telling us? What adjustments do we need to make in how we communicate? Thanks to Building Design + Construction Magazine, I recently had the chance to explore this topic with 50 other A/E/C industry leaders.
Fortune magazine recently solicited input for an article being written about hiring young talent, which is titled “Five Steps to Find (and Keep) Young Stars” and appears in the July 1st issue. The piece is authored by Verne Harnish, who penned one of my favorite books, “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.” Since I was in the middle of interviewing for a graduate structural engineer opening, I had plenty to offer! READ MORE
Once upon a time, there was a young designer, bright-eyed and new to the working world. She put a portfolio together, sent out a few resumes, bought a very grown-up power suit (the kind grown-ups wear) and went for a few interviews.
Pretty soon, she came upon a job offer and accepted it right away. The firm was verrrry small and felt like home. Everyone knew everyone, and they all wore several hats. But pretty soon, the designer started to ask some questions… READ MORE
This weekend I had the good fortune to spend time with my son, who is studying over 2,000 miles away at Auburn University. A senior in the Industrial Design program, he has been working tireless hours in studio, designing, building prototypes, presenting, accepting criticism, and re-designing. What a delight it was to visit with him in his own environment and share in his enthusiasm of his studio projects, professors/peers, promising ‘side’ business and upcoming professional journey. It brought back memories of that pivotal time in one’s life where you transition from student to ‘real life’.
Could it have been the French fashions inspired by pioneer Coco Chanel? Or the idea of being in the know of where to go, living life to the fullest and taking risks? Being a flapper in the 20’s and 30’s was really an extreme manifestation of change in lifestyles of American women – promoting new fashions and freedom to do, well, just about anything. READ MORE