What does success mean to you? Be it a new position with another organization or advancement within your current one, you need to assess what you consider success to mean and what you are or are not willing to do to get there.
Surveys tell us that there are major differences in what each generation is looking for in a career. This issue has been covered at ACHE conferences, in mainstream publications and books, and by corporations that are changing their career ladders to accommodate these generational differences. Let’s take a look at some of the findings from the research.
Today’s Workforce Population and Differences
Silent Generation: Born from 1925-1945 (age 69-89), this group includes 38 million people that make up 5 to 10 percent of the workforce. They are known as “Traditionalist” that grew up in the Great Depression. They tend to be very hard working and remain loyal to the company where they began their career. They are used to specific direction and support.
Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964 (age 50-68), this group includes 78 to 80 million people that make up 45 percent of the workforce. They grew up during prosperity and applied a hard work ethic. Their focus is more toward their careers rather than toward the company where they began their career. They want two-way interaction and have a desire to be involved in decisions.
Generation X: Born 1965 to 1979 (age 35-49), this group includes 46 to 60 million people that make up 35 percent of the workforce. They grew up with parents who lived to work and who had little time for family. Consequently, a work/life balance is more valued. Sometimes called the “Squeeze” generation because they are trying to find a more efficient way to handle work, meet financials needs, and still have quality family time. They value education and independence rather than direction.
Generation Y: Born 1980 to 2001 (age 13-34), this group includes 76 to 90 million people that make up 10 to 15 percent of the workforce. They are known as the “Millennials” and are ethnically more diverse than any generation in our nation’s history. They are the “connect me” generation where their means of communication is through texting, social media and email.
The Value of Understanding These Differences
Whether it be interviewing or working with these different generations, you can communicate and engage more effectively if you understand their values and work ethics. This will be beneficial in obtaining a new position and as one continues to advance in a career.
To be a successful manager in today’s workforce, you need to have an understanding and sensitivity of these differences as well as be open to mentor and “share your experiences.”
More people get selected or advance in their careers due to their interpersonal skills rather than their tactical skills.
Managing Your Successful Career
Now that you have a better understanding of what a successful career means to you and/or others you can take the following steps in managing that career!
Self-Assessment: Realistically analyze your knowledge, attributes and skill sets in order to know how to align yourself with different types of positions.
Identify Your Ideal Position: An “ideal” position is how closely the performance, expectations and rewards of the position fit with your interest, values and abilities. If you are new in the field or in this type of position you need to be flexible in accepting positions that offer some of these ideal aspects.
Gap Analysis and Action Planning: Analyze the “gaps” found through your self-assessment whether it is education, certification, and/or training. Then, you need to take action to fill in those “gaps” to obtain that ideal job.
Personal Marketing: Use these tips to marketing yourself.
Competencies Needed for Today’s Market
Managers: The organizational alignment should ensure that the department’s performance is in direct alignment with the organization’s objectives.
Managers should have the agility to be able to quickly adapt as well as have their team adapt to changes in the organization’s priorities. They must be business savvy and have the knowledge and experience to run the department as a lean but profitable business. They should use strategic thinking to provide action plan solutions for cost savings and/or financial growth. Managers need high-level communication skills for building relationships with all levels of management, including the C-Suite.
Technicians: Instead of just being tactical and/or reactionary, they should be proactive and solution focused.
They should combine strong technical ability with strong communication and customer relations skills. Technicians should handle difficult people or situations with diplomacy. It is important to remember the value of human interaction and the need for “face-to-face” time which remains important in a fast-paced technology driven environment.
Review: Career Tips to be More Effective
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