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Dear Generation Xers

February 21st, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Dear Generation Xers”

Dear Generation Xers,

Thank you for being a trailblazer. Every new generation introduces new ideas that help those who follow them not be totally lost.

Although your generation may be small and you are often dubbed the “middle child” of baby boomers and us millennials, we need you. You have been placed in the middle of two generations known for their size and the changes they are making in the workplace, but you are just as important.

Right now, you are in the trenches of your profession. You have worked diligently to climb your chosen career ladder and you are finally getting to reap some of the benefits. However, you are finding yourself in a strange position. Being Generation Xers, you are not the most experienced in the office and you’re not the youngest. The newbies (we Millennials) are coming in to the workplace and switching things up. Some say Millennials are wrecking the ecosystem that you have finally adjusted to. (And being a Generation Xer, you probably didn’t complain about it.) We just want to be a part of the team.

If you are finding yourself frustrated with the Millennials in your office, here are a few suggestions:

1.     Capitalize on your independence, but recognize our need for team projects. As Gen Xers, you are known as the latch-key kids, since the divorce rate and single parent homes skyrocketed during your adolescence. At a young age, many of you came home from school to an empty house and had to fend for yourself until your parent(s) got home from work. This has made your entire generation in various ways more independent than Baby Boomers and Millennials. By showing how you can independently get your work completed, the Millennials around you are able to watch and learn from a different working style.

However, keep in mind that Millennials were often encouraged to work in groups at school. Understanding the differences in generational upbringings can help you better work with your younger colleagues.

2.     Implement multi-generational groups. You are the generation that can bridge the Baby Boomers to the Millennials. Taking the time to implement organization- or department-wide multi-generational brainstorming groups can help every voice be heard. Millennials and Baby Boomers are more likely to welcome this invitation from Gen Xers since they are closer to your age.

3.     Be vocal and let your Millennial coworkers know how the organization has been running and the changes you have seen implemented during your time there. By explaining the transformations you’ve seen, you are showing you are aware and open to necessary adjustments to help promote growth in the workplace.

Gen Xers, I am sorry if you often feel lost in the generational shuffle. You are seen and needed. We Millennials look up to you and your incredible work ethic. Don’t give up on us yet! Our time is coming to better understand your position as Gen Z workers start entering the labor market: I bet they’ll give us a run for our money and question our approach, like Millennials have challenged your generation. As they say, “What goes around comes around.”

Best,
Amelie

Dear Baby Boomers

January 16th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Dear Baby Boomers”

Dear Baby Boomers,

Congratulations! You have worked hard, paid your dues, and are in the home stretch. According to AARP, or the American Association of Retired Persons, all baby boomers will have reached the average retirement age of 65 by 2029. (According to Forbes, the average age of retirement in Brazil is much earlier.) As Millennials flood your workplace and change the rules of the game, it may feel like your dedication has been forgotten. But it hasn’t.

 

Speaking as a millennial, I can honestly say we aren’t trying to make you feel irrelevant. The world has simply changed a lot and we are maneuvering as best we can in this new economy.

But, as everything shifts around us, Millennials and Generation Xers still don’t have your experience. You are the experts. You know why things happen and can often anticipate cyclical changes before others. It is comforting to have seasoned leaders in our midst. Boomers, you are valuable and needed in your workplace.

If you want to get the most out of working with your youngest colleagues, here are a few suggestions:

1.     Share your insights. Many of you have a strong sense of loyalty that far surpasses younger generations. If you have been with a company for a while, let your younger cohorts know what has enticed you to stay for the long haul. Also, let HR know what has worked and not worked well in the past so that future colleagues won’t encounter unnecessary hurdles. This is a great way to help your organization attract and retain top talent.

2.     Mentor a younger coworker. Meet with your mentee monthly over coffee or lunch. This will help you stay connected with the happenings of the office. Also, you could think about creating a reverse mentorship. While you are meeting with your younger mentee, they may have tricks and trades to help you in your work. It’s a win-win for all.

3.     Create a multi-generational conversation. During meetings, encourage collaboration by asking the opinion of someone from every generation. This will show you are open to different views and it will help bridge generational discussion gaps.

4.     Not to be too trite, but what will be your personal legacy to your organization?  By positively influencing younger workers, your impact on a few key leaders could truly change the culture of your work unit and department, and potentially the organization. Think about how that could not only affect us younger workers, but also our families and communities in the years to come. 

Use your experience to build a stronger workplace for all. We Millennials need your help. Thanks for forging the path for the generations following you, and helping us be successful in the future.
Did I tell you that I appreciate you and you are awesome?  (You know us Millennials….we are all about affirmation!)

Best,

Amelie

Millennial Mindset- We All Have A Story

August 29th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Millennial Mindset- We All Have A Story”

We All Have A Story

What event or “story” has changed the way Americans live? In December 2016, the Pew Research Center conducted a study that asked over 2,000 people (from various generations) which top 10 national events had impacted their lives.

Each generation- the Silent Generation (ages 72-89), Baby Boomers (53-71), Generation X (37-52), and Millennials (20-36)- had a list comprised of different happenings throughout the respective generation’s lifetime. Coincidentally, the most life-altering event experienced by each generation was September 11th. The tragic events of that day united our country, those both young and old. This event and “story” shaped us.

We all have a story. Each one of us has had unique experiences that shaped us into who we are today. These experiences range from medical issues/events, divorce, abuse, loss of a loved one, and so much more. Each experience leaves a mark on a life like a scratch on a record. (Non Baby Boomers- think CD.) No matter how hard you try to go back to the time before the scratch happened, you can’t. It is permanent; the record is changed. Understanding these changes is pivotal in relationship building.

Millennials (20-36 year olds) are big fans of “the story.” We are a generation that is connected through social media and instant news, which makes things feel much more personalized. We crave community and personalization in the workplace. We seek the connection in everything we do. To help connect with your Millennials, create a work environment with open communication. By sharing events that shaped you and asking your coworkers what shaped them, you are opening the door to a workplace of better understanding and stronger relationships.

Your Millennial colleagues want to be connected. Workplace relationships built on understanding and open communication will help create a positive environment where Millennials will want to invest time and energy. Life is all about relationships. Take the time to tell your story and listen to your coworkers’ stories. We all want to be heard. We all have a story.

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2018 © Amelie Karam.