Meditations for Career Changers

Generational Differences At Work & How To Overcome Them

As a Manhattan Career Counselor and NYC Career Coach who has worked with hundreds of professionals each year throughout my career, I have observed many generational differences in the workplace and have come up with a few strategies on how to overcome them.

If you are older than 50 and looking for a job, you need to be aware of generational differences. Gen X, Gen Y Millennials and baby boomers have different communication styles and approaches to finding work.

Did you know that many young workers do not listen to voice mail messages? Do not babble or leave long-winded messages with a recruiter or potential employer. You may have no idea what their age is. I know Gen X and Gen Y individuals who don’t bother to playback voice mail messages. When you interview, don’t be surprised if a younger person interviews you and does not treat you with as much respect as you would like. Older workers often feel they deserve more respect from younger colleagues than they receive.

Despite this, if you are interested in the position, you must make the best possible presentation in each interview. The first person interviewing you might only be doing the initial screening. If you show any disrespect or have a bad attitude, you will do yourself a disservice.

Here are some tips to make you more marketable:

Network constantly. Attend events, parties, association meetings, etc anything that gets you out with people. Beforehand, practice a two-minute pitch to communicate who you are and what you do.
Keep your computer skills current. Classes are available through local adult education programs and at community colleges, community centers, and other civic organizations. Having the ability to work with major software programs, databases and presentation applications keeps you current and is always appreciated in the marketplace.
Stay active. Keep a young state of mind. Take classes in any area of interest. Volunteer. Every experience you have is a resource for networking and building your contacts. Research employers who value older workers. (read the “Best Employers for people over 50” on www.aarp.org) and consult other links.
Use your strengths. Generational differences at work can complement one another and work to one another’s benefit. There are many positive attributes to being an older worker, including dependability, strong people skills and a greater propensity to solve conflicts.
If you would like to know more about generational differences at work and how to overcome them, other meditations and strategies for NY job success and satisfaction, please give Lynn a call at 212-289-5197. You will be glad you did!

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