“Maybe….Could it be….Possibly those of us who worked hard to be denied most job/promotion understand things different from those who were handed everything? Life experience on occasion trumps book smarts….hmmm maybe my own little blog is in that seed….” May 2012
This is a long-overdue blog created by a conversation on Facebook I had with Rayanne Thorn discussing the shape of the new employment industry; and how various age-related groups fit in the new status quo. Over the past number of years, I have noticed a change in the way people operate in the workplace. Basic rules of politeness seem to have been replaced with a “I need it NOW” mentality- Meaning that ‘Please’ and ‘Thank-You’ and rules of courtesy are reduced to ‘Move, I need xxxx NOW, or the job won’t get done”
Panic (or a state thereof) never really accomplished much, neither did the fine art of ‘Doing Everything Yourself’. Sometimes we all need assistance; the smart people figure out how to get that accomplished, while making their volunteer think their service is for the ‘Greater Good’
I guess what I am trying to say is Take Ownership in everything you do. If the credit is good, you will see it- but be prepared and grown-up enough to politely accept the criticism for a job not done to your usual standards. Ownership allows you to step back, look at your work/project, and think of what the realistic expectations should be of the results.
Being of a different (yet still cool) generation; I can’t help but notice a lot of things get done with the bare appearance of effort; something I like to class as “I Don’t know about this, but it is my assignment, so I will do it my way and hopefully not be asked again…” Whereas individuals of my generation gather information needed on the job, look for every solution, choose one, and successfully have the job done.
What’s frightening even more, is that a lot of resumes go unread for key positions if they are not matched with a credited education. When I was a little younger, I remember hearing “Book Smarts will get you so far; it’s your life education/ learning that will carry you through,” Nice stuff to remember.
Then come “the age game”. Yes, any potential employer is not supposed to ask for age; however a good look at the resume will answer that question and show that, although you may have the qualifications which are being looked for, you won’t have potential tenure to enjoy a long career with this firm. Somewhat biased, but things are what they are, and as management gets more savvy and younger, all employees have to learn the new rules of survival; know when to ask questions, and when to sort the issue out themselves. Ownership, it’s the one thing you can be honest about regardless of the occupation. Take it and run, and maintain the pride of your project.
A sense of Ownership seems to still resonate in today’s workplace. People are ecstatic, and justifiably so, when a job gets done well, and their ‘bag of tricks’ have served them well once again. I notice that blame gets shares all to easy, or tasks get done with little research or forethought, leading to blame being given or shared with anyone who even looked at the project. Not necessarily fair, just the way of the new world!
Education is good. Continuing your education in your chosen profession is awesome. It takes time to become good at something; and it takes more time to excel- that’s the difference between ‘okay’ and ‘Wow’- Myself, I will take the ‘Wow’ moments to the back every day of the week- as it means that I did the job right, and my reputation has become that much better as a leader, or as a doer of great work.
Younger management doesn’t faze me; so long as they are prepared for a little advice from time-to-time on how to best handle an account, a job-list, or a project being fast-tracked on a tight deadline. Know when things are getting a little out of the wheel-house, and that you need to lean on someone who has been there before. Most workers know their place in the ‘Org Chart’; and try not to step on toes, or get involved in things ‘over the pay-grade’. To them I suggest: Never be afraid to share your knowledge! In the long run it will be appreciated and you should see some form of reward. Being the ‘New Kid’ can be cool for a short while; being ‘Dependable and authentic with your actions’ make you irreplaceable.
The Take-away from this blog would be that age is a number; and knowledge is ageless. Never accept being overlooked because of your physical appearance, especially if the job requires more brain that good looks. Nothing is given out for free these days; stay on top of your game, stay concerned with your actions and your reputation (which has taken you years to develop) and (sometimes) quietly be the leader by making the suggestions seem that they came from up the ladder. If it is good for you, probably it is good for the business.
Enjoy these thoughts on ‘Career Evaluation 101’