Worried About Your Age? Welcome to the Multi-Generational Workplace

September 20, 2019  |  No Comments  |  by Jeff McQuilkin  |  Blog

I often find that my clients on both ends of the age spectrum are the ones who are most self-conscious about their job search. On one side, we’ve got high school and college graduates who are sometimes intimidated the big wide workforce where everyone in the office is more experienced (and by inference, more qualified). On the other, we’ve got mid-lifers and older who aren’t quite ready for retirement, but who are concerned about their relevance and are worried about being nudged out by the younger set.

Well, there’s good news for everyone here. A recent survey by Ricoh demonstrates that the whole generational divide in the workplace is effectively a myth. In fact, with the graduating class of 2019, we’re just starting to see the first members of “Generation Z” (born after 1996) entering the workforce, even while the baby boomers are taking longer to retire. That means for the first time in our history, we have four generations of adults occupying jobs in the same work force, even working side by side!

Welcome to the multi-generational workplace.

You might assume this broad span of generations in the same office would create conflict, but the Ricoh survey tells another story. It turns out that overall, the generations actually like each other. 76 percent of workers said they enjoy working alongside colleagues of different ages, and 71 percent believe the cross-generational workplace is an asset to their company. What’s more, the four generations seem to have consistent values when it comes to their careers. About 72 percent of those surveyed across all generations said they believe in their company’s values and ideals.

So…what does this mean for you?

If we’re going to take this survey at face value, what it’s telling us is that right now, like no other time in our history, no one is “too young” or “too old” to have a meaningful career in today’s workplace. Sure, there will be redundancies now and then, and sure, some companies will gravitate to younger blood for fresh ideas. But companies also value seasoning and experience, and fewer and fewer companies nowadays are favoring one age bracket over another.

So if I can put it bluntly, if you want a job, you’re out of excuses for not trying. You can’t say you’re too young/inexperienced or too old to find a good job. There’s literally a good fit somewhere for everyone. You just need a plan and a good strategy for finding it. (Fortunately, that’s where I come in!)

No matter your age or experience level, if you’re ready to find your place in the multi-generational workplace—and if you want some help getting there—shoot me an email at terrylynn@giraffesconsulting.com, or call me at 646-320-1126 to set up a free 30-minute consultation.

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