You Need a Mentor Your Kid’s Age?
As a baby boomer, you are part of a unique generation that has set the stage for many of the great technological, medical and social advances people take for granted today. That means you’re not only used to change, but you’re also likely on the forefront of instigating it. Technology, social change, creativity, and inventiveness are probably a huge part of your repertoire.
These days, however, there seems to be a prevalent misconception that baby boomers are inflexible creatures who just want to tell younger generations what to do. And while there is always the parenting instinct that’s hard to let go of, there is a lot to learn from this up-and-coming generation, known as the millennials.
Here are four ways a mentor your kid’s age can help you navigate the changing landscape of the 21st-century workplace:
They Can Teach You New Stuff
If there’s one thing baby boomers love, it’s learning. Google is like the holy grail of education. Even though baby boomers and Gen X were the original pioneers of today’s technology, most tend to be too busy to keep up with every new platform that comes along. If you want to succeed in today’s marketplace, however, an in-depth understanding of technology is a must.
A millennial mentor can give you the edge when it comes to technology. Gadgets and social media are second nature to them, and most are more than happy to share their knowledge — even though they might get a touch frustrated when it takes you a while to get it.
They Can Teach You to Have Fun
Many baby boomers spent decades working hard to obtain their status, and their jobs became the definition of who they were. Consequently, you may pride yourself on your accomplishments and have sacrificed a lot to get there — including potentially running yourself into a heart attack and high blood pressure territory.
Millennials, on the other hand, believe work should be more than the nine to five drudgery that sends you to an early grave. They believe the workplace should be a positive experience. In fact, it’s one of their top priorities in a job, and they are not yet tainted by bad bosses and all the other things that come with the obsession to succeed. Maybe it’s time to let them teach you how to look at work as more than just an elusive goal to be accomplished.
They Can Teach You to Collaborate
Millennials have been brought up on a collaborative mentality. From elementary school to university, they learned and practiced teamwork. While there’s still something to be said for personal accomplishment, a team effort can generate ideas and solutions well beyond that of the individual effort.
As the competitive attitude that embodied the baby boomer workplace wanes, pairing the experience and insight of the boomer with the enthusiasm and collaborative mindset of the millennial can be a win for everyone — and who better than millennials themselves to help you with that shift?
They Can Help You Transition
Boomers grew up in a world where you went to work for a company and stayed there until you retired — but all that has changed. Millennials now look at jobs as stepping stones to their next opportunity, and staying with one company for any length of time is no longer the norm. This strategy, once known as job hopping, gives them a multitude of learning opportunities and has even been shown to increase their earning potential.
Think about it — how many baby boomers are stuck in jobs that are unfulfilling, making too much money to move on, with no skills or idea how to pursue a new career?
Millennials can help. Letting a millennial school you on career growth may be just what you need. They know all the ins and outs of landing a new job, how to network, where to look and how to take advantage of the opportunities that are still out there.
Will these new attitudes and collaborative tendencies be successful in producing a generation that makes their desired mark on the world? Only time will tell. Each prior generation inevitably questions the ones that follow them.
If you can take the time to understand millennials, though, you can create a new alliance which gives rise to attitudes of mutual learning. Maybe you can finally find a balance that will produce a workplace where everyone is valued and appreciated — no matter their generational label.
This post was written by Career expert and blogger Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks, a site for professionals about finding happiness and success in life and at work. Subscribe to Sarah’s newsletter and follow her on social media for more advice to grow your career. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons above.
Do You Need Help With ...