Julie Bauke, career coach and founder of The Bauke Group, provides a fresh perspective for bridging the generation gap between boomers and Millennials. She offers tips for both generations! Millennials and young leaders must remember that many of the managers in their organizations have invested decades in their career and have knowledge and experience to share. Boomers must recognize that Millennials often value collaboration, personal development and non-traditional work environments over salary. Showing respect, providing honest communication and setting clear expectations will allow Millennials and Boomers to work together toward shared organizational goals.
I think there's much that Boomers can learn from Millenials and vice versa. Boomers grew up in a period of time where our careers really were, you went to a company and you tried to stay there for 30 years. You tried to make it last as long as you could, and we really waited for somebody else to tell us what to do in a lot of ways. We assumed that people higher up than us on the org chart, people with fancier titles or who drove better cars, had our best interests at heart and there is an awful lot we missed along the way. The idea that you do have some control over your career and you can forge your path and you can put your hand up, and you can opt out of a traditional corporate workplace. You can do that, that we have choices. Back when the Boomers came into the workforce, we didn't have the sort of technology options that really make things like remote working possible today. But we as Boomers in a lot of cases poured too much of our lives into our careers and not enough into our families and into self-development. Millenials are all about self-development, holistic living, getting more out of their whole lives. I think as Boomers we can take some of that on and be a little more selfish when it comes to our careers. In other words, don't be so afraid that if you go on vacation or if you take some time for yourself, that you're going to lose your job. Millenials, on the other hand, they are coming in saying, "Here's what I want, and I want it now." And so I would tell Millenials that remember, in a lot of cases, it's people your parents' age who are still in charge, and you're not leaving voicemail, not answering your phone, texting all the time, saying, "Hey, dude," is not going to go over really well with your parents or their friends, and it's not going to go over with your bosses, either. Thinking that just because you're 25 and have a degree from a hot university, you know everything is never going to go over well. Know that even if you're 55, you still have a lot to learn. If you're 25, you have even more to learn. A little humility and understanding that there's a lot you can learn from everybody you encounter in life, regardless of how smart you are, what your SAT scores are or how great your parents told you you were, is a great way to go through your career.