The latest episode in our Resilience Unravelled series has now been released, Resilience Unravelled – Millennials. A different view of work and success?
In this episode, Dr. Russell Thackeray talks to Dr Jennifer Wisdom who has been a photojournalist, soldier, therapist, marathoner, surfer and teacher. She’s also a clinical psychologist who worked in academia for 20 years. She then set up her own business Wisdom Consulting where she helps leaders and teams get things done! She has also written two books aimed at helping Millennials succeed in the workplace.
When she was a child Jennifer’s parents moved house every couple of years so she had to learn how to be resilient and make friends and adjustments. One of her coping strategies was putting a lot of effort into her schoolwork. She retained this work ethic but flags up that there is a big difference between being busy and being productive. If you’re busy you don’t have time think about the bigger picture and why you’re doing things. One of the reasons Covid-19 has been so unsettling for some people is because they have had to ask themselves ‘what do I do now that I’m not busy’.
What is a Millennial?
Gen Z were born after 2000
Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000
Gen X were born between 1965 and 1980
Baby Boomers were born between 1945 and 1965
Older generations were brought up with the idea that going to work and looking busy would lead to rewards and promotion. Millennials have a different view and will expect a raise after a few months simply for doing their job. They don’t buy in to the idea of waiting for things to happen. They saw their parents lose their jobs during previous recessions so are more focused on what they can do that will provide an impact quickly. This can be seen as being impatient but Dr Wisdom feels it is a realistic response to the environment older people grew up in.
The fact that Millennials expect something better can create resentment. Many people who complain about Millennials though are from the generation who brought them up! When they complain that Millennials don’t know something its often because they weren’t told. Baby Boomers and Gen X were helped so why don’t Millennials deserve the same respect?
Changes to technology and culture such as globalisation have had a bearing on the way we view Millennials. Baby Boomers embraced technology like television after the Second World War. The next generation were introduced to the internet and Millennials and Gen Z have gone so much further. Dr Wisdom thinks there may be some jealousy from older people about how they could have used the technology. There are challenges and benefits to each generation. These can create a lot of feelings and not all Baby Boomers and Gen X are good when it comes to talking about them!
Dr Wisdom wrote her first book ‘The Millennials Guide to Work’ to help them achieve success and respect at work. She worked with a number of Millennials who brought their work problems to her. Dr Wisdom realised that there was a very negative attitude towards them in the workplace. Her aim is to help them understand the workplace and give them work skills such as networking, negotiation and self-management. Many organisations in Silicon Valley are now run by Millennials so Dr Wisdom’s wrote her second book The Millennials Guide to Management to help them with staff management, workplace strategy and goal achievement skills.
One thing a non-Millennial should do to get the best out of Millenials
Ask them what they think, listen to what they say and then try to help them.
One thing a Millennial should do to get the best out of a non-Millennial
Don’t be afraid to have the difficult conversations. Don’t let age stop you from asking what’s going on. Be direct and then figure out how to work together.
Within the next 10 years, Millennials will make up a majority of the work force. Dr Wisdom believes that we all need to work together to help younger staff so they can identify what’s important to them, clarify their values and navigate complex workplaces to find satisfaction and respect in their professional lives.
To learn more about Dr Wisdom and her work, visit www.leadwithwisdom.com or find out more about her books at:
You can listen to the podcast in full and find out further information about Dr Wisdom here. Our previous podcast episodes and upcoming guest list are also available and there is an option to sign-up to receive our podcast episodes on release.
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