Cross-Generational Competency | Career Angles

Older woman

I was listing to a podcast yesterday where the host and their guest were discussing issues of the day. Somehow, they got to a conversation about the Emmy awards and remarked to one another that have a new no one who received an award. They laughed and enjoyed one another, having done nothing to find out who the performer was or anything about them.

I know when I was young, I did that same thing to people in my parents’ generation and the people that they revered. Now that I’m older, I realized how much of a gap there is between me and those younger than me.

Listing to a podcast this morning, the host and his guest were talking about the old days— the late 70s. My reference point would be the 60s.

And so it goes. We talk past one another because we don’t have a valid reference point to connect. That is so true in the workplace as well.

Whether you’re in your 20s or your 60s, when you speak to someone from a different generation and you, it’s important to remember you may need to translate what is obvious to you and leaves blank stares with them.

Having a teenage son certainly reminds me of that frequently.

Older generations have criticized millennials for no reason. What’s funny is that older generation, now that they’ve inherited power, has forgotten how they were criticized when they entered the workforce.

Conversely, younger people have not yet learned how to tap into the experience and wisdom of their older colleagues.

There’s an opportunity there for someone to extend a hand and connect.


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2019



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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