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Are you thriving or surviving at work?

Are you thriving or surviving in your current work situation? Do you ever feel like you don’t necessarily fit into the work culture today? It may be that your boss speaks X and you speak Y. This week’s podcast is with Tamara Erickson, author of Plugged In: The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work. Tamara, a McKinsey Award-winning author, has conducted extensive research on changing demographics, employee values and how successful organizations work.

If you were born after 1980, you are part of the culture known as Generation Y and you now make up nearly one-third of Canadians living today. The things you value, the leaders you like to follow and what you are motivated by is quite different from others in your organization that were born outside of this timeframe. You have grown up digital, connected and in a time when there has been an amazing amount of change in the world. From the Berlin Wall, Columbine to 9-11 and growing up digital, Tamara shares, “The most common complaint I hear from employers regarding the Ys is that they want everything now. They’ll tackle challenges where the proverbial angels would fear to tread. They’ll break the rules. And, if we let them, they’ll show us how to make our corporations a more humane place for all.”

As I spoke with Tamara, I realized how these issues have played out in my own career related to the choices that I made, as well as times when I was more or less successful at leading others. Whether you are Generation B (Boomer) X or Y, understanding the nuances of culture and how our beliefs shape our behaviour, is crucial to being successful in today’s competitive marketplace. In Tamara’s book, she shares six key elements that any generation can use to thrive in their work.

1. Find your passion: what are you?
2. Identify your preferences: what you want to do, with whom, compensation, lifestyle and social activity?
3. Target your place: geographically, organizationally and role.
4. Align practical realities: while you may desire to be a doctor, do you or do you not want to spend the next seven years of your life pursuing this.
5. Find the perfect job: this is the role that overall best suits YOU.
6. Leverage the unique advantages that you bring to the market.

You may think in the current market, is it even possible to consider the options? While it may take longer to move to a role that is better suited to you, these six principles have never been more relevant. Research shows that professionals who are thriving in their work are less likely to be laid off and, if they are impacted by restructuring, land in new roles faster and in better positions than the average performers.

This is Tamara’s “Letterman” Top 10 thriving at work tips:

o Think positively
o Show initiative
o People can’t read minds; learn how to clearly communicate.
o Reason and financial logic is important in the business world, not feelings.
o Make the most of every experience, good or bad, by learning from it.
o Pragmatism is good: what works for others can work for you.
o Walk fast, carry a stack of papers, and drink coffee: the importance of being perceived as purposeful.
o Clear the air and move on: discuss, resolve, let go, and move on.
o Don’t underestimate the power of grace under pressure.
o Keep three months salary in the bank: create for yourself the power to walk away.

This week, don’t ask why. Honour your inner Gen Y. Everyone will win including you!

Are you thriving or just surviving in your career? Do you need some fresh ideas for your job search? Do you know if you are in the right career? Connect with some new people and get a new perspective on your career. Book an initial consultation with me and get started today toward a better future.

Thriving, along the road with you!
Alan.