Change – and the Generation Gap

This Sunday Morning is miserable. Not easy to convince myself to go jogging but I need to and of course I want to ,-) So I will.

Let us talk about change. In October I got married and tomorrow I start my new job. That is a lot of change. According to “Holmes and Rahe, Scaling of life Change”, published in 1971 in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research – Marriage ranks with a scale value of 50 and change of work around 36 out of 100 (which is Death of Spouse). My old manager said the other day that he went to a conference that showed that people those days are going through 9 jobs in their first 10 years of working whilst his generation (he is about 40) is having 3 or 4 jobs in the same time. So maybe the scaling changed over the last 30 years.

But, change of jobs and getting married are not necessarily bad things, just the opposite. It is about the perception you have for change. I often talked about the “motivation towards to and away from”. E.g. if you change jobs because you were fired then your perception of change and the stress it causes is much higher. The opposite is true for a wedding. If you are looking forward to it and things are going well, the stress related to it is “positive stress” which is easier to cope with.

Then again, “positive stress” has the same physical impact on the body, e.g. increased heart rate, however it shows that if someone is very positive about a change then it is easier to cope with the “side effects”. Research suggests if you have a loved one that dies suddenly and unexpected, the effects on the sudden change are greater than if you know the person had a terminal illness and you see that person die. However, it would never change the grief and loss, it might just be easier to cope with the moment itself.

Whilst writing here I scan through the magazine “Personal Success” published by the Coaching Academy, and my eye caught an article about motivation of young people at the workplace. It seems that the “Matures (age over 62)” and “Baby Boomer (43-61)” are in charge of the “Generation X (28-42)” and Millennials (27 and under)”. The X-ers and Millennials do not necessarily see “hard work and loyalty, achieving a rank” as their primary goals for work. That just perfectly fits in with what I said earlier about changing jobs and taking longer to settle in the one that seems right. The one that gives someone freedom and room for personal development, “me time“.

The article points out that the younger generation have a lot of respect for their managers and their leadership and that they need to have the right “feel for the job” – if they do not feel that the job or manager are right, then they are not going to stay long in the job. Loyalty must be earned by good managers but once that has been done, one surely gets that commitment back from the younger generation. The change from management to coach? How can my boss guide me to where I would like to be?

All this and more details are published by Cam Marston “Motivating the “What’s in it for me?” Workforce”.