22 March 2009

Generational Views on "Be the Best Employee"

About every other cable news show includes a segment on how to weather the economic downturn. The advice is pretty standard: be the best employee in your company. Work harder, faster, and longer than everyone else. Make yourself layoff-proof.

I imagine most baby boomers react the same way I do. We know that layoffs are based on many things besides rankings. First, there's the impact your missing salary will have on the budget. Then, there's the economic outlook and how needed your position is in the short-, mid-, and long-term. Finally, there's the question of how dispensable your position is and how well-suited it may be to outsourcing. Notice we haven't yet begun to address how well you do your job.

Last month, I came to realize that a person of a different generation has a different reaction to the be the best employee segments. I was in a planning session that a Gen Y worker had asked to attend. He was volunteering to put in extra time at work to help with a project. I commented to him that he was really going the extra mile. He answered, "I want to keep my job."

I didn't contradict. I just said, "Good for you."

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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