Gen X Used to Feel Entitled Too- Did You?

generation-xSo, you think the Millennials invented the idea of feeling entitled?  Well, it’s not true.  No, other generations of young people have felt entitled.  I felt that way too.  Yes, Gen X has our share of dreamers and employees that were so eager to take on new challenges.  The difference I’m seeing is that when I was early in my career, I had older and wiser bosses who knew just when and how to put me in my place.  There wasn’t concern about hurting feelings with direct feedback.  They just did it.  They lived it.  I never once felt coddled.

I remember being twenty-seven years old and feeling like I knew it all.  I thought I knew better than my boss and I really believed I could “see the big picture”.  I just knew he was holding me back.  After all, I had a M.A. in HR Management and a few years of experience.  Why couldn’t he SEE how ready I was for a promotion?

Well, for starters, I didn’t put in enough time.  In my exempt role, I thought work could be left at the door when I headed for home.  Second, I didn’t do anything proactive to continue my learning in the human resources field.  No webinars.  No articles.  Nothing.  Third, I focused on administrative tasks.  I wasn’t stretching myself to think of the impact of my tasks.  Fourth, I had no idea what my boss really did.  To me, it looked like he was on the phone and in meetings.  How hard was that?

I remember the day I told my dad this boss was holding me back.  He gave me some great advice that I still embrace today:

  • Shadow your boss.  Find out what he really does and how he reached that position.  Watch for skills he uses to connect with people in the company and if he is successful, model those.
  • Come to work early and work late.  Learning how to do more than administrative tasks takes time and practice.  Back then, this meant many hours in the office.  Today, using technology, it’s easy to work early in the morning or late at night from the comfort of your home.
  • Keep educating yourself.  Always.  It’s not your company’s responsibility to do it all for you.
  • Volunteer to take on more challenging work without expecting money or title. Those will come in time.

Somehow, I made it to a more mature state of mind.  I like to think I grew up.  Not sure that it had anything at all to do with my generation, it was just more of a life lesson.

How did you progress through your career?  Did you experience any similar feelings?  What generation are you part of?

I’d love to hear all these answers (and more), so please jump over to my short, pulse survey on Generations and Leadership.  It takes 1- 3 minutes to complete and I really appreciate the feedback!

 

4 Steps To Resignation or Promotion with Grace

*Sharing from the dusty archives…

We’ve all left a job. leaving-work

Whether voluntarily or involuntarily, leaving your organization or position is a commonality we all share at some point.  The difference is how each person handles that transition. For many employees, especially those who voluntarily resign, leaving is a process they go through.  It could involve months of thinking about it and planning out each detail. For those employees who are terminated though, they may or may not have much warning.  Either way, it’s important to realize the impact of behavior during the transition time.  After all, it’s part of the legacy you leave and what you were known for at work.

In a recent column in Harvard Business Review, On Stepping Down Gracefully, Robert Sutton describes the importance of this transition time for CEOs who step down or who take on roles with different responsibility. Like us, a CEO has to think about the message they send when they are asked to resign or if they are choosing to retire to a chairmanship.  The impact of behavior during those “peak” moments in a career are critical to how colleagues and even the successor remember the person who is leaving.  There are no real benefits to let hurt feelings taint the departure.  All that does is create enemies and burn bridges that may be needed in the future.

The same holds true for promotions.  Whether you’re leaving your current role for a promotion in your current department, leaving your department for another in the organization, or leaving your organization for an opportunity for a larger role at a different company, do so with grace.  The way you treat colleagues will have a great influence on how you are perceived in the future.

  • Tie up loose ends on issues–  Make it easy for your successor to step in.
  • Transition projects to capable leaders– By giving that leader all the information he or she will need to take over the project you will help ensure that the project will not be derailed as a result of your resignation or promotion.
  • Show respect–  The way you treat your colleagues, boss, clients and anyone else in the organization you come into contact with will be the last memory they have of you.  Make it a good one.
  • Give performance feedback to members of your team–  This is a critical action yet one that most people miss as they leave.  Without your input as a leader, often the incumbent will not have enough knowledge to complete the annual appraisal for that year and your staff will be the ones to pay the price.

What are other key things you have done as you’ve transitioned out of roles?  Be sure to share those in the comments.

4 Steps To Leaving Your Job Gracefully

We’ve all left a job. career-transition

Whether voluntarily or involuntarily, leaving your organization or position is a commonality we all share at some point.  The difference is how each person handles that transition.

For many employees, especially those who voluntarily resign, leaving is a process they go through.  It could involve months of thinking about it and planning out each detail. For those employees who are terminated though, they may or may not have much warning.  Either way, it’s important to realize the impact of behavior during the transition time.  After all, it’s part of the legacy you leave and what you were known for at work.

In a column in Harvard Business Review, On Stepping Down Gracefully, Robert Sutton describes the importance of this transition time for CEOs who step down or who take on roles with different responsibility. Like us, a CEO has to think about the message they send when they are asked to resign or if they are choosing to retire to a chairmanship.  The impact of behavior during those “peak” moments in a career are critical to how colleagues and even the successor remember the person who is leaving.  There are no real benefits to let hurt feelings taint the departure.  All that does is create enemies and burn bridges that may be needed in the future.

The same holds true for promotions.  Whether you’re leaving your current role for a promotion in your current department, leaving your department for another in the organization, or leaving your organization for an opportunity for a larger role at a different company, do so with grace.  The way you treat colleagues will have a great influence on how you are perceived in the future.

  • Tie up loose ends on issues–  Make it easy for your successor to step in.
  • Transition projects to capable leaders– By giving that leader all the information he or she will need to take over the project you will help ensure that the project will not be derailed as a result of your resignation or promotion.
  • Show respect–  The way you treat your colleagues, boss, clients and anyone else in the organization you come into contact with will be the last memory they have of you.  Make it a good one.
  • Give performance feedback to members of your team–  This is a critical action yet one that most people miss as they leave.  Without your input as a leader, often the incumbent will not have enough knowledge to complete the annual appraisal for that year and your staff will be the ones to pay the price.

What are other key things you have done as you’ve transitioned out of roles?  Be sure to share those in the comments.

Self Promoters: How Great Do You Say You Are?

self-promotionI’ve worked in Human Resources nearly all my adult life.  This means I’ve had the opportunity to talk with more people about their job qualifications, skills, abilities and interests than most.  One thing is clear, a majority of people I talk to are people who do not want to tell you how great they are.  It’s usually the opposite.

I hear about peoples’ anxieties, feelings of inadequacy, desire to improve, etc.  The people who really are the “rockstars” are often the least likely to toot their own horn.  The people that constantly tell everyone how great they are or how many things they accomplish are often the ones who are doing so in order to cover the fact that they are living a lie.  Their performance can be sub-par and they overcompensate to hide that they are insecure or less productive.

I am starting to see the same thing on social platforms.  Do you have that one friend who posts non-stop about how great their marriage is?  Well, it probably isn’t.  How about the “friend” who has the “best job in the world” or who self promotes constantly in order to sell something? Safe to say we probably all know people like these.

So what’s the point?

When are we going to be able to convince people that it’s ok to not be perfect at everything?  I’m going to challenge everyone to use 2013 as a year when you do two things:

  1. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to take credit or accolades for all the good things you do…. try to do it more in the coming year.  YOU are the type of people we want to hear from because you’re the one doing your best to keep companies running, to treat employees and customers with respect, to volunteer in charitable organizations, to participate in your religious community, and more.
  2. If you’re someone who ONLY shares a hyped-up version of reality or over-inflates your performance, take it down a notch in 2013.  Just be yourself.  Be real.  It will make others accept you more and you’ll find that whether it’s being more honest at work about areas you can improve or online by promoting yourself less…. you’ll be happier and more supported.

What do you think?  Which bucket do you fall into?

 

4 Keys to Transitioning Through Resignation or Promotion

We’ve all left a job.

Whether voluntarily or involuntarily, leaving your organization or position is a commonality we all share at some point.  The difference is how each person handles that transition. For many employees, especially those who voluntarily resign, leaving is a process they go through.  It could involve months of thinking about it and planning out each detail. For those employees who are terminated though, they may or may not have much warning.  Either way, it’s important to realize the impact of behavior during the transition time.  After all, it’s part of the legacy you leave and what you were known for at work.

In a recent column in Harvard Business Review, On Stepping Down Gracefully, Robert Sutton describes the importance of this transition time for CEOs who step down or who take on roles with different responsibility. Like us, a CEO has to think about the message they send when they are asked to resign or if they are choosing to retire to a chairmanship.  The impact of behavior during those “peak” moments in a career are critical to how colleagues and even the successor remember the person who is leaving.  There are no real benefits to let hurt feelings taint the departure.  All that does is create enemies and burn bridges that may be needed in the future.

The same holds true for promotions.  Whether you’re leaving your current role for a promotion in your current department, leaving your department for another in the organization, or leaving your organization for an opportunity for a larger role at a different company, do so with grace.  The way you treat colleagues will have a great influence on how you are perceived in the future.

  • Tie up loose ends on issues–  Make it easy for your successor to step in.
  • Transition projects to capable leaders– By giving that leader all the information he or she will need to take over the project you will help ensure that the project will not be derailed as a result of your resignation or promotion.
  • Show respect–  The way you treat your colleagues, boss, clients and anyone else in the organization you come into contact with will be the last memory they have of you.  Make it a good one.
  • Give performance feedback to members of your team–  This is a critical action yet one that most people miss as they leave.  Without your input as a leader, often the incumbent will not have enough knowledge to complete the annual appraisal for that year and your staff will be the ones to pay the price.

What are other key things you have done as you’ve transitioned out of roles?  Be sure to share those in the comments.