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Time Worked and Value Created

I saw this image and a related post on LinkedIn earlier today, and it made me pause and think a moment. So much of our experience of the outer world is generational in nature, both in that we are influenced by other generations and we bring our collective generational experiences to those situations and respond from our unique generational positions.

What is considered valuable and important in the workplace changes over time based on where each of the generational archetypes is in age and in their societal age-based roles. Here’s a quick look at this subject.

When Boomers (currently 64 and up) were first the young adults and then the midlife managers in the workforce, they brought an “all-work, no-play” attitude with them. This is the “Look at me! I haven’t taken a vacation in 11 years” generation.

Xers (currently 43-63) are all about the bottom line and focus on results, not time at the office. Results, results, results.

Millennials (currently 19-42) are the “happy, conventional life” generation and swing the pendulum in the opposite direction of the generation that had the most influence on their formation, the workaholic Boomers.

FWIW, all generations swing society in the opposite direction of the generation that formed them the most. That’s part of how generations work and move society through a natural rebalancing over time.

The after-Millennial generation (currently 0-18) will likely be the next time-clock-punching technocratic “Organization Men,” like the nation saw in the post-WWII era.

Work-life balance won’t be much of an issue for them because they will be young adults during a time when results-not-time GenXers are the elder leaders of the nation and workplace, and when “I want a happy, conventional life” Millennials will be the midlife managers.

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