Crossing the Generational Divide at Work: 13 Steps to Losing Your Job

I spoke with a group of really bright students at St. Thomas University's BLAW (Business Law Society) this week, and one of their questions was how they could cross the generational divide at work, and be successful.

Regardless of age or generation, smart people bring energy, enthusiasm, curiosity, and patience to a new job, with no expectation of changing the culture right away. There is no need to make a statement about clothing, culture, or cuteness as a new employee or intern. Pay attention to your colleagues behavior, demeanor, and dress. Your job is to figure out what your tasks are and how to perform them better than expected.

You do get to ask questions, but take notes when you get the answers. You should be curious about how your work fits in to the Big Picture. You must understand whether your colleagues expect face-to-face meetings, email, voicemail, texting, or tweeting as communications tools. Because different situations require different solutions, one is not better than the other.

The Pioneer Press offers "13 steps to losing your job," and they are each useful information for new workers, and important reminders for folks with experience.

Managing the Expectation of Instant Access

With the Personal Digital Gadget du Jour comes the Expectation of Instant Access.

Managing that expectation is a challenge.  When your client service philosophy is that you give each client your undivided attention, respect means no peeking at your phone during meetings, and no texting under the table.

Those clients should expect no less when you meet with someone else.

If they know that you will return their messages as quickly as is humanly possible, you will have managed their expectations and saved yourself some grief.