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Terrific New Book: What's Next, Gen X? by Tamara Erickson

January 30th, 2010

Hi All,

I recently received a copy of Tamara Erickson’s new book: “What’s Next, Gen X? Keeping Up, Moving Ahead, and Getting the Career You Want”. It’s really an interesting read (especially if your a member of Gen X), where she accurately (I think) discusses the issues Xer’s face being the “stuck in the middle” generation, but follows that up with a framework Gen X can follow for shaping and creating a meaningful career. I also totally agree with her overview of “who” Gen X is as it’s completely inline with how I describe them in the books I’ve written and in the seminars I conduct.

Below is a clip from a Press Release about her book that will explain it far better than I. But, after that, I’ve also included a terrific interview with Tamara for more insights. You’ll also see  her complete bio and contact info at the very bottom of this post.

Here’s a clip from the Press Release about the book that can explain it a bit better than I:

MEMBERS OF GENERATION X—the 30-to-44 age cohort—have drawn the short stick when it comes to work. The economy has been stacked against them from the beginning. Worse, they’re sandwiched between Boomers (with their constant back-patting blather and refusal to retire) and Gen Y’s (with their relentless confidence and demands for attention).

Gen X’s are stuck in the middle—of their lives and between two huge generations that dote on each other and that are taking up a little too much of X’ers’ room.

But they can move forward in their career. In What’s Next, Gen X? Tamara Erickson shows how. She explains the forces affecting attitudes and behaviors in other generations—Traditionalists (born 1928-1945), Boomers (born 1946-1964), X’ers, and Y’ers (born 1980-1995)—so X’ers can start relating more productively with bosses, peers, and employees.

Erickson then assesses Gen X’ers progress in life so far and analyzes the implications of organizational and technological changes for their professional future. She lays out a powerful framework for shaping a satisfying, meaningful career, revealing how X’ers can:

  • Use their unique capabilities to become effective leaders
  • Identify work that matches what they care most about
  • Succeed in a corporate career or an entrepreneurial venture
  • Spot and seize newly emerging professional opportunities

For example, she explains how X’ers can find a type of work and a place of work that suits them—by identifying work activities that engage them, that feel effortless and energizing, and that activate “life lures” such as the opportunity to create something of lasting value, to be part of a winning team, or to take on interesting challenges.

Provocative and engaging, What’s Next, Gen X? helps the 30-to-44 set break free from the middle—and chart a fulfilling course for the years ahead.

AN INTERVIEW WITH TAMARA ERICKSON:

You wrote a book for Boomers and one for members of Generation Y. Why a book for Gen X?

Each of these generations faces unique challenges and brings specific strengths to today’s workplace. For organizations to succeed in the challenging years ahead, they need a combination of the best from each generation. In Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation, my message to Boomers was to find ways to remain productive contributors. And in Plugged In: The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work, my message to Y’s was to blend their strengths with the realities of the corporate world.

For Gen X, the challenge is that they’re wedged between two huge generations competing for the same opportunities. X’ers need to maximize their peak career years to their full advantage, given today’s turbulent economy. And the steps they take over the next decade will shape their long-term financial stability and achievement of other goals. I wrote this book for them—to invite them to reflect on what they’ll do next and to offer ideas for exploring new possibilities.

In one of your new book’s chapters, you explain how X’ers can “make the organization you work for work for you.” Can you provide an example of how to do this?

Almost 95 percent of X’ers work in organizations that are owned or managed by others. To get whatever they want in those organizations, they need to be perceived as valuable contributors and work effectively with others. This is especially critical during economic downturns. Probably the most important thing they can do is play to their strengths. They need to cash in on the returns they acquired from the time and energy they spent during their twenties and zero in on what they’re really good at and what they’re not. I present a list of questions that can help them identify how they can stand out from others, communicate their “brand,” and cut out the things that aren’t their strong suit.

In what respects can X’ers provide needed leadership in the coming years?

Future leaders in all spheres will have to contend with a world characterized by finite limits, no easy answers, complex problems on multiple fronts, and an increasingly diverse range of viewpoints. I’m convinced that X’ers will bring important leadership qualities to that world. They’re richly multicultural, as their awareness of global issues was shaped in their youth. They bring a more unconscious acceptance of diversity than any preceding generation. And they’re incredibly pragmatic. They’re the ones who’ll manage crises by applying toughness and resolution; questioning long-held truths; and breaking the destructive norms of corporate life, such as long hours, narrow-minded perspectives, and a language of combat. Their unique strengths will enable them to foster adaptability in organizations facing ambiguity and to spur the innovation needed for organizations to survive.

TAMARA ERICKSON’S BIO:

TAMARA ERICKSON is President of The nGenera Innovation Network (ngenera.com). She is both a respected McKinsey Award-winning author and popular and engaging storyteller. Her compelling views of the future are based on extensive research on changing demographics and employee values and, most recently, on how successful organizations work. Her work discerns and describes interesting and important trends in our future and provides actionable counsel to help organizations and individuals prepare today. Tammy (TammyErickson.com) has coauthored five Harvard Business Review articles (including McKinsey Award winner “It’s Time to Retire Retirement”), the book Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent, and an MIT Sloan Management Review article. Visit her blog, “Across the Ages” on hbr.org.

Article For Gen Y About Defining Your Leadership Brand at Work

January 18th, 2010

Hi All!

Heather Huhman, Founder & President of ComeRecommended.com (a unique community site that matches Millennial/Gen Y job seekers with employers), wrote an article for Dan Schawbel’s popular blog, PersonalBrandingBlog, about how to develop your personal leadership brand at work.

The article is entitled: “Defining Your Brand via 6 Traits that Make You a Leader“. Heather was inspired to write this article after reading my new book, “Millennials Into Leadership“, and offered her personal perspectives on the key areas I suggest Millennials focus on when determining their personal leadership brand, such as: Philosophical Style, Social Style, Intellectual Style, Communication Style, Emotional Style, and Ethical Style.

It’s a great article that illustrates how to use information from my book in a real-world way. Heather is a Millennial and is in a leadership role in her position as a business owner, so you’re bound to learn from her insights when reading the article.

As more Millennials enter the workforce, and enter leadership roles, it’s critical for companies to groom them for success. But unfortunately many employers just promote them into management roles and don’t provide training. At the very least, you should read my book, especially if your company doesn’t offer solid leadership training!

And if you’re an employer, give me a call. I offer leadership seminars, workshops and keynotes for Millennial employees, and my clients have truly benefitted from hiring me to present them.

Enjoy Heather’s article!

Bye for now,

Lisa

Relocating for An Entry Level Job – New eBook Provides Great Advice

January 04th, 2010

Hi All,

In this current economic climate it’s not unusual for people from ANY generation to pursue job offers that require relocation. And Heather H. Huhman, founder and president of ComeRecommended.com (a popular job and career site for college students and entry-level job seekers), has written a terrific ebook for Millennials (Gen Y) on the ins and outs of relocating successfully for a job.

The ebook is entitled: “Relocating for an Entry-Level Job – Why You Probably Have to and How to Do It”

This info-packed ebook is loaded with tons of useful info such as:

1. The Top Areas in the U.S. for Entry Level Jobs

2. Strategies for Finding a Non-Local Job Opportunity

3. How to Up Date Your Career Tools to Show Willingness to Relocate

4. Determining the Cost of Relocation

5. How to Negotiate a Relocation Package

6. Relocating Without A Job

7. And A LOT MORE!

And you can click here to access a FREE preview of her ebook to read the Introduction and see the Table of Contents!

Click here to read Heather’s complete bio, and you’ll quickly see why she is qualified to write a book like this. Not only did she start ComeRecommended.com, but she’s also a entry-level career’s columnist for Examiner.com where she offers college students, entry level job seekers and younger employees advice on career, work related topics, and job seeking. She is also a contributing writer for many career blogs, and author of “Gen Y Meets the Workforce: Launching Your Career During Economic Uncertainty“.

I highly respect Heather and think her new ebook is something many will find very beneficial.

And if you want to skip looking at the free preview, CLICK HERE to order the whole book!

Bye for now,

Lisa

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @GENERATIONSGURU

Thinking of Working Overseas? Here's Some Advice

December 29th, 2009

Hi All!

Below is a guest article contributed by Paul Johnson, Director of Outsourcing Consultants with 10 years experience of HR and recruitment within the Middle East. Author Website: http://www.outconsult.com.

I thought it was something many of you Millennials (Gen Y) would find helpful as you begin to explore career opportunities. And, it’s certainly great info for people from ANY generation who is toying with the idea of working outside of the U.S.

So, without further delay, here is Paul’s article, entitled: Thinking of working overseas? Think, think and think again.

I am sure we have all thought it. Wouldn’t it be great to work away from our home country? New climate, new friends, more money (in some cases), get away from the humdrum life I lead now, experience new cultures etc, etc. Whatever the reasons, the grass is certainly not always greener on the other side. It takes time and not a small amount of perseverance and patience to make it work.

Take my experience. Back in 1998 my girlfriend (now wife) and I decided we needed a change from the UK. Dubai seemed like a good option as my wife had lived there with her parents in the mid 70’s. Being the days when the internet was something to do with fishing together or a goal in football the communication with prospective agencies and employers was by no means easy. Many calls and faxes ensued until eventually we both, miraculously landed jobs in Dubai starting 2 weeks apart.

Arriving in Dubai was a massive culture shock, especially 11 years ago even though I had travelled the world extensively. People from all over the globe were resident there especially from South East Asia. Everything was different from needing a UAE driving license to driving on the other side of the road!! The bureaucracy to do anything was immense and very frustrating. After 2 months we were reeling and wondering what on earth we had done! Shall we give it until Christmas (two months away)? Shall we leave now? Many questions and uncertainties. We were told by new friends, many of whom were long term expats, to give it 6 months, we did.

To cut a long story short we stuck it out and are still here 11 years later with 2 kids in tow! Dubai is not perfect by any means but where is?

My advice to anyone thinking of taking the plunge is:

1. Be aware of a huge culture shock even if you are well travelled, living somewhere is a completely different world.

2. Be patient!

3. Become culturally aware as fact as possible and do not attempt in anyway to impose your culture on your new hosts, it will not work.

4. Give it 6 months to settle in or you will regret it.

5. Use any means at your disposal to connect with people living there, seek out the lowdown and dirty to the place first.

6. Take up your interests as early as possible to meet people, do not get trapped into the work, home sleep unhappy triad.

7. Do not limit your exposure to other expats from familiar cultures only.

8. Take every opportunity offered to you initially to socialise, be it camping trips, birthdays, whatever. Good luck!

Learn more about Paul at:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/pauljohnsonoutconsult.

Bye for now! And Happy New Year!

Lisa

Twitter @GenerationsGuru

NOTE: Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

NY Times: Bridging the Workplace Generation Gap

November 14th, 2009

Hi All!

I was recently interviewed for an interesting NY Times article: Bridging the Workplace Generation Gap: It Starts With A Text, written by staff reporter, Alina Tugend.

It’s filled with interesting stats and research findings about the current generational gaps within the workforce. Here’s a snippet of the article:

…The point, she says, is not to look like a 26-year-old or even to necessarily act like one, but to be open to the fact that times have changed. And if we 40-plus-year-olds refuse to acknowledge that, we’re only punishing ourselves.

This is particularly true in the workplace. Much of the baby boom generation is going to want to — and, in many cases, going to have to — stay on the job longer. “But we won’t be working with our fellow septuagenarians, but with people our children’s ages,” Ms. Satran says.

Now, the generation gap is nothing new. In fact, it seems most people have recognized it since at least 40 years ago. In a Pew Research Center survey released this summer, 79 percent of respondents said they thought there was a generation gap, slightly higher than the 74 percent who answered affirmatively to the same question in a 1969 Gallup poll.

What’s interesting is that the generational divide is far less obvious than in the 1960s. Parents and their children dress similarly now, at least in casual clothes, and may listen to some of the same music. We don’t hear the ’60s slogan “You can’t trust anyone over 30,” but that’s probably because our children are silently texting it rather than shouting it.

Yes, much of what divides us now is technology. According to the Pew survey, while three-quarters of adults age 18 to 30 say they use the Internet daily, only four in 10 adults age 65 to 74 do so.

But be sure to click here to read the whole thing! I’m quoted on Page 2 of the article!

This is the second time Alina has interviewed me for one of her stories, so thank you, Alina, for the interview and mention!

Bye for now!

Lisa

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @GENERATIONSGURU FOR ALL KINDS OF NEWS/INFO ABOUT MILLENNIALS – GEN Y, GENERATIONS, WORKFORCE DYNAMICS, AND MORE!

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