There is no face mask, wrinkle fighter or surgery that can help you now. Do you feel that your age shows? Well, at least in the workplace? Most women hope to age gracefully, but while we focus on how to stay looking young, we tend to forget how our career gets those fine lines too. The Generation Xers (considered ages 19-34 in the workplace) are coming full speed ahead into the workforce, taking out anyone in their path. OK, so it might not be that extreme, but we are better known as the me generation."
Generation X, Baby Boomers and Women
Women who have been in the workforce or at the same job, for 20 or more years have what the younger generations want seniority. Whether it is raises based on longevity with the company or gaining rights because of loyalty, Baby Boomers have what Gen. X cant have. However, the younger crowd has the technological skills and higher education that many older people dont, but then again with age comes experience and knowledge.
The younger generation also has a completely different work ethic and belief system, making it that much difficult to breach the two generations. The older generation might wait to be told what to do, the younger generation tends to just do it. Where as Baby Boomers believe you get promotions for all the long, hard years put into the company, Generation Xers believe you get paid for performance. The most common difference is education. Those from Generation X went to college, had accelerated classes in high school and for the better part of their late teens/early 20s, spent their time preparing themselves for careers. Baby Boomers worked their way up the ranks, sacrificing personal matters to keep their job, and had no pressure to obtain education after high school.
Being a woman in the mix of all this competition doesnt help your cause either. Taking time off for having children or staying with them until they go to school can be a hard pill to swallow when entering the workforce again. An even bigger problem, numerous women in their 40s and 50s are entering the workforce for the first time. The statistic on divorce rates is scary enough, but women who are tossed into the dog-eat-dog world after ending a 20+ year marriage are finding themselves in uncharted territory.
Making the Change
Whether you are entering the workforce for the first time or have been loyal to your company for countless years, there are several ways to get noticed or keep your competitive advantage. Here are some helpful tips to give your career a face-lift:
Go back to school. If you already have a degree, enroll for a certificate program or associates degree. Try taking a class here or there to stay current in your field. There are many avenues to take with obtaining some sort of improved education, such as community programs, college courses or workshops offered by your employer. The Cincinnati area is great for continuing education with large universities, community colleges and fine arts programs.
Utilize the internet. If you are a stay-at-home mom and want to get a college degree before your kids get old enough for grade school, apply for online colleges. There are also an array of certificates you can obtain online from Microsoft applications to basic human relations skills.
Use the resources already at your fingertips. Many employers are now offering tuition reimbursement for college credits that can be applied to the business. Just keep a good grade and you can get a degree on the companys dime!
See a career counselor. They can administer a personality test called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a Strong Interest Inventory or a combined MBTI/SIT. Career counselors specialize in helping find the right career for you and can be extremely beneficial when entering the workforce for the first time or feel its time for something new.
Get to know the younger generation. *GASP!* Yes, that is correct, talk to the Generation X employees. They can offer helpful hints with computer software and programs or can share innovative ways to get the job done differently. It can also aide in understanding them better. Many qualified, excellent young workers leave a company because they feel as though the older generation doesnt get them, which can actually end up hurting the company. Who knows, you mind up picking up a few pointers from them.
So ladies, give your career a tummy tuck, lift or just polish up your already good looks and show the youngins whose in charge well talk about changing that wardrobe later.