LIVE TO WORK OR WORK TO LIVE? A CULTURAL DIVIDE IN WORK ETHIC - TRADITIONALISTS - BOOMERS - GEN X
Traditionalists (aka The Silent Generation)
Born between 1927 and 1945, Traditionalists (also known as the Silent Generation) are in their 60s, 70s and 80s. About 95% of the Traditionalists are retired from the workforce. Those who remain in the workforce are at or near retirement age and many work reduced hours. Traditionalists in the legal workplace are largely aging partners, managers, senior support staff and "of counsel" to law firms.
Below are a few common characteristics of Traditionalists.
Hardworking: Raised by turn-of-the-century farmers, Traditionalists brought a strong work ethic into the factories of industrialized society. Traditionalists grew up during lean times and consider work a privilege. This generation believes you earn your own way through hard work. Traditionalists are willing put in long, grueling hours to get ahead in their legal careers.
Loyal: Traditionalists are civic-minded and loyal to their country and employer. Unlike younger generations Generation Y and Generation X, many Traditionalists worked for the same employer their entire life and are less likely to change jobs to advance their careers than younger generations.
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July 2, 2010
Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers are predominately in their 40s and 50s. They are well-established in their careers and hold positions of power and authority. This generational segment constitutes a large majority of today's law firm leaders, corporate executives, senior paralegals and legal managers. In fact, nearly 70 percent of law firm partners are Baby Boomers.
Labor statistics indicate that nearly 80 million Baby Boomers will exit the workplace in the next decade. These employees are retiring at the rate of 8,000 per day or more than 300 per hour. This unprecedented loss of skilled labor in the legal profession, consisting largely of partners, executives, senior support staff, legal managers and other legal thought leaders, may dramatically impact the legal industry.
Below are several common characteristics of the Baby Boomer generation.
Work-Centric: Baby Boomers are extremely hardworking and motivated by position, perks and prestige. Baby Boomers relish long work weeks and define themselves by their professional accomplishments. Sine they sacrificed a great deal to get where they are in their career, this workaholic generation believes that Generation X and Generation Y should pay their dues and conform to a culture of overwork. Baby Boomers may criticize younger generations for a lack of work ethic and commitment to the workplace
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July 2, 2010
Generation X encompasses the 44 to 50 million Americans born between 1965 and 1980. This generation marks the period of birth decline after the baby boom and is significantly smaller than previous and succeeding generations.
Below are a few common characteristics of Generation X.
Individualistic: Generation X came of age in an era of two-income families, rising divorce rates and a faltering economy. Women were joining the workforce in large numbers, spawning an age of “latch-key” children. As a result, Generation X is independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. In the workplace, Generation X values freedom and responsibility. Many in this generation display a casual disdain for authority and structured work hours. They dislike being micro-managed and embrace a hands-off management philosophy.
Technologically Adept: The Generation X mentality reflects a shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. The first generation to grow up with computers, technology is woven into their lives. As law firms and corporate legal departments integrate new technological tools, Generation X has learned and adapted.This generation is comfortable using PDAs, cellphones, e-mail, laptops, Blackberrys and other technology employed in the legal workplace.
Flexible: Many Gen Xers lived through tough economic times in the 1980s and saw their workaholic parents lose hard-earned positions. Thus, Generation X is less committed to one employer and more willing to change jobs to get ahead than previous generations. They adapt well to change and are tolerant of alternative lifestyles. Generation X is ambitious and eager to learn new skills but want to accomplish things on their own terms.
Value Work/Life Balance: Unlike previous generations, members of Generation X work to live rather than live to work. They appreciate fun in the workplace and espouse a work hard/play hard mentality. Generation X managers often incorporate humor and games into work activities.
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July 2, 2010
Posted by BEYOND RISK at 7/02/2010