Climbing the Corporate Ladder Quickly
The number one reason young people fail to move up the career ladder quickly is the failure to understand and compensate for the generational disconnect between them and their boss. For the first time in history, four very different generations are working together today: Traditionalists, Boomers, Xers, and Millennials. The differences between these generations are so vast, 60% of human resource managers at large companies say they’ve personally observed office conflicts flowing from generational differences.
Upper management tends to be comprised of Boomers, who value very different things than Millennials who are just entering the workforce today. Therefore, if you’re a young Millennial who would like to climb the corporate ladder quickly, it’s critical to understand who Boomers are and what they respond to, and act accordingly. First, this means honing your verbal communication skills. Boomers feel respected when you take the time to speak to them in person. They like to hold meetings and forge personal connections. Whenever possible (but without being a pest), skip the email and instead seek face time with upper management, whether it’s in the office or at extracurricular events.
Understand that Boomers also value a strong work ethic. So even if you find your entry level job to be unchallenging, give it 110% percent anyway. Never act as if the job you’re doing is beneath you. This will make an impression on Boomers, who feel that employees should work hard and pay their dues before moving up.
Boomers also tend to value formality in the workplace more than Millennials, which means you should always dress professionally and keep your desk area uncluttered. Keep your family pictures and desk toys to a minimum, and try to keep your paperwork neat. Never wear flip flops, as Boomers don’t consider them to be actual shoes. Men should always wear collared, tucked-in shirts, and women should avoid low necklines, bare shoulders, and short skirts. It’s an old adage, but always remember to dress for where you want to be, not for where you are.
Finally, whenever you send an email, make sure to write in complete, grammatically correct sentences, and always avoid abbreviations and texting shorthand. Never write “u, i, ur, lol, ttyl, abt2, thru,” or the like. Doing so will mark you as unprofessional and unworthy of moving up. Following these simple rules will greatly speed your path to the top.
Photo Credit Financial Hack.