October 31, 2017

Gen X, Y, Z: The End of the Alphabet as a Career Planning Tool

I've been struggling for some time with the lack of focus on the merits of recognizing and rewarding individual accomplishment.  It appears the "every kid gets a trophy" approach to reward systems may have hurt a generation of people competing in the global talent marketplace. 

Now that we have reached the end of the alphabet in the Generation X, Y, Z continuum with the Z kids born 1996 to the present, I want to make a proposal.  There may be some useful elegance in ending our belief that birth year is a proxy for individual attributes.  I propose this both to HR leaders on the never-ending hunt for finding and retaining the best talent and to individual candidates who sometimes buy into the concept that they are part of a group based on when they were born.

The most successful careers are based more on how you stand out and apart from your peer group in a positive way rather than taking comfort and guidance from a broad set of professional and personal attributes ascribed to your group.

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