Mentoring: Next Steps and Connecting

By: Shirley E. Hammond, FASID, NCIDQ, RID

Our newsletter has had articles discussing mentoring from both sides, the mentor and the mentee, with the advantages of participating on each side.   If you have participated in the mentoring-mentee opportunities, our hopes are that you have shared experiences, taught and learned lessons, observed practical and inspiring practices, discovered new technologies and processes, envisioned what to expect in coming years and viewed the profession and its varieties of specialties.   All these advantages are powerful and transforming to both sides of the experience.  However, these values are only the beginning of your ASID experience. 

 

The bonds that have been created through the mentoring processes are, in my opinion, the most valuable.  Having been isolated from each other during the recent pandemic, we all realize the importance of what is gained by in-person connections.  The bonds made during in-person experiences, whether through mentorships or larger gatherings, are long-lasting.  Our connectivity is what ASID has to offer you for your long-term career. 

I have been fascinated in recent decades by observing our generational differences through my own mentoring experiences and discovered that connectivity over long-lasting relationships demands understanding.  A recent series of articles from Axios Finish Line, authored by Mike Allen, Erica Pandey and Jim VandeHei, describes our generational attitudes and its importance to understanding as we work together. 

So here are our categories, find where you fit and learn about others:

  • Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945; ages 77-94 as of 2022.
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964; ages 58-76.
  • Generation X: Born 1965-1980; ages 42-57.
  • Millennials: Born 1981-1996; ages 26-41.
  • Generation Z: Born 1997-2012; ages 10-25.
  • Generation Alpha: Born 2012 and on; ages 10 and younger.

 

Traits of the Silent Generation:

  • Traditional values. Cultural and social forces emphasized values such as hard work, loyalty and thriftiness when the Silent Generation was coming of age.
  • Financial prudence.
  • Interpersonal respect.
  • Determination.
  • Resilience. 
  • Work ethic.
  • Analog sensibilities
  • Self-sacrifice

Traits of Baby Boomers:

  • Strong work ethic. Baby Boomers aren’t afraid to put in a hard day of work.
  • Self-Assured. This generation is independent and self-assured
  • Baby boomers like competition.
  • Goal-centric.
  • Mentally focused.
  • Team oriented.
  • Disciplined.

 

Baby Boomers & The Silent Generation have recommendations for us:

  • Follow your passion, explore outside your comfort zone and find a job that satisfies your talents and passion;
  • Open your mind, remembering that focused listening to differing views can strengthen your knowledge and, thus, your understanding;
  • Hard work still means something. Be “all in” when you are on the job—career progressions are not always linear but may be sideways to broaden your horizons, experience and value to your employer;
  • Get off the phone! Have good manners, respect and develop your people skills by visiting other generations to learn from them;
  • Be yourself, enjoy colleagues and friends of varying ages. Keep on caring and being compassionate with each other.

 

Traits of Gen X in the Workplace:

  • Self-sufficient, results-oriented and hard-working with a tendency to be quiet achievers.
  • Entrepreneurial, educated and independent thinkers.
  • Value diversity, challenges, and responsibility.
  • Enjoy creative input and resourceful.
  • Embrace technology and social media.

 

 

Traits of Millennials in the Workplace:

 

  • Naturally competitive.
  • They are technology natives.
  • They crave work-life balance.
  • They expect collaboration.
  • They require a seat at the table.
  • They want to keep on learning.
  • Their loyalty may appear fickle because they are not afraid of change for improved outcomes

 

Traits of Gen Z in the Workplace:

  • Preference for traditional communication. Even though Generation Z grew up with texting and instant messages, studies show that they prefer to speak face-to-face in the workplace. 
  • Desire to work individually.
  • Mobile-first habits.
  • Motivated by stability.

 

Gen X’s (particularly on the later timeline), Millennials and Gen Z’s work to live, instead of living to work — staying on the payroll, but focusing on fun, fulfilling activities outside of work.  They want something to believe in and a reason to respect the company vision and its passion.  They are lifelong learners and not afraid to change for improved outcomes.  They are inclusive and applaud a diverse workforce.  They are less serious, more casual but still value serious work.

 

With our upcoming state conference, our hope and your opportunity is to re-energize yourselves by in-person connectivity with others–not only within your generational pool but beyond.  Share new experiences, teach, learn, observe, be inspired, discover, envision and connect. 

 

The ASID family is tall and wide with great human in-person resources to share with each other. 

Looking forward to seeing you in September!

Shirley Hammond, FASID, NCIDQ, RID

Perceptive Designs, LLC

[email protected]

          “Baby Boomer”