Bosses Want Hard Workers—So They’re Hiring Older People

May 18, 2023

Bosses Want Hard Workers—So They’re Hiring Older People

May 29, 2023

A recent Wall Street Journal article with the title of today’s blog got me thinking: is there a different work ethic for older versus younger employees, and if so, is that a new phenomenon? A survey of Americans’ values found that hard work is essential to three-quarters of older workers, while this drops to 61% for those 18 to 29. Many employers are taking note and are focusing on older workers again.

Is it possible that ageism—primarily associated with older workers feeling discrimination—might be flipping on its head with younger workers feeling left in the cold? I was recently talking with a college friend who told me, with a whisper, that he’s stopped hiring people under 30 into his professional services firm. “They’re not committed to staying a long time and feel like they’re meant to be billionaires like some of their high-profile peers,” he grumbled.

I told him that Deloitte has shown that when Millennials are matched with a mentor within the company, they are more than twice as likely to stay for five years. I also told him about my experience as a “mentern” at Airbnb (a mentor and intern simultaneously) and how much I learned from younger people in the company. He brightened up and said he’d give young people a second chance.

I’ve been proud to be on the Board of CoGenerate, a non-profit dedicated to bridging generational divides to co-create the future. Marc Freedman, the founder, and co-CEO, will join me and one of my fellow Board members Serena Bian for a workshop dedicated to moving beyond stereotypes.

Society needs a new generational compact, a purpose-led potluck in which we all bring our gifts to the table. I hope you’ll consider joining us for MEA’s weeklong Mastery Workshop on The Magic of CrossGenerational Wisdom (Oct 9-14). Better yet, encourage someone from a different generation to join us.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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