Ep 83 – Career Advice for All Generations From Penelope Trunk #fivegenwork

As part of our ongoing podcast series taking a look at the five generation workplace, we are continuing our conversation talking about the Traditionalist Generation. Check out our podcast interviews as we break down the five generations at work with Generation ZenGeneration Y, and Traditionalists.

Millennials are frequently generalized as entitled, lazy and self-centered. Recent research shows us this is not the case. A 2016 SHRM employee job satisfaction survey which was launched at SHRM Talent, found that 86% of Millennial employees were satisfied in their jobs compared to job satisfaction across the board which was 88%. I wanted to talk about Millennials but expand the conversation into our careers across generations.

Episode 83: Career Advice From All Generations From Penelope Trunk (@penelopetrunk)

If you’re looking for a writer and career expert with unabashed honesty, you need to look no further than Penelope Trunk. She’s the founder of Brazen Careerist and a writer with opinions — especially when it comes to careers, generations and Millennials.

Penelope tells me in this Workology Podcast episode that Millennials are running the show right now in our offices and workplaces. They are in charge and they are now faced with younger people and future leaders like Gen Z.

I asked Penelope about about incorrect assumptions about Millennials. She says Millennials went into the workforce thinking working for yourself will make you happy but that isn’t the case. Millennials saw their parents unhappy with working for others, so they started their own businesses but have found that isn’t not always as satisfying as they thought it would be.

I asked Penelope to be candid about the ongoing conversation around Millennials. Even still they are the topic of discussion at most conferences, podcasts (like mine) and executive leadership meetings. In true Penelope style she tells us to get over it and says Millennials are entering their 30’s. We’re adults. If you like Millennials, promote them and if you don’t like them, fire them. Once you turn 30, are entitled and don’t do good work things in your career usually work themselves out.

The only people still bitching about Millennials are Gen Xers who are over 45. Penelope says those people are probably also low performers or professionals who aren’t driving organizational change. Your problem with Millennials is bigger than just Millennials.

Women, Age Discrimination and Your Career

Penelope also shares insights about women and age discrimination. She says it is very real, whether you look old or are getting botox, and that women are at a disadvantage in their careers because of children. Women have to go hard in their careers as soon as they graduate. There can’t backpack to Europe or take a year off. They have to get serious and advance quickly because they will be taking time off to take care of children.

Penelope believes there is no generation who is more connected or better to connect with than Millennials. Professionals who are traveling most and hustling the hardest are the ones you should connect with to expand your network. Penelope tells us when she was working really hard and flying every week, she was way more connected and was offering a great deal of value to others and to her network. Penelope goes even further and suggests that you should connect to the workers who don’t have kids — even adult kids — or have stay at home spouses, in order to best connect.

Connect with Penelope Trunk on LinkedIn.



*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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