How many times do we remember our parents telling us to act our age? I don’t know about you but I've heard it a few times over the years. As I sit in meeting after meeting focusing on the mindset of the millennial, I often chuckle to myself that they ‘should act their age.’ What do I mean by that? Simply stated – ‘you are 25 years old, graduated with a double major, have not worked in the trenches forever or if at all and you expect to join a company, get a fast pass to the top and become the most remarkable person on the team.’
Ok, makes sense. That is exactly how I felt at 25. I knew more than my boss, had more energy and was going to take on the world. Fair enough. I believe in everyone rising to super stardom and they don’t even have to pay their dues if they are truly remarkable.
But what I am finding is that today, there seems to be an unbalanced view of work. Sorry folks but the word is work. You can’t achieve your goals or 'have it all' if you don’t work hard. Forget paying the dues, it is about paying the price. You can’t party all night, oversleep, go into work tired the next morning and expect work life balance. We have to get the job done on the client’s time frame. Depending on your career choice, that might mean weekends or nights and extensive travel where you are away from your family. If you can’t take that pressure, you need to look for another career. But I have news for you, there are few careers out there that will tolerate your demands without impressive results.
What makes you so remarkable? What makes you better than the rest? Everyone is searching for the ‘perfect life’ but few put in the effort. You could be a great artist, but how do you become the best and stand out in this world if you don’t work hard and get people to buy your work?
So why do I say ‘Act Your Age?’ I truly believe I am a boomer with a millennial mind. I have become very successful by being curious, staying open to new ideas and not getting stuck in my ways. I am never arrogant in thinking I have all the answers. I feel like a child every morning when I wake up; new day, new people to meet, new places to travel, new food to eat, new conflicts to get involved in. Then at the end of the day when I put my head on my pillow, my boomer brain analyzes it all to get me ready for tomorrow.
These days we are all busy trying to balance it all. There is more stress in my life today than there was years ago and I always thought it would be the opposite. I know that my experience, my tenacity, my faith and my hard work ethics will keep me going and nothing else will. I can’t take a ‘gap period’ and go away for a sabbatical for one year. I cannot change my schedule and still be successful. Therefore, I won’t tolerate anyone who wants to take the easy way out. Life is not easy, life is not fair, but I refuse to believe that there is an easy way out.
I am young at heart but wiser in my convictions. I am strong and I am open to new ideas. What I am not is lazy, average or mediocre. If you don’t give 150% today, regardless of your age, you will get back what you put in. I don’t know about you but I want a bigger return on investment with my life!