Skills Advice for Young Professionals
Feeling like you and your boss just don’t connect? Do you wonder if it’s just generational differences? What if it’s more than just the age gap?
It might be. Your boss may be older than you, and may even be a generation or two older. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but it might feel sometimes like you’re speaking different languages and like they have expectations that you can’t figure out. While there isn’t one answer, it’s worth considering opportunities to increase your grit level in ways that can help you connect better with your boss and nurture your interpersonal skills to match their level of grit.
"Boomers and Gen X are the grittiest generations, with 74% more grit than their Gen Z employees and 30% more grit than Millennial employees."
What does ‘grit’ mean?
For Innate’s 2022 Grit Research, grit is defined as having more self-efficacy and self- discipline, with a lower vulnerability to impact of stress. This research shows that Boomers and Gen X are the grittiest generations, with 74% more grit than their Gen Z employees and 30% more grit than Millennial employees. It’s important to acknowledge that Boomers have had the most time and experience to develop that grit out of all the generations, and it is also helpful to think about how their expectations of grit might impact their perspective of your work.
How do I work for a boss with grit?
So, you might work for a gritty boss and knowing some of their values could really help you to move ahead. People who have a high level of grit also rate higher than others in reliability and emotional stability. So, as you’re thinking about how to connect with your boss, consider ways you can prove your dependability and problem solving when challenges arise.
· Show up on time to work
· Meet assigned deadlines
· Get feedback by asking your boss what else you can do to improve your skills
· Be the first to volunteer to take on work or other responsibilities
· Work to think of potential problems and how you can address them before they happen
· Communicate early when you need help
· Stay focused on a project until all of the details are completed
Emotional stability can feel more challenging to demonstrate, especially when we consider the differences in how Gen Z and Millennials should communicate about their feelings to Boomers or Gen X. Something that might help is really focusing on demonstrating your confidence. If you’re feeling uncertain, it’s worth considering setting smaller goals that you can achieve quickly. These accomplishments will build and give you a stronger foundation to stand on. Showing your boss that you can handle challenges is a great way to connect (and get ahead!).
How can I find out how much grit I have?
A good place to start is taking this quiz and figuring out what your grit level is now - and then you can figure out the next steps in winning over your boss.
What if I don’t have a high level of grit?
Grit is also more than a trait - it’s something you can develop. One of the best ways to do this is to develop what psychologists call a growth mindset, which essentially is the perspective that you can continue to grow and change if you stay open to it. So, keep in mind that you can apply the tactics mentioned earlier and get grittier with each challenge you overcome.
· Small, everyday actions matter - stay consistent
· Challenge yourself and work to build upon each success
· Take the Innate Grit Quiz to develop your own baseline
· Focus in on the areas where you can apply a growth mindset to get grittier