What is on your mind?
Are you 37 years old and working for a larger sized company? If so, my hunch is that you have been doing an awful lot of thinking recently. Over the course of the last two years, I have had the chance to get to know and coach a number of Generation X 37-year-old men and women. Is it just a coincidence, I keep thinking to myself? Without exception, each person has been at a crucial phase in his/her career and family. The common factor: each is having life-changing thoughts.
- What’s it all about?
- Will I make it?
- What is “it” that I am actually looking for?
The Digital Media Management Muddle?
Here is the profile I am talking about:
At 37 years old, you have typically been in the workforce for over a dozen years. You are at a senior middle management position and, though there are three years ahead before you hit 40, you hope to be a candidate for a top spot in the future organization. You may have bought a flat (a.k.a. apartment/home). You might also have young kids to whom you must tend. The company is in the throes of the digital marketing maelstrom. You have to manage a number of — what you tend to believe are — highly demanding generation Y upstarts and their multi-tasking, multi-screen mania which is, at times, overwhelming. When talking with the top brass, you still have to operate on egg shells about the web 2.0 world and digital media, including concepts such as operating in the cloud and booking meetings via digital calendars (as opposed to the old guard paper agendas and address books). The stress is potentially at its worst because you don’t have the reins and the demands at all levels are high — especially in these tougher economic times. At 37 years old, you are typically experiencing what I term as the Digital Media Management Muddle! And it takes a lot of juggling on a daily basis. You are in the vortex, defining the new leadership mindset!
Does this ring true for any of you 37-year-olds out there working in business? Of course, you might be 32 years old or 42 years old and recognize yourself!
I would love to have your thoughts or for you to share your experiences?
I’m 38, at middle management in a large media organisation that is grappling with putting its content online, and I’m about to become a dad – so Minter you speak to me very clearly!
I’ve heard the late thirties is when most professionals at the moment are making dramatic career moves. Generally, people make two moves – they drop their idealism and look for a big money career, or they drop their big money career and become a teacher! Or they move to Cornwall and run a pig farm.
I’m too considering a career move (I have no idealism to drop but I’d like some more money) but I suspect I will stay put in journalism and hope that by the time my kid/kids are wanting me to pay extortionate university tuition fees in 20 years’ time, I won’t have been ousted by a new techie generation who put my online skills to shame!
Yup, sounds like you are in that vortex! I like the way you point out that “fork in the road” between the the big dollars and the idyll of a “meaningful” job : [Pig] banker or Pig farmer? Not that I think there is anything wrong with working at a bank (as I had four great years at DLJ) and I chose that job over a teaching job back when I was 22.