Today I have extensive edits on a book due, so I’m pulling forward a post I wrote several years ago. The ironic thing is this a still an area I’m still fascinated by. How do the generations we’re born in impact our life choices. I’d love your thoughts on this important topic!
My friend Tricia Goyer forwarded the following commentary from law.com: Age is Merely a Number. In it the author, Kerry Jean Moore, evaluates whether generational differences really make a difference or if it’s all a matter of work ethic.
There’s been a lot of buzz about what Generation X wants in their careers. As a proud member of that generation, I agree with some of the general conclusions. As a generalization, Gen Xers value family highly, and we’ll make career sacrifices in an attempt to minimize the fall out on our children. I work part time very intentionally. I could be a full time attorney, but because my children are young, my husband and I have determined I will only work three days a week (now it’s even less than that in the law. I teach at Purdue, because I love it but also because I can limit it to a couple afternoons a week. And I write books because I love the creative process, and can do it in the midst of our family life.) We both guard this flexibility jealously. I am fortunate to have found a firm that is glad to have me the hours a week I can and places a high value on family.
But I am also an ambitious, driven person. I love challenge and get bored when things fall into a routine. Fundamentally, that’s one reason I tackled the challenge of law school, a judicial clerkship, and actually practicing. I want to make a difference in people’s lives when they are in the middle of a crisis. Rarely do people call an attorney just because they thought it would be fun. Some event usually necistates that call.
Regardless of their generation, most lawyers are motivated by similar things. As Kerry Jean Moore, author of the commentary on law.com puts it:
“The fact is all talented lawyers want the same things. They want to be valued as individuals, they want challenging work for which they will be recognized and rewarded, and they want the freedom and independence to manage their own work and their own schedules. These are universal, not age-dependent, desires, and they are ones that every law firm can — and should want to — accommodate.”
What do you think ? Is age just a number? Are these values something that all generations, regardless of name, value?