Last Thursday, I was the speaker at a work-life discussion organized by the Northeastern University Women MBA Club. We had a good turnout with a reasonable amount of men in attendance. Clearly the Club has good marketing skills because they provided pizza as an incentive to come and join me!
We spoke about jobs, careers, family, relationships ending with a good discussion about how to make it all work. I felt that these young men and woman not only found the topic worthwhile, but that they left thinking a bit more about how important planning one's work-life could be.
One issue came up that I wanted to share.
I told the group that I thought they would have a tougher time doing better than their parents. Not fair to generalize, but I feel that our parents did better than our grandparents and my generation has done better than our parents. But our flatter, global world will make it harder for this demographic to do as well as their parents.
In addition, these men and women have had far more stress at earlier ages. Having a rich resume that included activities that showed leadership wasn't fun. And that was for getting into college, let alone getting a job!
My generation easily followed "the plan". High School to College didn't require the work and stress required today. College to a job was also not that hard.
All pretty much agreed with me, but then someone mentioned that her generation has been characterized as "having it all" which seems to be the opposite of the points I made.
My point of view is that this group did not suffer or want for much. And I bet many drove a nice car in High School, too. But at the same time, they are still in a tough, tough environment. One that really does require a mature view of work-life.
P.S. I hope that I haven't taken an American-centric view and look forward to getting global input.