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Handling Age Difference in the Workplace for a Positive Experience
People are entering the workforce younger and getting out of it later in life, according to business experts. This fact means one thing: that the age gap in some offices is getting larger, and it could be getting more difficult to manage. Age differences in the workplace don?t have to be a cause for arguments and conflict, however. Having people of different ages working together can actually be a positive experience for everyone involved, both professionally and personally. How the age difference question plays out in your office all comes down to how you handle it.
Age differences have always been an issue in the workplace. A generational gap between the old guard and the up and comers has always been unavoidable, but people knew how to manage it in a world where people got one job when they were started out in the working world and stayed with that company throughout their careers. However, those days are gone for good. People tend to bounce from job to job, out of choice or out of necessity, and so that means many workers have to adjust to age differences in the office place while adjusting to new jobs, period.
Even this sense of bouncing around to different jobs can inflame the age difference issue. Older people may not relate to the younger generation?s ways of moving from job to job and drive to find a career that not only makes them money but that they also love. This culture class can cause misunderstandings and tension in the workplace.
What is happening more often with the changing work market is that many younger people are finding themselves in the position of managing older people. Because younger people tend to change jobs more, and because they grew up in the computer generation, they often have more qualifications than older workers. This can cause tension on both sides. Older workers can feel under appreciated and passed over for a job that should have been theirs because of seniority, and younger bosses may feel funny about telling older employees what to do, and correcting them when they make a mistake, because they are supposed to respect their elders. Is there any way to avoid these conflicts at work so that age doesn?t become an issue?
The first way to make sure age isn?t an issue is to simply decide that it isn?t one. If you have younger boss, keep in mind that they were hired for a reason, and be open to the things you can learn from them. If you are in charge of managing an older team, don?t go easy on them because of their age. They won?t respect you for it, and you will only be emphasizing the difference between you. Instead, treat them as you would any other employee, while making personal allowances for some resistance to chance on their part. A certain amount of ?in my day? kind of talk is inevitable. Accept it and take it on board ? you might even learn something ? but have confidence in enforcing the decisions you make at the same time.
The other best way to manage age differences in the office place is to always keep the lines of communication open. If you are a younger manager in charge of an older team, make an active effort to solicit their opinions and to be available to them when a problem arises for them. If you are an older person in the office wondering about how to relate to the younger workers, ask questions. A glimpse into their world may do wonders for your ability to understand and relate to them. Not only will you become more effective co-worker, you might even end up being friends.
The Job Interview ? How to Handle Getting Around a Negatively Asked Question Many dread that day that they have to go for an interview. Looking professionally dressed, acting professional and displaying the knowledge is all important. Employers and interviewers test you for anything and everything that you can think about--from your likes and dislikes to the actual experiences with this type of work to the facts. Most of these questions you can dodge and answer safely and securely. But how about those negatively asked questions, how could you professionally dodge those questions? Often times a reaction to a negative question is what can make or break the deal. Sometimes employers ask these questions on purpose to see what your reaction might be and to be able to determine first of all your character and second of all, if the negative event in your life is related to a good or bad character. So how can you master these questions and possibly pass the tests? One of the most important factors when getting prepared to dodge difficult questions is to be secure and knowledgeable about any points on your résumé and in your life. If you have a good answer prepared for difficult situations that happened in your life, it will be an ease for you to get around negatively asked questions. Whenever an interviewer asks you a negative question, make sure you stay calm and do not answer hastily. Sometimes it is enough to give a very short answer and it does not necessarily need a complete explanation that might get you stuck. The longer the answer you try to make up, the easier you might stumble over something and then fall hard. When trying to get around a negatively asked question, besides that fact that you need to stay calm and give a short answer, try to get to a different topic. Strike up a conversation about your more positive skills and accomplishments and therefore get around that question that might have bothered you otherwise. In some instances, depending on the content of the question, it might even be best to answer truthfully. What if you were asked about staying home for no obvious reason? At least according to your résumé there is no job, no new degree or similar mentioned. Maybe it was for a sick relative or the birth of a baby? Why not use the truth in these cases as an answer. When answering difficult questions you might have to decide often on the spot how to answer. In any case, it will almost never help you to make up a lie for a negatively asked question. A lie can get you into a situation you cannot get out of, but the truth can never get you in a worth situation than you are in by answering the questions truthfully. If you do not want to answer truthfully because you think it can hurt your image, sometimes it then is better not to answer the questions. Try to divert the attention successfully to another more positive topic such as your achievements, earlier project or similar other experiences that led to a positive result. Keep in mind that the interviewer is testing to see if you are a good fit for the company and they do not exactly know you. They know a few facts about you, but the do not know the whole picture and especially not about the more negative things they might want to find moiré information about. So when going for a an interview and trying to get around a negatively question, make sure to be honest or to not get into details if you do not want to discuss the issue, but mainly make sure that you stay calm, do not get excited about it. A calm confident person can easily answer any and all questions that might be posed to him or her.
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