The toxic performance of my generation
Updated: Jul 22
Each generation faces its own challenges; the baby boomers, for example, enjoyed prosperous years after World War II, but the funding of their retirement today is being questioned.
The millennials born between 1980 and 2000 are, however, a particularly intriguing generation. In 2008, when they were entering the job market, they faced a global economic crisis that has disrupted the housing market and the unemployment rate peaked at 10% in October 2009.
A degree is then no longer enough to ensure financial security, technology is gaining ground, recruitment is international and they are therefore growing up with the idea that there will not be enough for everyone.
To succeed, you have to be highly performant, cultivate your ability to innovate, and you can no longer afford to fail.
When being high performers, they tend to have a can-do attitude and consider success as their responsibility. They are generally ambitious, goal-focused, self-disciplined individuals who "make things happen".
Many are perfectionists and do not see themselves as excelling and will always find a way to get better at what they do even though that means increasing their workload.
We normalize stress at work, juggle two phones and three screens, compare ourselves to those who seem to have succeeded according to their pictures on instagram and run to the yoga studio to try and calm it all down (yes because we also have to save the planet, exercise, eat healthy and know how to play the piano).
In the face of this permanent internal and external pressure, the number of burn-outs explodes. We no longer see the meaning behind what we do and the absurdity of the world around us is suffocating.
The current global pandemic has in the end become « a lucky escape" for some, who have opened the way to self reflection, while it has only accentuated evils that were already far too present for others.
Instead of believing that we must always give more, we must in fact understand that we need less. Returning to more simplicity, humanity, transparency and kindness in our companies and in our lives. Bringing purpose back at the heart of what we do and above all act according to who we really are.
Managers and leaders must now become facilitators of self-realisation, value failure and each of us must learn to listen to ourselves in order to act in integrity with who we are. Listening to ourselves is not just about using logic, it is about learning to work with our emotions, our intuitions to follow a life path that nourishes us and not consumes us. If we listened to each of the little signs of the soul, it would not have to shout so loudly for us to hear it.
So ask yourself, am I being true to myself? What is my definition of success? What am I afraid of?