800-Work and Personal Identity

Episode: 800

Episode Title: Work and Personal Identity


Does your work play a big role in your personal identity? Here’s how older and younger generations answer that question, next on The Perna Syndicate.


Ep 800 show:

It’s a great day on The Perna Syndicate—thanks for joining me! All week, we’ve been talking about four areas at work where Gen Z and older generations don’t see eye to eye. 


Number one, they don’t value empathy the same way. Number two, they have different perspectives on how work affects mental health. And number three, they don’t even want to be rewarded the same way. 


The fourth area is what we’re discussing today, and that is the importance of work to personal identity. The recent study by Deloitte Digital found that 86% of older bosses tend to define themselves by the work they do. This is only true for 61% of Gen Z workers. 


This highlights one of the key differences between older and younger generations, where older folks often live to work, while younger people work to live. In other words, work is less important to their sense of personal identity and self-worth than it is for those who come from older generations. 


This would make it hard for an older boss to understand why his or her younger workers don’t approach work the same way they do. And I can see younger workers being frustrated with bosses who might take their team’s level of personal investment for granted. 


It’s definitely a disconnect, and one that companies must address if they want to engage and retain a younger workforce. 


I appreciate you tuning into The Perna Syndicate this week! Next week we’re going to mine several more insights from this research, so don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already. See you then!

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