by Joanie Connell, Ph.D.
A problem is emerging in the workplace where younger employees are struggling to succeed. It’s surprising because we think of this generation as being the most over-prepared generation of workers yet. It turns out that while they are academically prepared, many of them lack the life skills needed to get along in the real world of work. For example, they lack resilience, independence, and creativity. Most notably, they have unrealistic expectations and aren’t able to cope with criticism and rejection. There is a buzz about this in the workplace and in the media.
In addition to frustration in the workplace, parents of this generation are in a complete frenzy about how to prepare their children for career success, culminating in the hyper competitive college application process. Parents are following advice on how to sculpt their children into the perfect applicants before their children are even born. The problem is that the mold the parents are working from does not generate young adults who are able to succeed at work—with or without the coveted college degree. This problem is growing, not declining, with today’s hyper competitive, helicopter and lawnmower parenting trends. As people are increasingly seeing the downsides of these parenting approaches, as with increasing teen suicide and unemployed 20-somethings moving back home, they need an alternative approach. This book fills that need.
The book is unique because it is written from the perspective of the workplace. It takes the reader through what qualities are needed to thrive at work and what parents and teachers are failing to impart to children in today’s society. This book examines how raising children in protected, structured environments, where self-esteem and academic performance are the primary values, creates adults who lack the qualities needed to get along in the real world. The book offers solutions to parents, youth, and managers to help prepare incoming employees for the unforgiving world of work.
Several books have been written for parents on how to build more resilient children. This book offers a new perspective: from the workplace. The book gives case examples of real managers, real workers, and real parents and children. The consequences are evident in the case examples and are backed up with data from studies that have been conducted around the world. The book is also written in a state-of-the-art format, with reflection and action exercises sprinkled throughout the text and included in bulk in the appendix.