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Weekly Reader 11.28.11

Too Many Choices?

Perhaps one reason so many young adults—and their parents—get fixated on finding the “perfect” job is that seemingly there are so many possibilities. To settle for anything less than the dream seems like failure.

That “paradox of choice” was discussed on an NPR program by Barry Schwartz, a psychologist at Swarthmore College, who has studied the topic. He said:

“When we live in a world of essentially limitless options our expectations about how good the option we end up with go through the ceiling. So you get something that’s great, but it’s not perfect, so you feel like you’ve failed.”

Of course the recession has tempered those expectations, many instilled by parents urging children to seek their passion. Schwartz’s advice to his students: be happy with good enough.

“If they can go through their lives looking for and appreciating what’s good in their friendships, in their romantic relationships and in their work — even if their work is more modest than it would have been 10 years ago — they can live an incredibly satisfying life that way. “

Warring Generations

Apparently  generations clash in the workplace as well as on the home front, according to a survey of HR professionals.

Almost half of younger workers complain that Baby Boomer managers are resistant to change and micromanage them. About a third of the Baby Boomers countered about the millennial workers informality, need for supervision, and lack of respect for authority.

Technology, not surprisingly, was a hot issue, with a third of the younger set complaining that the older folks had an “aversion to technology.” (You want me to tweet?) And those same older folks apparently just don’t understand the need of the under-30 workers to stay constantly connected.

As a 23-year old Chicago resident told the Fiscal Times:

“I’ve had issue where older managers do not like when younger people have cell phones on their desks because they don’t understand the sense of urgency younger people have with staying connected.”

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