The decision you make at the end of your university/college studies will ultimately decide your entire future.

Let’s go even earlier, the end of high school?  The end of earlier schooling?

When written like this to me, it does sounds pretty silly.  But why do I think this?  I suppose all along it’s always been about delaying what ‘you’ll be when you grow up’.  Choosing my subjects in high school, choosing my subjects at uni, choosing my internship, choosing my rotations within my graduate program.  All along it seems as though I’ve been putting it off.

Is it a generational thing?  Talking to a lot of my friends and colleagues who are about my age, they think the same things.  We don’t know what we want.  But we do know that we want it soon.  And we definately know what we don’t want.

I lot of information I read says follow you passion, do what you like, make your dreams.  I think this is a load of rubbish…if…you don’t know what these actually are.  There is only so far a list can take you.

I suppose all this is to do with an inability to make some long term plans.  This scares me and my generation.  We are the adaptable, changing and fluctuating generation.  Long term doesn’t figure into the equation.  I don’t know if this is a bad thing or not.

So I might have a go at drawing up some medium term goals.  Perhaps this is my short term fix to a long term problem.

Young professionals generally aren’t the boss.  We’re at the start of our career and have to follow the instructions of those in charge.  I’m involved in a graduate program which has a couple of rotations over two years.  Over this time, I’ve had the opportunity to experience several different management styles.

  1. The Phantom Manager – They are there, but not there.  These managers are it in name only.  They don’t control you, don’t guide you and generally don’t make their presence felt.  Approach – Continually and actively seek feedback.
  2. Outcomes Manager – “Get it done.”  I’ve had managers who seem to not worry about how you get it done, as long as it is.  This can be dangerous.  Don’t break rules that may get you in trouble.  Approach – Explain and justify why you don’t feel comfortable doing it.
  3. Manager Manager – This manager loves to manage.  Got an issue?  Meeting.  New week?  Meeting.  Meeting?  Meeting.  Approach – Refuse meetings without a purpose.  Focus on short term outcomes.
  4. Worker Manager – Are they your boss?  Sometimes it can be hard to tell with these managers.  They do your work, don’t delegate and generally fail to manage. Approach – Seek guidance from them to encourage management of you.

There are numerous posts, research, textbooks and university courses about the different types of management styles.  Over the next few weeks I’ll talk about the different approaches and my experiences of them in the work place.