This is part two of a five-part article:
Many law firms still have a number of “Traditionals” showing up at the office every day. These are lawyers age 68 and older.
Transformative events that took place during the formative years of traditionals include Prohibition, the crash of the stock market and the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, the New Deal and two world wars. In short, they grew up surrounded by a lot of jeopardy.
“To survive and succeed, Traditionals had to be frugal, self-sacrificing and hardworking,” said Turner. “They learned to be reliable and reserved, to dress conservatively and to follow the rules. When jobs are scarce, you do not want to rock the boat. They got their news from newspapers and the radio.”
In the workplace, Traditionals were loyal to their firms. “They expected to rise through the partnership track to hold one job for their entire lives,” said Turner. “They worked from nine-to-five and respected the formal hierarchy. They always wore suits to work. Family life was separate from work life.”
In today’s workplace, Traditionals feel that they deserve to be respected for their experience, and listened to. They are used to a slower style of communication. Other generations should not rush them.
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