Your answer to this provocative question may very well depend on whether you are a member of the Baby Boomer generation, the X generation or if you are a Millennial. Of course, each group has its individuals who go either way or somewhere along the continuum. But understanding whether you tend toward “working to live” or “living to work” can immediately provide insight for you personally, and to your behavior in the workplace.
Millennials (Born mid 1980s-late 1990s): Millennials have distinctly different behaviors, values and attitudes from previous generations as a response to the technological and economic implications of the Internet. Being wealthy is increasingly important to them while interest in political affairs declines. Developing a meaningful philosophy of life also is declining. Some employers are concerned that Millennials have too great expectations from the workplace. They will switch jobs frequently, holding many more jobs than Generation Xers due to their great expectations.
These descriptions, of course, do not do justice to ourselves or of those we know from these groups…but, these descriptions do give us insight into the degree to which people may put their heart and soul into their work.
I would argue that the work of advancement does require more heart and soul than many other professions. After all, we are appealing to the heart and in some cases the soul of our donors to support our organizational missions. And to be an authentic advocate for our missions, reciprocity is required… giving of ourselves to get a bit back from others.
1. Ask yourself, Do You Work to Live or Live to Work, and what does that mean to the effectiveness of your work.
2. Is working cross-generationally with donors successful for you and for your shop?
3. Are your front line advancement officers able to give a bit of themselves during their donor interactions?