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Career Advancement: Calm down!

Climbing quickly up the ladder of an organization is the dream of every worker with a minimum of ambition. But rushing through the steps can lead to burnout, experts warn.

Would Generation Y workers be more eager to advance in their careers than their elders? At least that’s what Louise Martel, a partner at Raymond Chabot Human Resources, says. “Today, they tend to want it all right away, but experience can’t be bought. »

Yet patience is useful both for growing within an organization and for developing oneself, she adds. Learning to surround yourself well, to set priorities, to gain self-confidence or to step back and analyze a situation properly is necessary to properly assume responsibilities. This process takes time.

Often, young workers are very perfectionist at the beginning of their careers,” notes Louise Martel, “and will not hesitate to work harder. “But it’s important to learn how to delegate tasks in a healthy way. »

Beware of overwork

Moving too quickly at the beginning of a career can be costly, as stress and fatigue can be a constant threat to the young professional. If you climb too fast, it can be difficult to keep up with the pace and find yourself in a position that is beyond your abilities,” says Martel. Burnout occurs when a person’s ability is not there. »

A professor at the School of Industrial Relations at the Université de Montréal, Pierre Durand studied the causes of psychological distress in the workplace as part of the SALVEO study on mental health in the workplace. For him, it is clear that young workers eager to succeed quickly are vulnerable to burnout.

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They want to have the same lifestyle and home as their parents, but much more quickly than their elders,” he notes. As a result, they put more pressure on themselves to perform at work. »

Research by Pierre Durand and his team has shown that burn-out affects more ambitious and high-performing employees. A vicious circle tends to set in: the more productive and reliable they are, the more tasks are assigned to them.

According to this specialist, gaining in maturity makes it less easy to fall into this trap. “As you get older, you realize that getting promoted is not necessarily linked to performance. You tend to put things into perspective and take a step back. »

Growing differently

There’s a happy medium between racing and a fast-paced career. For example, Louise Martel advises ambitious young people to focus on their own personal development, even if it means doing so outside the company. Getting involved on the board of directors of a foundation is an excellent way to enrich one’s skills, she says.

Another way to progress without burning your wings is to rub shoulders with a variety of experiences, organizational cultures and work environments without necessarily following a completely vertical career path. The goal is to mature by opening up to different realities. “We evolve more quickly when we question ourselves,” she concludes.

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