We were competing for the teachers' attention in grade school, a seat in college, entry-level job, and promotions. Our primary tool was creating a strong persona. Ego was our amigo. That was then.
As John F. Kennedy used as his signature phrase - the torch had been passed to a new generation. At the time, that was us.
That, obviously, is no longer us. President Obama piggybacked on that meme. Unlike Presidents Clinton and Bush, he was not a Baby Boomer.
Currently, superimposing ourselves on the work world can be counterproductive. Those with the most power are the youngest of Baby Boomers (like my much younger sister Anne Murga-Ring), members of Generation X, Millennials, and even a few Gen Zers.
To remain marketable and even promotable in the new economy, we Baby Boomers have to learn to position and package ourselves as support personnel for the emerging power structure. Sure, there are those of us and even of members of the Silent Generation who can still strut our stuff. They range from media tycoon Rupert Murdoch to actress Helen Mirren.
For the rest of us, it's imperative to give up the need to suck up all the oxygen in the room. Yes, we can nurture our professional branding. Yes, we can present ourselves as experts. Yes, we can share our accomplishments in order to get a job offer or an new client.
But we have to allow the space to be overtaken by the next generations. We defer. We lower our profile. We listen more. Speak less. Suggest ways we can help rather than run the whole show.
Unless we do that, we are sending the wrong signals. The message we need to communicate is: We are here to assist you.
Takeaway: In persona, less is more.