Whether a conversation is political or about work, it seems generational differences take the forefront – even when it comes to career advice. The three main groups are baby boomers (1946-64), Generation Xers (1965-1980), and millennials (1981-1999). In the office, we still have some traditionalists (born before 1945) commingling with Generation Z or Generation 2020 (born in 2000 or later), entering as interns or working through college.

Generational arguments or complaints are old, tiresome and divisive – especially at the office. Of course times are changing and adjustments need to be made. That doesn’t make one generation better equipped to achieve career success. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, these are some sound bites you may hear:

  • “Baby boomers are wrong to spend long periods of time in one company. They’re just used to getting a comfortable and cushy job.”
  • “Millennials know what they really want out of life and long commutes and long office hours aren’t it. They know how to achieve what they want with less time.”
  • “Millennials aren’t willing to learn from older generations and expect to have things handed to them.”
  • “Millennials are used to getting a trophy for just participating.”
  • “Baby boomers don’t keep up with the changing times and then complain about ageism.”

It turns out that this war of words has existed for millennia. Socrates (469-399 BC) once said, “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners and contempt for authority. They show disrespect for adults.” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about millennials.

If you really want to have career success, you have to stop comparing your generation with the last one or the next one. It’s less about what characterizes your age bracket and more about personal responsibility. Here are three easy tips for career success at any age:

Schedule regular career assessments.

One of the benefits of education is that things like semesters or graduation dates help set structure for evaluating the path forward. Post-graduate life can feel overwhelming, with the long prospect of working with no end in sight. Make the time to assess your skills and experience and set goals for where you want to be in the upcoming years. Don’t just time these assessments around your annual review, when your goals may be more focused on a promotion or pay raise. Think long-term, beyond your current role or employer.

Get a coach or a mentor.

It’s not that you can’t plan out your career on your own, it’s whether you should. Paying for professional coaching is one option. If that doesn’t sound reasonable for your budget, there are a lot of great informal coaching or mentoring options out there that can give you space to verbally process your career and provide input. Don’t wait until you’re desperate to make a career change. It’s best to have someone give you guidance over the years that can help you make the little adjustments. And if you find yourself in a position that requires a major career course correction, don’t be afraid to pull someone into the mix to help guide you.

Commit to being a learn it all and not a know it all.

Being a know it all in your office will not garner trust or mentoring relationships. It leads to a competitive environment. No matter what year you were born, there will always be something to learn. The great thing about the current environment is that formal and informal education opportunities are all around you. So, tap into the knowledge bank at your office, online, or at an institution.

Worry less about whether you are perceived as young or old. Instead of sounding like the tiresome memes and sound bites between millennials and baby boomers, think more about what career attributes have actually made people successful over time or what specifically applies to your current field.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.