The past

Many of us should update our perception of the word “Ambition”.

Unfortunately, my generation has been indoctrinated by a misconception of this word.

You were only considered ambitious if you followed the glamorous path of prestigious business schools, worked for a prestigious company, bought a house before you are 30, work late, have 2 phones and travel on business class.

What about being a florist? Fireman? Or Photographer?

Those are “jobs”, not ambitions, … such ambitions are sadly often relegated to ‘hobbies’.

Uncertain future 

I am surprised, positively, to see how new generations are (re)defining their vision of Ambition.

I have witnessed more people resigning in more controversial circumstances and my reaction was, “What?! You resigned but you don’t have another offer to fall back on! Are you crazy? You need the money!”

This is actually an old-fashioned reaction.

Ambition today is no longer about having a job, a career and earning a lot of money. 

People are dreaming today more of overall happiness, a balance where money is no longer the pure driver of success.

The reason could be put down to a number of factors based on the type of world we are living in today where we are made constantly aware of the frailty of life (wars, economic crisis, natural disasters…)

As a result, based on all those things that no one can control, your vision of Ambition becomes less long-term. How can we ask people to think about ambition if the future itself is uncertain?

Small name, big the culture. 

And here is the new challenge for employers.

Companies are complaining about the lack of loyalty and commitment to the new generations.

But they need to understand and adapt to new rules.

Nowadays, people don’t define themselves by what they do, but by who they are.

Salary, position, and power are no longer the holy grail. Instead, give employees a pleasant environment, perspective to learn, and give their daily work routines meaningful.

We see evidence of more and more, great talent today leaving big groups to join small companies, with a strong culture irrespective of pay.

There is no prestige in working for a huge MNC if it doesn’t match your vision of the life you want to achieve or provide the meaning you are looking for.  Anyone can quit at any moment without any regret, and here is the new big deal: it’s not about finding people, it’s all about retaining the best talent.

And just remember: ambition2.0 is composed of the smaller things.