On Friday, November 10, Young RMSC and YoungShip Rotterdam had the pleasure of closing the final day of the Greenstage of the Europort Exhibition (Rotterdam Ahoy). The line-up of speakers allowed for extensive discussions about ‘the current generation gap’ in het maritime industry. Leading to sharp questions from the audience and the conclusion that open communication plays a key role in contemporary collaboration.
The scene was set by guest speakers Audrey Rost (Sr. Innovation Manager & Psychologist at STC-Group), Hanna Roukema (Commercial Manager at ROG & Chairperson Young NMT), Martijn Schouten (CEO at Vroon), and Diantha Spekman (Partner at Buro Rietveld & Rietveld Inc.). The combination of expert views first-hand experience proved valuable for the debate. Our very own Marc Buijs (Young RMSC) moderated the event.
Take-aways for young professionals
In addition, it was determined that the younger generation should listen to the more experienced generation. They should absorb from those who have been through many ‘crises’ and decision-making moments and can better assess a situation based on their past experiences.
Next to this, the younger generation needs to be honest about their life and career perspectives – the maritime industry is a demanding one (ships need to sail, cargoes need to be delivered, natural resources need to be explored. This calls for an attitude that goes beyond a regular 9 to 17 work schedule. Meaning that sometimes it will be necessary to answer an e-mail or making a call outside of office hours.
So,if you are ambitious about your career goals or passionate about your work, go for it, according to the panellists! However, remember, finding a work-life balance is a must, a challenging task that may need some time to be found.
Learnings for current leadership
On the other hand, the more experienced generation needs to carefully give the floor to the younger generation when it comes to being flexible or adopting new technologies (to name the main topics). Society is under a constant cycle of changes and innovation. Those who are unable listen to the ideas of upcoming talents and adapt themselves will be left behind by their competitors. And eventually might even lose up-and-coming talents.
So what should current leadership do? It is all about finding the ‘balance’. An obvious question without a clear-cut answer, but some actions should be taken into consideration: be more reasonable when flagging something as urgent; understand that people have different expectations and ambitions; give more autonomy to young professionals so they can steadily increase their responsibility and build up mutual trust, and allow employees to also work from home and have more flexible hours.
Thanks to the organization and attendees, Young RMSC looks back on a very successful and enthusiastic session with a lot of active input and involvement.