Podcast# 154 – Marc Miller interviews John Tarnoff on his LinkedIn Learning course.
As a career coach, author, and speaker, John supports individuals and teams in making more effective career choices and more sustainable career plans. John works across generations, from graduate students looking to land their first jobs to GenX and Boomer workers over fifty looking to redefine and sustain their careers beyond traditional retirement. Starting with the notion that our ideal career is already inside us, John advocates a more personal-growth approach to career development, vs the traditional HR skills-based paradigm.
John has a new LinkedIn Learning course, Connecting with Your Millennial Manager. Marc and John discuss the inevitability of your working for a Millennial as you age in the workplace and how you can make it a positive growth experience.
[1:38] Marc welcomes you to Episode 154 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[1:51] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your neighbors and colleagues. The more people Marc reaches, the more people he can help.
[2:10] Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life Third Edition is available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Powells.com, BooksaMillion.com and many other fine online retailers. The book has 30 reviews on Amazon platforms. Marc thanks everyone who has taken the time to review it.
Now on to the podcast…
[2:36] After three years of doing the Repurpose Your Career podcast it is time for a change. Marc talks about the financial concerns around the podcast and Marc’s Career Pivot business. Marc’s business now focuses on the Career Pivot online membership community and helping the most people – at a lower cost to the people he helps.
[3:15] 2018 was the year the Millers became expats living in Ajijic, Mexico, which greatly reduced their living expenses and helped finance the restructuring of the business. Career Pivot needed to be financially viable.
[3:33] In 2019 the Career Pivot website was attacked. For the first time, the website traffic for the year declined from the previous year, though very slightly.
[3:47] Marc recently posted about “A Redesigned and Refocused Career Pivot After Attack.” He discussed the website and why he recently changed it.
[3:58] Because the business no longer supports the costs of production, Marc is making changes starting with the next episode. Marc will eliminate the time-stamped podcast show notes with a detailed write-up of the show. About half of Marc’s listeners read the show notes. Marc will provide dramatically reduced notes.
[4:30] Marc acknowledges the production work of Podfly Productions, as he transitions the Repurpose Your Career podcast to in-house production. Marc recommends using the Podfly.net team if you want to start your own podcast!
[4:54] Marc will move to scheduling an episode every other week instead of the weekly schedule he has kept for three years. If Marc gets ahead on episodes over the next few months, he may revert to a weekly schedule.
[5:07] Marc will not publish an episode the week of the U.S. Thanksgiving and will produce two episodes in December. On January 6th, 2020 Marc will start the regular biweekly schedule.
[5:34] Next week’s episode will be an interview with Teresa Ferguson, Executive Director of AustinUP – a community alliance committed to making Central Texas a place where older adults live full and engaged lives. Teresa has a unique view of the fifty-plus employment world.
[5:57] This week, Marc interviews returning guest, John Tarnoff. John just published a LinkedIn Learning Online course, Connecting With Your Millennial Manager. Marc thinks it is incredibly well-done. We may all work at some time for a Millennial Manager. Marc hopes you enjoy this episode.
[6:24] Marc welcomes John Tarnoff to the Repurpose Your Career podcast and introduces John to the listening audience.
[6:33] John has a new course on LinkedIn Learning, called Connecting with Your Millennial Manager. Marc comments on how well-done this course is. It is divided into short modules with a quiz after each one. If you miss a question it tells you how to find the right answer.
[7:13] John gives credit to LinkedIn for ushering him through the process of designing an instructional course.
[7:28] LinkedIn approached John a year ago about setting up a course on age-related issues. Managing Someone Older Than You came out in February 2019. John asked them about the “companion piece” of an older worker needing to relate to a younger, probably Millennial boss, and they agreed. That course came out in October 2019.
[9:13] The first module is “Everyone’s Getting Younger.” John explains that means in the workplace. If we have children, they are probably Millennials. Boomers often perceive Millennials as entitled slackers. They change jobs often. However, this is also related to the economy being very different than the economy in which Boomers started working.
[12:02] Statisticians are finding that by the time a Millennial is promoted to a managerial position, it’s because they are very committed, on top of their job and their responsibilities, and are likely a top contender to work for.
[12:28] Millennials are working in a very different economic climate, with colossal student debt and depressed wages. Home ownership is harder for them to achieve than it was for Boomers. They don’t see getting to the American Dream.
[13:29] In Marc’s Multi-Generational Workplace workshop, he talks about the Millennials being the echoes of the Boomers.
[14:30] Marc gave a talk on ageism last year. Afterward, a Boomer walked up to him and said he had volunteered for the Beto O’Rourke for Senate Campaign. He said, “Boy, did my attitude change about the Millennials!”
[15:09] John’s course covers common-sense business relationship-building practice. Look at working for a Millennial as an opportunity to be of service. Be ready to mentor; support the work that they do. You will have a lot more fun in your job, find your ‘fit,’ and inspire a closer working relationship with this younger person.
[16:32] The course section, “Working for a Millennial Boss,” discusses being of service. One of the keys to mentoring is that it’s not teaching. It’s listening openly and offering suggestions for how that person can figure out how to do it for themselves in their own way.
[17:13] As a mentor, you don’t want to tell someone how you did it; you want to listen to what they are going through and have them list the specific problems and tactically offer up possibilities for them to consider. Give them alternatives, perspective, and context. Let them come to the conclusion.
[17:54] When you first come to your Millennial boss, be a really good listener. John quotes Steven Covey: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Be humble. The world is really different. Younger people have an understanding of how the pace of change is affecting business and technology is affecting management communication.
[19:03] Stuff still gets done but now we talk of lean process, agile management, and design thinking. These are new trends in the past decade. A diligent Millennial Manager is going to be working overtime to understand how these processes can benefit their team. There’s a lot we have to learn to be part of that team. We also have a lot to offer.
[19:57] Marc takes a break from the interview with John to talk about the Career Pivot Membership Community, which continues to help the approximately 50 members who are participating in the beta phase of this project to grow and thrive.
[20:10] Marc reads a member testimonial from community member Scott: “There are multiple online Mastermind groups each week as well as experts speaking to the group on a regular basis. Better yet, the content is recorded in case you have other plans that day. If you are debating LinkedIn Premium or Career Pivot, go with Career Pivot.
[20:33] “You get tons of access to Marc and the wisdom of the tribe. You’ll be glad you joined.” Marc hopes you liked what Scott had to say. Marc would like to highlight that the key piece is the wisdom of the tribe.
[20:48] This is a paid membership community where Marc offers group coaching, special content, mastermind groups, branding sessions, Slack channels, and more importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Please go to CareerPivot.com/Community to sign up to learn more.
[21:13] What makes us in the second half of life an asset to today’s workforce? John says it’s the wisdom and experience. We come up with methods that just work, based on what we already have done. Our neural pathways have become well-worn in this area and we come up with answers quickly. It’s not just experience but also context.
[23:14] Don’t tell people how to do it, or what worked “in my day.” Never say, “in my day”! Always be in the present. Don’t invoke your experience. Talk about your suggestion on its merits. Justify your solution based on present conditions.
[24:04] Marc shares an anecdote from his days at IBM in the 1990s, when he was training technical support people. They found that when you solve a problem in a specific domain, the next time you see a similar problem in a similar domain, you will solve it sooner.
[24:32] Marc gave the technical support people opportunities to work with technology when the product was still immature, so they would encounter more problems quicker. Marc has things he learned in college as an engineer apply today when he fixes his car.
[25:05] John warns to be careful about invoking past solutions just because they worked once in a different domain. The solution can be offered as an approach if it will work today. If it works, and your manager asks where the idea came from you can then admit that you’ve been doing it that way for years. Millennials are suspicious of the past.
[26:14] The past is not relevant. Think about the solution in terms of what’s going to work today. Don’t use past success as your authority for a current application.
[26:43] John wants the course to give people confidence about reporting to a younger person. Almost 60% of people over 55 are reporting to someone younger. As Millennials age into these positions of responsibility, someone two generations below you will manage you.
[27:37] John also says we need to spread the word that reporting to someone younger can be very enriching and liberating. If you develop a good working relationship with someone who is 30 years younger think of how that will enrich your perspective and cultural influences. We stay young by the diversity of connections we make.
[28:39] The more we spend time with people of varied backgrounds and ages, the more our lives are enriched and the more we discover inside ourselves we never knew was there, or that we had lost. It enriches our lives. Put aside the nostalgia and embrace new experiences. Continue contributing to work, life, and culture.
[30:25] Boomers and Millennials are very compatible. They have the same activist tendencies for meaning, purpose, and social justice. There is a lot to be gained by forming close relationships with Millennials, especially in the context of work.
[30:59] From developing these courses, John learned that his initial hypothesis was correct that the more time Boomers and Millennials spend together, the more they get from each other. All the research points in that direction.
[31:43] John cites a study by Dr. Karl Pillemer at Cornell that says the more generations spend time together, the more age bias withers away. Familiarity breeds harmony, cooperation, and understanding. We just need to spend more time hanging out with, working with, people of different generations. That is the future.
[32:27] Marc talks about the multi-generational families where he lives in Mexico. Marc notes that in all the ‘Blue Zones’ where there are more centenarians, a common trait is that there are multi-generational families.
[32:53] Multi-generational family living keeps your brain growing because you are constantly learning and experiencing life with people that are not ‘like you.’
[33:23] You can take John’s course on LinkedIn Learning (originally, Lynda.com). Find him at JohnTarnoff.com. Find John on LinkedIn, or Facebook. A Google search brings up some of his links on the first page.
[34:25] Marc thanks John for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[34:37] Marc hopes you enjoyed that episode. Marc was impressed with this thought-provoking interview.
[34:50] The career Pivot Membership Community continues to help the approximately 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project to grow and thrive. This is a community where everyone is there to help everyone else. Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort.
[35:05] If you are interested in the Career Pivot Membership Community and would like to be put on a waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community.
[35:20] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you listen to this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.
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