In this session of The Engineering Career Coach Podcast, Chris Knutson interviews John Tarnoff, a coach that works with baby boomer generation professionals in career transitions and career resiliency. Both skills that effective engineers wield and both skills that each of us must build to create a fulfilling engineering career.
“A chasm cannot be crossed in two leaps.” – John Tarnoff
John Tarnoff is a baby boomer career reinvention coach, speaker and author with multiple career reinventions of his own. Fired 39% of the time in his colorful career as an L.A.-based film producer, studio executive and tech entrepreneur, he currently co-runs a graduate management program for a top university. In 2012, he developed the Boomer Reinvention coaching curriculum to help his generation stay active, engaged, relevant – and solvent. He is the author of the forthcoming book: Boomer Reinvention: How to Create your Dream Career After 50.
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Chris and John share their advice on how you can reinvent yourself and what you can do right now to prepare for the future.
Listen to this session and learn some of the key points Tarnoff discussed in this episode:
- You are going to face a transition, planned or unplanned.
- Instead of following your bliss, follow your contribution. Find the area where your talent connects with making a contribution and making a difference.
- Think about the legacy that you want to leave.
- Following your bliss is great but it must be within reason, one in which you can provide value.
- When is a project worth pursuing? Make a decision based on the whole picture. Ask yourself: “Is this worth my time to go through all of the heartaches, challenges and at the end of the day, you can say to yourself, win lose or draw, was it worth it?”
For Gen X, Y, Millenials working with baby boomers:
- Leverage their experience. Baby boomers are untapped resource that is a question away.
- Be mindful of the language and cultural differences.
- Loosen up a little bit. Get over the initial hesitation in reaching out to baby boomers.
Benefits in bringing back baby boomers to workforce:
- Baby boomers are work-centric (lived to work).
- Baby boomers are very independent and self-reliant.
- Baby boomers are very goal-oriented.
- Baby boomers are pretty competitive.
Five Reinvention Steps:
- Reframing – questioning about everything that’s going on in your life (beliefs, attitudes, way you do things), openness to entertain other ideas
- Listening – in order to understand where you fit in, you need to receive constructive feedback on a regular basis (few people you consider mentors, close friends)
- Accepting – realize that you are the sum total of your choices, decisions, and actions. Accept those choices made and move on.
- Expressing – anchor in the vision of where you want to go, who you want to be, and what you want to do.
- Connecting – you are developing a network with people who are doing what you want to do, expressing yourself through this network, build links and opportunities through this network and turning them into a sustainable career.
Books mentioned in this session include:
Resources and links mentioned in this session include:
Sponsor for this session:
How ready are you for your retirement?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how you can reinvent yourself as an engineer and better prepare when the time for retirement comes.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success