Young and Old, Learning from Each Other.

May 9, 2022

Young and Old, Learning from Each Other.

May 29, 2023

Not all young adults were meant to be software developers. Some are better suited to be soft skills developers.

Fifteen percent of our MEA students are Millennials, sort of a surprise for an organization called the Modern Elder Academy. Still, they’re often attracted to the idea of a midlife wisdom school that helps them cultivate and harvest their wisdom. Many of them are coaches or therapists who see MEA as an excellent place for professional development to prepare them to work with older clients.

Joe Coughlin, who runs MIT’s AgeLab, recently highlighted another robust career path for young people: the skills trades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here’s the percentage of workers over 40 in key trades.

65% of heavy equipment operators
56% of electricians
52% of electricity line workers, welders, and plumbers
51% of civil engineers
49% of structural and ironworkers

These building trades have always had a learning and development ethos based upon apprenticeship, where the young and raw learn from the older and seasoned. In my own experience at Airbnb, I had the opposite learning path: I learned digital intelligence (DQ) from those younger than me. After all, we all have something to learn from each other.

How might we create more intergenerational collaboration in the workplace?

That’s one of many questions we’ll consider at MEA’s “Intergenerational Wisdom” workshop on June 5-12. Want to bring your son or daughter or maybe one of your parents? My co-founder Jeff and I would love to see you along with our Millennial co-hosts, Nim and Charlotte, who are flying in from Australia and Brooklyn.

P.S. There’s still time to sign up for tomorrow’s free online conversation (1-2 pm PT) on “Living and Working on Purpose” with me, Richard Leider and Dr. Imani Woody.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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