Management Skills: Different Generations

Podcast Transcript

Staying Relevant: How to manage 4 different generations in one workplace featuring Livity’s CEO, Alex Goat

What's the difference between knowing the youth culture zeitgeist vs knowing young people? How do you lead a multigenerational team?

In this episode of The Atelier, we speak to the CEO of LIVITY, Alex Goat about how to stay relevant in the workplace.

Alex Goat Headshot

Read on for the transcript here:-

RSB: Welcome to The Atelier, where we workshop your work life brought to you by Talent Atelier, the executive search business, where we essentially act as a dating agency between businesses and people.

I'm Rachel founder and mother of both the business and my two kids

JG: And I'm Jo, Managing Partner of Talent Atelier.

RSB: We focus each episode on a topic we're asked about frequently, pepper things with anecdotal experiences we've had over the years and root around for letters in our mail bag.

JG: Think of this as career therapy and this episode is all about staying relevant and not feeling like an old fart in the workplace.

Thank god, we've got a special guest in welcoming Alex Goat who is the CEO of Livity award winning youth specialist agency working with brands like Bumble Nike and Foot Locker.

RSB: Alex, welcome to The Atelier.

AG: Thanks very much for having me.

RSB: Really nice to have you here.

AG: Thank you so much.

RSB: Can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you're doing here?

AG: Yeah, sure. As Jo said, I'm Alex, the CEO of Livity and yes, we are a youth specialist creative agency. It's really interesting, the kind of the subject matter of this today… I've been at Livity for 11 years now, which is a really long time to be in a youth business. So that's my day job. I'm also the Non Exec Director of a sustainability consultancy, which is kind of one of my passions, a proud member of WACL, Mother of a Gen A now, which is interesting. Yeah, she's a Scorpio, South London, vegetarian. That's probably the most important key points about me.

RSB: Ok, great. Love that.

JG: I've got a question and we've also done a LinkedIn poll which Rachel will get. What age are you in your head?

AG: 27. I think that's, yeah, young enough… old enough to have, feel like you've got somewhere young enough not to really care too much about…

JG: What people think of you?

AG: What people think of you, yeah. 23 also was a pretty good year, but 27, we'll go with that.

RSB: Yeah, I'm 27 as well I think. 27 was when I was like, OK, I feel like I'm on the right trajectory and I stopped rolling around on the floor of… actually did? I don't know, actually, I think I was in my, I think I was 31 maybe before I finished rolling around but 27 I still feel like we, we always talk about…

AG: But I had the money to get a taxi back afterwards and I think that was the difference, when you have the money to get a cab after a night out rather than a night bus or wait for the tube to start. That would be 27.

JG: Yeah, I say 28 but you literally couldn't pay me to be in my twenties again.

AG: No, also I don't know, I'm fairly witchy about stuff and the old Saturn return, if you know much about that? That happens about 29 years when your life, you change lots of things in your life. It takes Saturn that time to go around the earth, and so it's often a period of change. So that kind of happens often towards your late twenties, which I think is why like, 27/28 feels quite healthy.

RSB: I would say that people that follow us on LinkedIn probably feel the same. 16 people out of the vote feel their age six of them think - this is only about half an hour poll everyone just went crackers on us so we're all obviously feeling it and most people - 31 people out of all the votes feel younger.

Yeah, when people are feeling older, that's really sad, and one of them is actually our employee… Imi what’s going on?

AG: It wouldn’t even occur to me to feel my age.

RSB: Yeah, I felt a bit older when I was younger trying to get into clubs and stuff. Visage in Hemel Hempstead. Getting my outfit ready and trying to pass the door. But, yeah, now I just, yeah, I don't think of myself as anywhere near my actual age, which is really depressing.

JG: Do you think some of it is down to where you live and when you, where you work? Because I recently went home, back to my hometown and they all have fairly similar lives. But I live in and around central London and I feel really young.

AG: Yeah, it's interesting you say that. So I feel, you know, working in not just a youth culture business but working in the way that Livity works, which is bringing young people into the making of it keeps you constantly feeling kind of young and connected. But interestingly, I also live really close to where I grew up. So I'll walk, I'll go walking through the park with my daughter and I'll be like, oh, I remember that place, you know, those kind of old haunts and stuff. So I think it is also just having a, like a… hopefully just a generally a positive outlook on life and I, if I had to…Yeah, you know, I look at my dad and I think my dad still thinks he's…

RSB: Yeah my dad just turned 80 and he definitely doesn't feel anywhere near that at all. I think he looks in the mirror and he's like, woah I literally can’t believe it.

AG: I slipped a disk the other day getting something out of an underwear drawer and that…

RSB: What were you getting out of the underwear drawer?

AG: That made me feel old. But then it was like, it’s fine again. Now that's, there's times where your body does change a little bit.

RSB: But I think we're armed, this is going off on a tangent now, but I think we're armed now with the knowledge that you can help fix yourself by diet and exercise and things like physio and stuff, wildly off on a tangent but I do definitely think it's important that you don't have to feel your age anymore.

Are you at the moment now, talking about this, like when you graduated, did you have in your head, what you wanted to do or like, are you right now in the job that you imagined you would be?

AG: Is anybody in the job that I imagine they thought they would be in? No, I did politics at university and I wanted to go into international development. That's kind of why I wanted to be, like in the world somewhere. But I had worked every summer. I was working in a PR agency and then I started to do loads of stuff, experiential stuff at music festivals. So I was in that brand space already and then I looked at the grad schemes for those international development jobs and I was like, oh, I can't be bothered with that. So, yeah, I went and got a job in an agency, because that's kind of what I've known already.

And to be honest, it does suit the skill set that I think I've got. I never used to have like, a demonstrable talent at school. You know, when you haven't, like, I'm not a, I wasn't a singer, I definitely wasn't a singer but I also wasn't like a runner or someone who's really good at art, but I was was pretty good and I used to put on parties and my mom was like, you're so good at organising things and I was like that's not a skill.

And then when you realise that actually communicating with people negotiating with people, you know, thinking creatively, actually they are all skills and it's, you know, I think that's kind of, I guess where I kind of fell into doing that and on the international development side, like the best points of my career have when I've been doing work that is more purposeful than just selling shit to people they don't need. So I guess there's a part of that, that is satisfied in a different way. So, yeah, I'm not, I feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be but it wasn't where I thought I would be

RSB: Interesting. It's interesting hearing you saying about like, what you were at school because, yeah, I wasn't academic. I wasn't good at sports and I wasn't good at any of those things, but I was good at kind of, hustling my way out of not doing homework, things like that and then negotiating with various different people, including teachers to, like, not have to do things. And then I, I flunked out, I flunked my A-Levels and then I was like, oh, what am I going to do now? And then I just had to kind of figure it out as I went along and I think, yeah, I definitely, at that point I was just like, I know that I want to be doing something good and that's cool, but I don't know what that is.

AG: And it's, I mean, especially in our more of the creative industry world that, you know, certainly when, when we were probably at school that doesn't, that's not something I was actually in a school last week talking about careers in advertising to a bunch of year 10’s who haven't sorted out their work experience which was eye opening in to say the least, and it was lovely and very grounding, but they're kind of sitting there just not, not having a clue that there's people behind all of the stuff they see and social on their feeds by the brands that they love and it was really nice when they did a little feedback form and 11 really sweet girl who'd come up with this brilliant idea. She was like, this has made me really want to work in advertising. The boys were not interested. Yeah, he's like, do you work for Trapster? No, he's like, well, I'm not interested. I don't want to hear anything you have to say then. And that was that.

RSB: That’s a really specific brand.

AG: It was a really specific brand and it was like, unequivocally the brand of choice for a 15 year old living in Scotland.

RSB: What's the demographic then of your business? Like how is everything split out at the moment?

AG: Yeah, so, I mean, broad kind of mix, I guess. I'm so… it's probably only recently that I'm the oldest person in the business. I'm not still not that old. It's making me, I mean, I can say, I don't mind saying I'm 42.

RSB: Ah snap, same.

AG: Yeah, so I guess so the demographic of our business is made up, I guess the majority of like, a lot of agencies, people in their kind of mid twenties up to mid thirties and then there's a few of us who are slightly older than that, not loads slightly older.

RSB: And the audience, what age bracket is that?

AG: I used to joke actually, that our definition of youth gets wider as we all get a bit older. But it's interesting because so genie obviously is a kind of core and that's, you know, that's the, that's where what brands need to kind of know and understand now. But we've grown up with millennials and Livity has been going for 22 years.

RSB: And you define yourself as a millennial on the top of them.

AG: Yeah I’m the top end of a millennial. And the interesting thing is, I think when we're thinking about them, because Livity is a purpose led business, we're here to create a more positive future for and with the next generation. So that obviously means the direct experience that young people have, but also the influencing people on their lives and as millennials are becoming parents themselves, they're parenting in really different ways now. So we're finding quite… there's some really interesting work that we're doing around that. And then obviously increasingly like the more progressive brands are starting to think about Gen A, and there are kind of and again, no generation is a monolith. We say a lot that's really important but broadly, you know, there are differences in characteristics in kind of broad swathes between those three. So youth is quite broad for us.

RSB: That's super interesting because I think that it is easy to just kind of have one idea of youth in your mind. But then when it comes to businesses that are obviously spending x amount of, you know, how much they're spending on the campaign. Like what does youth mean to them? It's going to be so different for you.

AG: A lot of more mainstream brands, some of them youth is under 35 which is crazy because it's crazy if you brand listening to this, but it's just, you know, we don't even talk really about, you have to get to like any good, any good piece of creative work comes from a much tighter audience set than a whole generation, especially if we're talking about global work.

RSB: So if you feel like you're still reflecting that kind of youthful… Do you feel really connected to your team already or do you have to…

AG: I mean, I definitely, so I guess there's quite a lot to unpick there. Our whole business is about bringing young voices in. So we have to listen in ways which are hopefully more democratic than they might be in other agencies to all different parts of our team. But there are obviously, internally times where you need to make decisions and sometimes those decisions are easy and some of them can be made democratically and some of them are difficult and that's kind of the price of being a leader, I guess, in that space, but when it comes to - and that's on the business side - when it comes to work, I have to lean into the team, you have to lean into specialists, not just because they're probably closer in age to the predominant demographic, but also because I'm not a creative director, I'm not a strategist, and so, you know, you lean on as you would do in any place, you lean on the expertise of the people who you pay to do and know a job and do that job really well.

JG: Is it important that you are at the forefront when it comes to youth culture as a business leader or do you let the younger team members lead where that's concerned?

AG: We definitely rely on team, you know, as I say, it's not just, you know, I think the interesting thing is there's, I would say there's a really big difference between like youth culture and knowing what the culture of zeitgeist is and knowing young people and they are very different and I don't pretend to know everything that's going on in youth culture now, I can't, and I don't necessarily want to, there's, there's different pockets like different bits like music. I'm really passionate about music. So I probably know more about what's going on in youth culture and music than I would do, necessarily in fashion, for example, and I mean, you have to try and make sure you do that but you, but we bring in all of that, that's the whole point of that. But actually what I do know and what is really important is knowing young people and how they feel about the world around them and their education and their family and what, where they want to spend their money and that's the really valuable side of things, and then you, it is really important in any youth culture, business to overlay the, the, the kind of cultural, you know, relevance that you need to bring work out into the world. But I would separate those two things out in a way.

RSB: Yeah, interesting when it comes to your leadership style, have you had to adjust that over? Like because it's now… we talk about this all the time here, it's so emotion driven for the younger team members and they expect so much more from where they work. Have you had to, because you come from the same generation as ours, if you've had to fight really hard to get to where you are and you've had to work ridiculous hours and you've had to, you know, sleep in the office kind of vibes. But now it's not like that. So how do you, have you changed your management style to adjust to that while still getting the results that you need?

AG: It has, you’re absolutely right. It has changed a lot. I mean, you know, if we're talking work culture, but specifically agency culture, that expectation when you're… when I was growing up in that point of being somewhere between 23/27 I could kind of… was probably at work or in a club somewhere in those whole years. And those two places and not much others. But yes, I've definitely had to change my leadership style because for a long time, and I think the reason that that culture was perpetuated was because you get to a certain point in your career. And you say, well, that's how I did it. So that's how it must be done. And, you know, therefore that is like there is that expectation we will work all of those hours. And also we work as an agency side, you know, I hate the word supplier or serve, you know, but essentially you are in some ways a service to brands. So that point, I think of client relationships where you would be, someone at the, you know, and that got steadily worse as smartphones became something that we all use because you didn't just shut your laptop down.

But now, we had really… I did have to stop and recognise that there is a different contract with the younger generation with their work than I had with mine. And, you know, interestingly like I would probably still be the one emailing at a different time and that's ok because I also have a child and I value the flexibility that comes with slightly shorter working hours. But I do, I think COVID changed… We were talking about this in a meeting that was not that long ago, but the difference… the main thing that you talk to your team about is to make brilliant work, make sure you make your money. And during COVID, we all stopped and said none of that matters anymore. The only thing that matters is you and your happiness and how happy you are. Are you OK? And then I don't think anyone very explicitly said, ok, we're flipping back over now. We got to talk about making money and we're going to talk about making great work again.

And so I think that again, that kind of contract with my employer is here to look at my emotional needs as well as my monetary needs and me getting stuff and, and it's, and it's, and it got quite murky for everybody and you know, because we were investing in and not we, but I think leaders had to really, really invest in, you know, all of the more of the, the mental health side of things, which absolutely should be there. But it's then difficult I think for lots of people to work out where the line is.

RSB: You become like a carer to your employees rather than their kind of boss and you become that kind of empathetic person.

AG: Yeah, it’s also really sometimes challenging when you, in general, when you think, oh, there's a piece of work and like this is… I'm really in awe of people having a level of, it's almost like self respect in a way because if you actually probably worked out when, when we were more junior, what your hourly rate would be, on the number of hours that you put into it, give a week, it would be crazy. So there is a point about valuing yourselves, which is something that you talk to clients about all the time. So it’s definitely not without its challenges. But also I think it's a brilliant thing and it's not changing, it's not going back.

It's not like, you know, hybrid working when all of a sudden people are like, oh, maybe I should get back to the office five days a week. I think this generation expects something different from their employer and we need to work out how to serve that, otherwise we'll lose good people.

RSB: Ok, do you… I mean, you already have a young daughter so I'm guessing that you're plugged into all the hip hop things like me with my little ponies and shopkins and things, but in terms of actually like understanding real youth culture and like what's cool. Do you, do you like, we have Imogen who is now delivering us like a culture report every month to keep us vaguely in line with what's happening? Do your teams do that for you or are you good at doing it yourself?

AG: We do it together. So every week in our Tuesday, like face to face team meeting that we have, we share interesting things about what's going on and we now share those with our clients as well, obviously. And they might be small things. It might be, I think I'm fairly attuned with kind of, those bigger cultural shifts, but there's like really interesting things that go on around the niches which I never hear about because…

RSB: Like all the different cores that I didn't know about.

AG: We had broccoli-core in a pitch the other day.

RSB: What’s broccoli-core?

AG: You’ll have to google it and find out.

RSB: Broccoli-core is lol because as a troll present for Jo. Do you remembe the artist that puts like broccoli pinned up all along brick lane? Have you ever walked down brick lane? There's broccoli everywhere, it is an artist and he sells plaster cast broccoli, and so I got one of those as a birthday gift and put it in a Matches box and gave it to her.

JG: And gifted it to me. It was a Christmas present and I had to move house with it twice because I thought I'm going to give it back to her. I'm gonna do the same thing and I'm gonna fedex it to her. So this was my plan and then it turned her 40th birthday and she was pregnant and really sick and she was like, I'm gonna have to like walk over to the hospital in the middle of the pandemic and it was too sad to send this broccoli art to her, so I still have it and I am going to troll her with it one day.

RSB: So how do you keep cool?

AG: Yeah, I don't, I mean, there's a point of sharing what's going on and that kind of side of things, but I mentor loads of young people, but that's a really important point of… up until like, so we share our space with young people and that's amazing because yes, there's kind of stuff that you can get out of reports or just being part of culture in different ways. But when you don't have the time to be in, in different parts, whether that's events or anything actually like the most useful and kind of real insight that we often get of young people is by surrounding ourselves with them. So it's like, that's that point of like, that might not be what, you know, who's the latest creator that we should be working with? That's what the team need to do. I'm not going to suggest here's the creators that we need to work with for a beauty client, for example. But an understanding of what makeup makes someone feel and how, you know, it empowers them is absolutely something that we should know. And that's what you get by, by the osmosis and just literally being with young people.

And so mentoring is, I think is a really good way for me of doing that because it's not like I'm asking specific questions about what's hot or not. But you get to that really core sense of what it feels like to be young, which, you know, I think I'm 27 and I'm, I'm not to that point of feel what it feels like to be young and the emotions behind that is something that you can get. And I think it is a really valuable part of that reverse side of mentoring.

RSB: We've just done a podcast about mentoring with your ex alumni, Rani Patel, and Jo, you mentor as well, don't you?

JG: Yeah, and I think like, as much research as you can do online about being a young person in today's world. You probably, if you, if you're not surrounded by teenagers and people in their early twenties, then you don't really know, you don't have a window into their life and my mentees is a 16 year old Bengali girl and, as much as I'd love to think that I'm like, really open minded and I maybe understand the pressures of that life. I didn't and I learned things from her every week. So it's good that you get to share an office space with those people and, and they're in your working life.

AG: Yeah and it's because, I think people sometimes think, you know, mentoring is one of those… It's like a really benevolent thing that I'll do and bestow some of my wisdom on it. But actually you get as much as you give, I think.

RSB: Has anyone impacted you in the reverse when you were younger?

AG: Yeah, I had a really amazing… I was doing a project with, it was just when one extra was launching I think, and someone within the BBC was training to be a coach. She was like can I practise my coaching on you? And she was really transformational. Her name was Jane Morris. She is now like an amazing coach, but she wasn't a coach at the time. But she really flipped a switch in my head about what I was capable of and like, learning to say no when it comes to work and valuing yourself. And I think I've also, I have been really privileged in my career to have some really amazing people. I would consider my like, line managers who see and spot something in you and are able to kind of develop that and so lots of those over the years have carried on to kind of be but mental relationships in some way, like I don't have a formal mentor, but I've got a group of individuals who I would love to call on at different times depending on the challenge. And I feel like that works well for the kind of person that I am. Some people I think really love that like structured… I meet someone every month and I've got like, I've got goals, I can do that on myself. I want someone else's perspective and sometimes like the smallest thing that someone can say to you can have the greatest impact on.

JG: How do you go about managing a multigenerational workforce within a small to medium size business?

AG: I think it is a really, it's a topic that's really hot on everybody's agenda. I think at the moment obviously, we consider it in Livity, we consider it at the parent group level that we are at, which is part of the mission group. But also we consult with quite a lot of clients and brands around emerging talent and early stage talent. And I think it feels like the biggest… this is the first time that there are four generations in the workplace, I think. So you've got baby boomers, you've got Gen X, you've got millennials and you've got Gen Z and they have very, you know, I think the most progressive workforces are working out how you can motivate people differently rather than having one catch all approach to this is our benefits program or this because actually you want very, very different things. But in a small team, I think it's, it's this, you know, there are fewer people at each one of those levels. There's certainly fewer millennials in our business than there are Gen Z’s. And we, we just, we have to think at that point of thinking.

I think thinking first about what people want out of work and how you might tailor those different experiences and how you facilitate those conversations and have actually have those conversations externally, which is, you know, there is people on my team that parents and they are people that aren't and having that open conversation that says, you know, it's ok. If someone wants to pick their daughter up from school, I've picked my daughter up from school religiously on a Wednesday. I work five days a week but I pick her up from school on a Wednesday. I will put hours in around that. But being able to have that flexibility is something that's really important to me. And that, that doesn't mean we're not working hard or all of those things. And it is tricky as, you know, as parents in the workplace is, you know, I get a call from the school and Sasha is sick and i've got to go and that's also that's difficult I think when you're younger and you're like, why? But I can't, you know, I can't do that. But then we, you know, you make sure people have the flexibility in different kinds of ways as well. So I think that we just try and create as much dialogue as possible in that space and, and understand that there's different needs that are happening at different generations.

JG: A good way to approach it. It makes a lot of work for you though, doesn't it? If there's no set rules for certain things?

AG: Yeah, I mean, we've always embraced a flexible working approach at Livity, whether that was kind of homework one day a week or, you know, if people have different kinds of mental health needs, looking at different working hours or spending time away. So I think through the kind of COVID side of things we adapted to that flexibility quite well, what that flexibility needs to have on the other side is accountability and trust. And as long as you trust the people that you work with to do the job that they say they're going to do that flexibility kind of works. And I'm not saying that a multigenerational workforce is just about flexibility. It is also about what motivates people. Like, luckily, I think within a, you know, a purposeful creative business that we are, everybody comes to work because they want to create a more positive future for the young people. But that's kind of the combination point, which is the, which is the thing that unites everybody that works at liberty and everyone wants to make great creative work. So there is an element like, the way that you motivate people might be different, but you need to come together and have something that unites you.

JG: Yeah, you've got these common goals you're all working towards.

RSB: I'm interested in your sustainability work. What is it that you do?

AG: I am I, but it's interesting, I'm part of a group called the Women in Communications Leadership. And it's all lots of women who are kind of coming out of their full time work and looking at non exec director roles and having a portfolio career. And I was approached a few years ago by a sustainability consultancy practice which is a very different job that I do to be a non exec for them. Like, if someone's asking you to do that now because actually, you know, further down the line, it's brilliant to have one of those on your CV. It's a, I mean, I'm not, it's in the kind of sustainability ESG world, so it's fascinating. It's an unbelievable… like, grows unbelievably fast. It's, you know, and they deal with like workers' rights too, sustainability reports to all sorts of much more complex consultancy work than we kind of do in... But being a non exec is really interesting and I couldn't really believe that some, I was like, you would want me to come to a board meeting once a quarter, give my perspective on something and then I go away and I don't have to do anything?

RSB: Are you kidding me?

AG: This is why people want portfolio careers because people get paid lots of money to do this. If they do it as a full time career, I did it actually as a learning exercise. I did it because I wanted to see how different I've been at liberty for a long time and I love it, but I wanted to see how different businesses work. And so it's really interesting and, and so, you know, the challenge, some of the challenges, the same multigenerational workforce, one of the really, you know, diversity really, really interesting and really challenging in the sustainability space. So it was, I kind of went in there thinking how, how will I add value to a top topic? I don't know anything about… and actually, when it comes to leadership, there is a value that you can still bring you don't necessarily need to know about.

RSB: It's always red threads connecting things isn't there? I think every conversation I have is gonna be relevant to the next one, to the next one to the next one. You know, I that's really fascinating. So you do it once a quarter then and you just go in there, tell them how it is. Walk out, drop a few bombs, walk out, give my perspective.

AG: But also there is… they're a very male, heavy senior leadership team. So I mentor some of their kind of rising stars who happen to be female. And I think, you know, honesty that's probably an interesting part for them is how do they create role models?

RSB: You seem like a really good person to have as a female leader because you're empathetic but also very strong. And you're coming across as someone that's very confident in what they do and what they've achieved, which is a nice thing. It's a nice aura to be around. I would imagine that you're really good for them to have on board because you won't intimidate anyone, both them thinking like, oh, you know, I'm gonna, you're not coming in as like one of the consultants, they'll be like, you know, you need to change all of this and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But you're coming in as someone that's really, like, you know, empowering.

AG: Thank you, It's a really nice thing. I mean, I firmly believe that people are their best when they can bring their whole self to work and I feel really lucky that I can bring my whole self to work. And that is my like weird witchy crystal vibes sometimes.

RSB: I’m into the weird witchy crystal vibes.

AG: But I've got a very, quite a young female team who are also into it, luckily. But that point of, you know, I've never really, I've had the immense privilege of not having to shy away from the person I am at home at work. And I hope that that is what people feel like they can do when they work with me as well. And if they work with Livity for six months or six years or longer than that, then I, I feel really proud that in the… when someone goes on to do something else, whether it's in our industry or completely differently will say that it has been a transformation or a really positive experience for them. And that's important to me because we're more than just the business that we run if you can empower people and you can make people feel great about themselves and give them feedback when they need it and support their next development, then we're just creating a, yeah.

RSB: Boss of the year, I love this. Do you think, like being a Mum to a daughter has also influenced your way that you manage people and the way that you treat your younger team at work?

AG: No, I don't think it has changed. No, I don't think I'm a particularly different person being a Mum than I was before, and I think for some people it really changes your whole kind of outlook on life. I don't think it has. But you know, I definitely, maybe my, everyone says that when you come back to work after having a baby, you're really efficient because I've got other stuff, I've got other stuff, like what I want to spend my time with my daughter. And definitely, when she was young, I had really bad postnatal depression and I worked a lot and I think slightly just to block it out. And I then had to have a word with myself that is like, life is more, way more important and we really value the time we spend together and we're really, really close.

I do find myself working in a youth business, a thing that really annoys me is when you go and see a client and they go, my nephew thinks this, and I'm like, oh, I always focus group of one and roll my eyes now. But now we're working on Gen A things and I have a daughter, and I have found myself saying, well, this is who she's watching at the moment. This is what she is doing. And I'm like, I slightly cringe for myself. But I'm like, but, oh, I can totally see why people do this now. Whereas I could, it really frustrated me before because I'm like, my daughter is one individual and also lives a fairly privileged life in that way where she lives, you know, like living in London and all of that stuff. So, no, but I think I'm probably still the same person.

RSB: I like to think I'm still the same person, but I'm just a bit softer around the edge.

AG: I'm physically softer around the edge than I was before I had a child.

RSB: Full of filler and Botox and a bit soft around the edges. Jo sat there angular.

AG: I haven’t done that yet

RSB: Have you not? Keep that cut out. Also full of HRT.

AG: Oh me too

RSB: Oh, great. There we go. Feel so much better with the HRT.

AG: Yeah and mushroom supplements.

RSB: Oh yes, oh my God, we're like the same person. There we go. Right should we do our exit? Thank you so much, Alex.

JG: Thank you so much Alex. It's been so great to have you here.

AG: Thank you for having me.

JG: No worries. We'll be putting questions to our LinkedIn community about future episodes. But if there's anything you would like, your favourite career therapists, thoughts on, then get in touch on Also liking, subscribing and sharing this podcast means we know you're listening and it helps us to make more signing off for now.

JG + RSB: Bye.

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