Bridging the Gap: How Shared Learning Unites Generations in the Modern Workplace

In today’s rapidly evolving professional landscape, the workplace has transformed into a diverse tapestry of generations, each contributing unique perspectives and experiences. From the seasoned veterans with decades of knowledge to the fresh-eyed millennials and the tech-savvy Gen Z, the intermingling of different age groups has given rise to both challenges and opportunities. One of the most potent tools at our disposal to bridge the generational divide and foster a collaborative, thriving work environment is shared learning.

Embracing shared learning within the workplace is more than just a trendy buzzword; it’s a transformative approach that fosters a culture of inclusivity, mutual respect, and innovation. In this blog, we will delve into the power of shared learning and explore how it acts as a cohesive force, harmoniously connecting people from various generations. Together, we will discover the numerous ways in which shared learning closes the generational gap, breaking down barriers and nurturing a workplace where all employees can thrive and reach their full potential.

In his book “Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation”, NYT bestselling author Dan Schawbel provides the following insights for today’s workplaces:

“There’s a great cultural and technological divide between younger and older workers, but both can benefit from each other’s knowledge and skills in important ways.

What Younger Workers Can Teach Older Workers

• New technologies that will impact internal collaboration and their profession and industry and how to use them.
• The importance of diversity and how it can benefit the team, since younger employees are the most diverse in history.
• How change is inevitable, why the skills of today may not be as valuable in the future, and how to learn new skills.
• Why they shouldn’t give up on their dreams. Research shows that younger workers are more optimistic and can use that to inspire older workers.
• The collaborative mind-set that will help older workers best interact with them, brainstorm, and come up with new ideas.

What Older Workers Can Teach Younger Ones

• The struggles and setbacks of building a career and the importance of having years of experience.
• The soft skills that have helped them build the relationships that have made them successful.
• The loyalty that makes others on your team want to invest in your learning and development.
• The regrets they might have had in their career and how to not make the same mistakes.
• How to manage corporate politics that naturally occur in any corporation, especially larger ones.
• The skill to handle conflicts in the workplace and the wisdom to use those conflicts to actually solve problems and form stronger relationships in the aftermath (p. 133-135).”

What are your experiences working with people from differing generations? Do these points ring true to you? Feel free to sound off in the comments below!

Re-Discover Joy at Work

Written by Julie Jones, Guest Career Coach

Recently, I was doing a bit of spring cleaning, going through boxes and getting rid of a few things we no longer need. As I sorted through the pictures from when my kids were small, I noticed their faces — when they lit up as they mastered their pogo stick, or celebrated July 4th watching fireworks. Their expressions showed pure joy, anticipation, and wonder. But I did notice some of the uninhibited joy faded from their faces in later photos.

Doesn’t the same thing happen at work? Do you remember the first day of a new job? You are so excited about the possibility, but stuff happens, and the luster fades. And over time, work may become an obligation instead of an opportunity. You wonder how others find joy or fulfillment in life and work.

If so, you’re not alone. Consider the career changes driven by the pandemic and the so-called Great Resignation when it was estimated that more than 40 million people quit their jobs. Of course, not everyone had a choice, but, during this time, people made decisions about how they work and what is important to them.

Richard Bolles, in his book, What Color is Your Parachute? Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success includes many planning exercises to guide career development or shifts. One of them includes developing your expertise and enthusiasm matrix. Enthusiasm is on the X axis, and expertise is on the Y axis yielding four quadrants:  high enthusiasm, high expertise; high enthusiasm, low expertise; low enthusiasm, low expertise; and low enthusiasm, high expertise.

When I completed the exercise, I found that some skills I honed over 25 years with high expertise weren’t necessarily ones I looked forward to using as much anymore. How many of your current job roles or activities fall into the lower enthusiasm quadrant?

Drill down and get specific with your current job roles and functions and consider these questions:

In your job (or other pursuits),

  • What activities do you love to do?
  • What gives you energy or sucks your energy?
  • When do you operate at your best?

When I considered the high enthusiasm quadrants, I identified skills and activities that gave me energy, fueled my work tank, or I made time for in my busy schedule. I was excited by the high enthusiasm and low expertise quadrant. Learning can jump-start curiosity, possibility, and joy. I participated in a few online and in-person learning activities as well. I WAS a beginner, and learning was sometimes challenging. But I had fun pivoting to a new interest. Change is good.

Are there skills you want to develop to grow your expertise in these high-enthusiasm activities?


Organizations hire for expertise in the role — the top half of the graph. But are there other high enthusiasm skills or activities you could add to your work functions, or would your leader be open to providing you the opportunity to develop?

Many skills complement other primary skills, such as visual design in learning or empathy in leadership. Leaders who learn more about each person’s expertise/enthusiasm matrix, strengths, motivations, and desires begin to craft a culture of meaning and joy at work. And, in the process, help others realize their potential.


Plan A:  Volunteer in an organization where you can use or develop these skills. Be selective in finding the right fit for you.

Plan B:  Explore additional career options or consider a career shift:

  • Complete job shadows and interview others who have these jobs.
  • Identify career planning priorities – there are a variety of books and tools to guide this process.
  • Online searches – job postings and job descriptions paying close attention to the roles and duties.
  • Take a side job in an area of interest to learn more and gain experience.
  • Join a new professional association you are interested in — Talk with others.
  • Create a personal advisory board of mentors or others who know you well. How might you use their skills to help you navigate a career shift?

The enthusiasm/expertise matrix helped me identify when I’m at my best — when I’m in the flow, and an activity consumes me. For me, joy and flow are connected. For over 35 years, I have kept a picture from my first job on my desk as a reminder of the excitement I felt for my first dietetics job.

What can you do today to help rediscover joy at work? Small steps and positive mind shifts can make a meaningful difference.

Three Tips for Uplifting the Women in Your (Work) Life This Month

Welcome to April – that time of year when the world is emerging from the dreary winter days and things begin coming alive once again. This month, we will “spring forward” with our clocks, launching into Daylight Savings Time. We’ve also just wrapped up another amazing Women’s History Month. While we spend time celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women throughout history, it is also a timely reminder that it is our job to help women “spring forward” in their careers as well, breaking through the many barriers that sometimes come before us and realizing their full potential.

If you’re looking for a few ideas for simple but impactful ways to uplift the women in your workplace this month, here are a few tips to consider:

1.      – Mentor or sponsor other women

Mentorship and sponsorship have long been seen as keys to success for many individuals, yet many women are left out of these circles. Because these relationships can be the catalysts for opening doors and elevating women to pursue new opportunities, it is important to intentionally seek them out.

Whether you are a new professional who is just getting started in your career, or a seasoned leader with years of experience to fall back on, your input is vital to inspiring the growth of those around you. Seek out opportunities to advocate for the women on your team, show up for them where you can, and offer your guidance and input as they navigate their paths forward.

2.      – Give women direct, constructive feedback

Often in the workplace, women receive less (or less helpful) feedback from those around them. This may be due to a desire to preserve their feelings or “handle” them with care. Whatever the reason, not receiving direct and specific constructive feedback can inhibit the growth of even the most promising individuals. We can’t address what we don’t know is wrong, right?

Make it a point to provide direct, constructive feedback to the women you are working with. Help them home in on where their weak spots are and congratulate them on the things that they do well. Having an understanding of where they can improve is the first step in getting better results for them (and for their teams).

3.      – Make sure women’s ideas are heard

Typically speaking, men get more “air time” in meetings and discussions than their female counterparts. This happens for a number of reasons, but the end result is the same: women stay quiet, and their status as a leader in the workplace tends to suffer as a result. To combat this, you can set an example by choosing to sit front and center for meetings in which you are present, and you can recognize when other women are speaking. Simply adding an encouraging, “Great idea!” comment to back up a colleague’s contribution or interjecting when you see that a female coworker is being spoken over not only emboldens the woman speaking, but also sets the tone that her voice is relevant and should be considered by the whole group.

For more information on ways that you can support the women in your workplace this month, please feel free to check out the wonderful article, “6 Ways that Women Can Champion Each Other at Work” from Lean In that served as a reference for this note.

Whether or not you identify as a woman, these insightful tips can provide actionable examples for how we can all be better advocates for making room at the table for the women in our work lives.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver – You may be eligible for student loan forgiveness

From now until October 31, 2022, public service employees of qualifying organizations are eligible to apply for the Limited PSLF Waiver, and may be able to have student loan debts forgiven. In order to qualify, employees must have a Direct Loan(s), and be working for a government or nonprofit agency for at least ten years while making payments on your loans.

If you think your employment may qualify, you are encouraged to apply, even if you have not made 120 student loan payments or been employed with a qualifying agency for ten years. Check your employer’s eligibility by using the PSLF Help Tool .

Find more information or apply by October 31 here:

What to know about President Biden’s recent announcement on student loan forgiveness

(Image source:

As many of you know, President Biden announced earlier today his intentions to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Americans under a certain income threshold, as well as extend the COVID-19 pandemic-related payment freeze for federal loan borrowers through 2022.

We understand that you likely have questions about whether you qualify for this forgiveness, so we’ve assembled the below information to help you better understand what this historic announcement means for you.

What did President Biden say about student loan forgiveness?

On August 24, 2022 President Biden announced that he intends to implement action allowing individual borrowers who earn less than $125,000 annually, or families earning less than $250,000 annually to receive $10,000 in federal student loan forgiveness.  He also announced that the current freeze on federal student loan payments would be extended four additional months, ending in January 2023.

Additionally, President Biden announced that those who have received Pell Grants in the past would be eligible for an additional $10,000 in federal loan forgiveness, bringing the total student loan forgiveness amount that these individuals are eligible for to $20,000.

How do I know if I am eligible for loan forgiveness?

If you are an American who currently has a student loan balance, and whose earnings fall within the above income guidelines, then you are likely eligible for the initial $10,000 forgiveness. Pell Grant recipients, those undergraduates who have the most significant financial need, may be eligible for the additional $10,000 forgiveness.

There are two ways to check into whether or not you are a Pell Grant recipient:

  1. – Use your FSA ID to log into your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) account.

You will need the username and password that you created when you first processed your FAFSA form in order to access this account.  Once inside your dashboard, you will select “view Student Aid Report (SAR)” on your homepage.  This report will show you which financial aid awards you have received in the past, and which others you are eligible for.

  1. – Visit the National Student Loan Database website.

What other opportunities are there for student loan forgiveness that I should know about?

From now until October 31, 2022, public service employees of qualifying organizations are eligible to apply for the Limited PSLF Waiver and may be able to have student loan debts forgiven. In order to qualify, employees must have a Direct Loan(s), and be working for a government or nonprofit agency for at least ten years while making payments on your loans.

If you think your employment may qualify, you are encouraged to apply, even if you have not made 120 student loan payments or been employed with a qualifying agency for ten years. Check your employer’s eligibility by using the PSLF Help Tool .

For the full fact sheet on President Biden’s announcement regarding student loan debt relief, see the statement released from the White House here.

Be a Great Ally In and Outside of the Office

The month of June is one in which we celebrate diversity in its many forms throughout the United States. June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, as well as the month where we celebrate the freeing of enslaved African Americans via the Emancipation Proclamation on Juneteenth.

Whether or not you identify as a member of either group, there are specific ways that you can be supportive of your traditionally disenfranchised colleagues both in and outside of the office. Read on for some easy, actionable tips for supporting others in the workplace during June and throughout the rest of the year.

1. Educate yourself
The first step in good allyship is to learn (or in some cases, unlearn) about the issues. Read books on the history of systemic inequality, have open conversations with people who have different backgrounds and experiences, and make an active effort to diversify your networks. Be sure to approach conversations with curiosity, but be careful to avoid dissecting the lived experiences of others or refuting their perceptions of their experiences. Increasing your knowledge is an important place to start in your allyship.

2. Resist assuming what others need
What one person needs (or wants) in terms of allyship may be different from another colleague. It can (understandably) be confusing at times to determine what the best actions are for you to take as an ally. The best way to decide how to move forward? Ask.

Remember that your colleagues have agency all their own, and while they may appreciate you speaking up or otherwise acting on their behalf, there may be better ways to support them. If you are unsure about how best to be an ally, always err on the side of caution and simply ask the person how you can be supportive of them.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of being the “second courageous” – Adapted from
We’ve all been there — in a meeting or in the break room, where someone uses offensive terminology or makes an inappropriate joke. One courageous soul intervenes to push back against this behavior, and everyone else shifts awkwardly as they wait for the exchange to be over.

Many times, we have a habit of employing delayed camaraderie — reaching out afterward to the brave soul and letting them know that you appreciate them for speaking up. But what if instead, you do that in the moment? There is just as much power in being the second courageous person to say, “Hey — not cool” when someone makes an offensive remark in your workplace. Doing so not only shows those around you that you are an ally, but it also lets the offending person know that their behavior is deemed unacceptable by more than just one person, encouraging them to rethink their own attitudes in the process.

Here at Ohio State, we adhere to the university-wide Shared Values Initiative. This initiative reminds us of the values that we share as a university community, and our shared commitment to those values. As an alumnus (or friend) of the university, these values extend to you as well. We encourage you to explore the university’s Shared Values Initiative to understand this effort within the Ohio State community, and consider ways that you can utilize this language and effort in your own endeavors to be better ally to those around you.


Boost Your Career Progression with LinkedIn


Any working professional knows that LinkedIn is the de facto hub for networking and career development.  This online resource is an excellent way to cultivate your professional network, building relationships with acquaintances, keeping your current achievements and ideas top of mind, and more.  It also (conveniently) serves as a live portfolio of your career achievements, replacing the need for a resume and cover letter in a networking setting.

What you may not realize is that there are a myriad of ways to utilize LinkedIn in your career progression that don’t necessarily have much to do with the networking aspect at all. More than  simply the “professional social network” it began as, LinkedIn offers multiple resources in its bid to be an all-inclusive professional development hub. Below, we explore a few of those resources for you.

1. – Easy Apply

One of the biggest complaints among jobseekers in today’s market is that job applications are too tedious and time consuming, with the average job application taking upwards of 35 minutes to complete on an employer’s website.  LinkedIn has taken steps to streamline that process and take the pain out of applying for jobs by introducing its “Easy Apply” feature.  For jobs posted to the site’s built in job board, employers can elect to have candidates utilize “Easy Apply”.  With this feature, eligible candidates can get their resume and profile to a hiring manager within just a few clicks without ever leaving the LinkedIn site.

2. –  LinkedIn Learning

Whether you’re currently in a job search or simply looking to stay up to date with current trends, you’ve likely heard that one of the most important things a mid-career or seasoned professional can do to remain competitive in the job market is to take advantage of upskilling opportunities.  LinkedIn provides an excellent avenue for upskilling through its on-demand learning platform, LinkedIn Learning.  This platform provides access to more than 13,000 high-quality courses on a litany of subjects that you can access wherever (and whenever) you’d like.  LinkedIn also takes it a step further by offering badges of recognition to let your network know when you’ve completed a course!

3. – Company Research

While this one is not something specifically outlined as a separate feature on LinkedIn, it is one of the best advantages of being a member of the site.  LinkedIn essentially functions as a huge database, and with its excellent filtering system, there are many opportunities for job seekers to perform company research, including getting a good understanding of company titles and organizational structure, keeping up with the latest news from a company, seeing job postings all in one place, finding employee reviews, and more!

In short, there are no shortage of advantages to keeping up to date with LinkedIn, regardless of where you are in your career progression.  Even if you are not huge on networking and sharing information about yourself, the platform offers many helpful ways to improve your career standing and get to your next level.

This month, our Job Club session will focus more intently on how seasoned professionals can use LinkedIn to their advantage in their own job search. More info is below – we hope to see you there!


Job Club: LinkedIn and the Seasoned Professional with Dr. Elisse Wright Barnes

LinkedIn has become a mainstay in the professional networking arsenal of working professionals.

It is especially important for savvy seasoned professionals seeking to make career advancements to understand how to leverage the power of this platform in order to fully access the opportunities that may be available to them within their extended networks.

Join the Alumni Career Management staff and special guest Dr. Elisse Wright-Barnes, lead trainer at Your LinkedN Driving Instructor, for an innovative conversation on how to best put LinkedIn to work in your career endeavors.

Tuesday, April 26

2–3 p.m. ET

Cost: Free




Get Inspired – What’s Your Word for 2022?

This time of year is often met with a renewed focus on the things you want to accomplish in the next 365 days. Whether you believe in setting resolutions or simply want to commit to being a better version of yourself, we encourage you to get a little inspiration by declaring your intention for 2022.


Doing an intention-setting exercise is a small but powerful way to begin down the path to success. Setting intentions helps you create the life and career that you want by design, giving you something concrete to work toward rather than making choices without a clear outcome in mind. The best part? It’s super simple.


Take just a moment to think about your word for the year. Simply speaking aloud one word that represents your intentions for yourself in the coming year is an easy, but effective way to get your mind focused on what you’d like to accomplish for yourself. For an even more potent method, write your word down and display it somewhere you’ll be able to see it often. Studies show that creating visual reminders of what we’d like to accomplish helps to keep those ideas top of mind and significantly increases the likelihood that we will be able to realize those desires.


So, what’s your word for 2022? We’d love to hear it! If you feel so inclined, please take a moment to share your word with us in the comments below!

Beginning with the End in Mind – Advice for Non-Profit Professionals from Mindy Derr

One must begin with the end in mind.

This is my most consistent advice for professionals seeking to build a career in the non-profit space. Ask yourself: How do organizational leaders perceive their legacy in the role of leadership? What is the Executive’s  mission, vision and plan for perpetuity?

I founded Fore Hope, Inc. in 1989 for my father, Guy. Fore Hope was a small grassroots non-profit organization utilizing golf as an instrument for health recovery. My dad became ill shortly after retirement and his spirit was crushed. Dad was an avid and proficient golfer.

His aptitude and love of the game have carried over into our family heritage. The Derr family is known for golf!

After my service with the Boy Scouts of America in northern Ohio, I decided to start Fore Hope with a focus on therapeutic golf for those with chronic health conditions and disabilities.

Thousands have been served in the 32 + years since our founding and that continues today. Fore Hope was absorbed by the OhioHealth Healthcare System in Columbus, Ohio in 2017. Fore Hope was the first ever grassroots therapy golf program…originating on a card table, to travel among the ranks of a nationally recognized golf program. Fore Hope now resides within the OhioHealth Neuroscience Center for Wellness.

Giving up “my child” (Fore Hope) was not easy. However, as discussions ensued with OhioHealth, I felt the comfort of knowing that our organization would go on, serve more people and keep alive my dad’s legacy. Fore Hope had a niche and remained true to the mission of therapeutic golf. Fortunately, OhioHealth recognized the value of our services, unique offerings and that our organization was an appropriate fit for their wellness programs.

Fore Hope became a new family within OhioHealth and the “start over” within a healthcare system was daunting but exciting as well. Today, I remain an Advisor to OhioHealth Fore Hope.

Populations served throughout our Fore Hope history were those aging and with brain injury, cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, stroke and other injuries and illnesses. Golf is magic and improves balance, cognition, mobility, self-confidence, and fosters socialization. The joy that comes with hitting a little white ball is incredible as one focuses on the accomplishment and not the deficits in his/her life. Golf is a validated tool for Recreation Therapy and improves quality of life!

I know first-hand how illness can change one’s life. My recent diagnosis of MS was difficult to comprehend and yet, knowing that I could walk and play golf again gave me the much needed HOPE to move forward each day.

Over the years, Fore Hope provided services to adult day care and assisted living centers, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings, Recreation and Parks and schools. Fore Hope offered outdoor programs at local golf courses, golf ranges and putting areas. Our estimate is that 10,000 persons have been a part of Fore Hope programs along with care partners and families.

Lessons in Leadership from Originating a Non-Profit

I have learned so much over the years with Fore Hope and would like to share a little bit about the “secret sauce” of operations and delivery in a non-profit world. Leadership must be that…lead by example and have the ignited passion that excites those around you…your staff, board, investors and your clients. One must be a risk taker, and yet be a “quantified risker.”

Non-Profit leadership must have the ability to see the big picture and yet be effective in detail. Community trust arrives through exemplary services and brand recognition. Validation of the wonderful work of the organization is necessary and begets resources that encourage growth and wider community outreach. Funding for programs arrives in a myriad of ways, but the  best way in my opinion, is the awareness of mission need, connection to services provided, and the involvement of potential investors. Investors/donors want to realize their gifts make a difference in transforming lives, hence, the reason for being.

The view from 30,000 feet?

Fore Hope began with the end in mind and we reached for the stars. We shared the big picture and built consensus among the masses.  Fore Hope staff and board searched for those

like-minded partners to forward the mission and continue to serve. Mission perpetuity, like OhioHealth Fore Hope as a stellar example, transcends all the struggles and ultimately

“gives back” to those who invested over the years. Our organization wanted the public to see, feel and know, that this journey of non-profit impact prevails and continues to enhance community wellness.

Remember, without cause, there would be not effect. One’s legacy as a leader, is one withstanding.


Melinda “Mindy” Derr
Ohio State Alumna,  Class of 1981
Founder and Advisor – OhioHealth Fore Hope

Resource Spotlight – Getting Hired in Healthcare for Veterans

As a veteran who has fearlessly and faithfully served our country, you may be wondering what a post-military career looks like for you.  If you are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, we invite you to explore a new resource from EduMed.

Healthcare Careers for Student Veterans: An Online Guide (  is an step-by-step guide to launching a civilian career in the healthcare industry for veterans.  This in-depth guide offers advice on military-friendly degree programs, interview advice, skills assessments, and more.  Visit EduMed at the link above to take advantage of this excellent resource, and visit our veterans resources tab for more tools to support you in your post-military career development journey!


EduMed Guide:  Healthcare Careers for Student Veterans: An Online Guide (

Veteran’s Resources:  For Veterans | Welcome to Career Corner! (