Most people look at a potential job from the standpoint of “What am I going to earn?” Austin Finch, Funnel Media Group’s podcast editor and today’s guest on Market Dominance Guys, talks with our host, Chris Beall, about an additional and very important way of looking at any new employment you’re considering. They suggest asking yourself the question, “What am I going to learn?” Austin cautions job hunters that even a high-paying job can be a dead-end job. When you’re looking at a new job — whether it’s in sales or another field — Austin suggests that “If you can gain experience, and move on to gain more, then there’s no reason to hold yourself back.” Listen to the whole podcast for more words of career wisdom from Chris and Austin in today’s insightful and helpful Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “What Am I Going to Learn?”
About Our Guest
Austin Finch is an in-demand podcast editor for Funnel Media Group. He is currently a senior at Beaverton High School in Beaverton, Oregon.
Chris Beall (01:16):
It's really interesting. Helen is always really thoughtful about whether the job she has or a job if she thinks about taking one, like moving from one position to another in Microsoft, her number one thing is always, what am I going to learn? It's really interesting. And Helen is younger than I am, but not by five decades. And that attitude, that the main thing about a job is what are you gonna learn while you're doing it? I think that is refreshing. It's something to be intentional about for people who can. I know a lot of people it's like, "What am I gonna earn? But even a really high-paying job can be a dead-end job. And so, I love your view on that.
There's another thing you are getting out of this that you may or may not be aware of, you probably are 'cause here we are sitting here doing this. People go off to really expensive colleges, not hoping to get a great education 'cause they're pretty sure when they're 18, 19, 20, 21 years old the limiting factor in their actual education, their academic education is the fact that they're at a really bad age to get an academic education. I mean, it's just like you couldn't pick a worse age range to imbue yourself in the deep knowledge that's been gathered over the centuries, or whatever the leading stuff is that's coming out of laboratories, or whatever it happens to be than between 18 and 22 when, for not everybody but for a lot of people, there's a lot of, we'll call it, biologically amplified social interest. I think that's what I should call it, BASI, I could put a C on the end, that'd be pretty cool. Biologically amplified social interest .
But they do know they're getting one thing. Why do they spend a bazillion dollars to go to, you name it Ivy League School? And the answer is the network. It's why I didn't do it by the way. Now, I'm not saying I could have gotten into one of those places, but some people thought I could because they were recruiting me. But I didn't want that network interestingly enough. I don't know why, it's a freaking nature of my personality and I was wrong. Not that I should have gone to one of the schools, but if you know 10 people who are well placed in the world of whatever it is, and in the case of like Corey, and myself, and Helen, and all of our guests, you think about it, every single one of our guests would take your call. Every single one of our guests would take your call.
Now, think about who those guests are. That network, that's a bazillion dollar network. That's worth a Harvard education right there in terms of network. I mean you even know somebody who runs a really cool set of hotels up in Canada, the CEO of that company. You could call her up and go, "Hey, this is Austin Finch, I'm the editor of the podcast Market Dominance podcast you were on blah blah blah and I just wanted to tell you how much I really, I went back and listened to it and tell you how much I really enjoyed what you had to say there, especially X, Y or Z." You have an entry point throughout. Do you think young people think about that network-building effect while they're working in their first job, second job, third job?
Austin Finch (04:29):
I think in the first job it usually gets overlooked, unfortunately. But I think by the second it starts to really hit you. Because I have a lot of friends that quit their first job because the hours were bad or the pay was bad, whatever it is, the usual surface-level reasons. And then, when they were looking for their second job, they had a lot more in mind in terms of who that manager is and what companies that's connected to. Because, like you said, I mean if you can build a gazillion dollar network, why wouldn't you try to? Just the guests I've heard speak on this show alone are in so many different business sectors that any field I could have someone to talk to about it.
Chris Beall (05:15):
Yeah, you can talk to Oren Klaff, one of the most brilliant minds and practitioners in the world of how we should sell, who's now in the business of helping companies raise capital.
In fact, I'm working with him right now, literally today, on raising capital for our company. And the world of investment banking, and how all of that works is so cipher to most of us. And he's a phone call away for you. Also he is the only guy in the show who's ever had the good graces to argue with me, which I thought was just fantastic.
Austin Finch (05:46):
It was memorable.
Chris Beall (05:48):
It wasn't good. It's the kind of thing that people who don't like that sort of stuff would go, "Ooh." We had a lot of fun on that show. That was really fun. So that's fascinating.
So where do you go from here? What are you gonna do? You don't have to divulge it all to the audience, but do you have kind of an idea, direction? You gonna run companies? You seem rather entrepreneurial to me or is that like, "No, that's crazy stuff. People go broke doing that." Or what are your inclinations?
Austin Finch (06:17):
I look a lot at my mom's career and how it's evolved several times and I think my priority one is to choose a good entry point. And the second priority would be to not be afraid to change 'cause she's changed complete directions of her business several times just since I've been old enough to notice and talk to her about it. And every time she gets something new out of it, whether it's knowledge, or a new career opportunity, every time it's new contacts and that's building that network as well. So I don't want to be blind to the possibility of changing, or get locked in one career forever.
Chris Beall (07:37):
I love it. I love it. I think a lot of people think that they should get on some sort of a treadmill 'cause my mom always thought I should do that. I remember, I went through a big change in 1988 where on a Friday I went to the guy who was running the project that I was working on, title was director of engineering, or product, or something like that at the software company. But, in fact, I built the product and I'd sold the source code. It was Sun Microsystems, they were gonna use it as a foundation for building these automated distribution centers. And I went through a big change between a Friday and a Sunday. I went to the top guy and I said, "I'm gonna quit my job on Sunday at midnight. Do you want me here, Monday morning?" I was living in Boulder and working in California.
And I'll never forget my mom's response to that. I went from making $62,000 a year to making $260,000 a year over a weekend. So it was a big deal. And I was out on my own. I was suddenly an entrepreneur in the tech space, tech services effectively. And I'll never forget, my mom's reaction was, "You left that good job?" 'Cause her view and many people of her generation, their view is, "My job is a lifeline and you get one and keep it forever." Your view appears to be do stuff that's useful, be good at it if you can and learn a bunch and be open to change. And I think that's a much more robust way of looking at not just career but life 'cause they're pretty intertwined, I believe.
And your mom is a great example. And I'll never forget the lunch we had when she had just acquired Funnel Media and that was a scary move. That is not a trivial thing to do. You have to have a certain amount of activity to keep the lights on, and make things happen and how do you grow the business? She was so brave in the way she did it. And I thought really, really creative. So that's a great example for you. But I think your attitude is just dead on. It's just absolutely dead on. And I suspect it's more widespread than most people my age think among folks like your friends. I mean, would you say that it's more the norm among your circle of friends that they have this attitude, rather than, "I got to latch myself onto some job that's gonna take me to retirement and then I can sit around on my butt the rest of my life?"
Austin Finch (10:02):
I think it's kind of hard to tell because especially since all of us still live with our parents, you have so much influence from sometimes much older generations that are attached to that idea of if you find a good job, there's no reason to ever switch. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, that whole kind of thing.
And there's also that whole sense of loyalty to a company and to an organization where it's not that I don't feel any sense of loyalty, but it's if you can gain experience and move on to gain more, there's no reason to hold yourself back. And like you were saying, even a high-paying job can be a dead-end job. And I don't think a lot of people realize that.
Chris Beall (10:39):
That's interesting. Yeah, it's a big part of what Helen does in the Love Your Team system is to help people move on, not move out of a group, or something like that. After all, the idea of it is to form high performing teams and have the best performers want to stay and work with you and really produce wonderful things. But she does it by paying attention to people's aspirations to their lives, to where they really want to go. And help them along on their own journey rather than demanding some sort of loyalty to this abstract company. And I think that's a big deal.
I think that the notion of loyalty to a company is a little bit odd when you think about it. The company is a bit of an abstraction. Loyalty to a bunch of people you work with while you're working with them, and friendship with them afterward, and maybe good feelings about what you did and all that, yeah, those all make sense. But I don't know, I think it goes back to when the idea was, hey, you had the local whatever they were, the duke, the king, the Lord of the castle. They're keeping you from the other bad guys coming in and doing bad things to you, and therefore, you need to be loyal to them and just shut your eyes and do that. I think that's a bad idea in modern business.
You need to be loyal to the truth. That's sort of a different matter. But maybe not so much to a given company. And I don't think anybody's gonna refuse to bring you on board because you're not pretending like you're a slave to their organization for the rest of your life. So I love the attitude.
Do you find, as you're interacting with the school you go to the teachers and all that, what do you think about their awareness of this particular dynamic of here you are at your age, you're working at something, you're going off ultimately away from the school to do other things. Does the school get it? Do the teachers get it? Do you feel like they're looking out for you in that sense? And I don't mean all of them, but even some of them. What's your experience around that part of society? The [inaudible 00:12:38], the education part.
Austin Finch (12:39):
Well, I heard a lot about high school before I got there from my older sister, so that was kind of the background knowledge. But I feel like the focus has shifted a lot in recent years towards really gearing us up for a career and for college. I mean, for a while it seemed like the focus was mainly just work as hard as you can in high school, graduate with the highest GPA you can, and then we'll see you never. And good luck with your career. And now, I definitely have a fair amount of teachers and staff members that when I talk to them about the classes I'm taking, or the plans I have, they genuinely want to help any way they can to help you succeed on whatever journey you want to pursue.
Chris Beall (13:25):
That's hopeful and fantastic.
And, on that note, I think we should wrap this up. That's like the most hopeful, coolest thing I've heard in quite a while, Austin. I'm gonna feel good about the world for a little bit here because of what you just said.
And I want to thank you so much for coming on the show. And I know you're gonna do a fantastic job editing it. God knows what sort of things I threw in there that you can go pluck something else out. And I think you're gonna have some fun listening to your own voice. You have a fantastic voice, by the way. And the thoughtful nature of your speech, of how you talk, and it's clear how you're thinking from how you speak, I think is a wonderful thing. It's an inspiration to me. I'll try to be more thoughtful in the future.
Thanks so much for being on and have fun editing this show.
Austin Finch (14:08):
Thanks for having me on it.
Chris Beall (14:10):
All right, fantastic.
And for Market Dominance Guys. Corey Frank, not here. Chris Beall with Austin Finch. Hey, 'til next time.
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