What Millennials Want in a Job, with Danielle Godby (Inspiring Women, Episode 49)
Danielle Godby is a millennial retirement planner who talks about how her generation is often unfairly portrayed. She shares her own journey from ballet dancer to fitness instructor to retirement planner, highlighting how she has always been drawn to helping others. Godby discussed with host Betty Collins how job-hopping is often seen as the best way to make more money and get more experience, but she wonders why more employers don’t try to keep their employees happy and engaged. She also emphasizes the importance of offering value before asking for anything in return.
The host of Inspiring Women is Betty Collins and the show is presented by Brady Ware & Company.
Betty’s Show Notes
The millennial generation has been subjected to a lot of criticism – they are perceived as selfish, entitled and demanding, not to mention addicted to technology.
Are these stereotypes true? Certainly not for everyone.
But there are certain tendencies and habits associated with the millennial generation that are more prevalent than in the other generations currently in the workforce. However, bashing any one group of people does more harm than it does it good.
My guest is Danielle Godby, a Retirement Planner at Golden Reserve.
Danielle talks about her generation’s focus on their job search. What’s a priority to them?
When I talk to my friends, it’s a lot about feeling fulfilled by the work that they do, being able to go home at night and know that they helped someone do something better or they can feel better about their contributions to their own community.
Does money come into play?
It’s not necessarily about how much money you can make, which, honestly, it’s quite surprising given all the student loan debt that is saddling my generation. But that’s really not the dialogue that I hear. It’s a lot more about feeling good about what they do and feeling appreciated in what they do.
Among your colleagues and your peers, do you find that they value other job attributes like learning and advancement more than they do income?
There are a few different things that I hear come up in conversation and they’re surprising to me. You would think income would be front and center of the conversation, given that we were taught our whole lives to prepare for college. But what I hear is they want to make an impact. They want to feel good about what they do. They want to have the flexibility to work from home if they need it or to take mental health days to have a work-life balance.
What can business owners do to motivate them to stay?
I think it’s very basic. If you pull it back to the bare bones, it’s just building a relationship with someone that’s strong, and consistent. You want something that lasts. So you have to invest in that relationship.
Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.
For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.
Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.
[00:00:00] Betty Collins
So today we’re going to interview somebody from Golden Reserve and what we really, really like about this person first, she’s a millennial. She’s full of life, she’s energetic, and she’s just been starting her career. And we just really wanted to talk today about her generation. I am not a millennial. I don’t even know what really bracket I’m in. I just know I’m 58. Right. And so we want to talk about millennials. Everyone wants to kind of put them in a box sometimes, you know, so we want to get inside your brain a little bit. But since that what you are. But so first, before we get started to talk about a little bit, two or 3 minutes of just kind of about you, you know, and golden reserve and and just take some time to to introduce yourself to the audience.
[00:00:48] Danielle Godby
Yeah. Hi, I’m Danielle Godby. I’m a retirement planner with Golden Reserve and a millennial. So I’m grateful for this opportunity to talk about things in a light that that might not be. Millennials are killing the cinema industry. What industry are we killing next? You know, I don’t think that’s the impression that my fellow millennials have of ourselves. You know, there’s a lot of intergenerational I won’t call it bullying. It’s all in good fun, you know. But I feel, you know, boomers are very down on millennials and Gen Gen Z is also, you know, so I feel that it’s good to have a representation of us. That is true. So I grew up in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Oh, okay. Yep. I went to Ohio University down in Athens and I studied exercise physiology. Okay, so that’s something near and dear to me so that I can learn how to improve my own health and to help people around me to improve their health. That’s always been top of mind for me.
Yeah. I love to help people. I, I did ballet for 14 years.
[00:01:51] Betty Collins
Oh, very nice. Wow. How talented. That’s. I mean, that’s that takes strength. That takes a lot of discipline.
[00:01:59] Danielle Godby
Discipline is the word I would use. Yeah, certainly. But I remember finding that, you know, that core of who you are that always follows you and you tell stories about where you started out and where you ended up and have always been teaching people. Yeah, I started in ballet. I was doing we were doing stretches and people nearby would be bent in a certain way. And then like, you know, if you point your toe this way or straighten your leg in this way or or pivot this way, it’s going to feel a lot better. And I’ve always been helping people in little ways like that. So, you know, I found a strange little journey. I don’t know very many people who graduated with their bachelor’s and then continued on in that field. And I had done that for a while. I did fitness for about ten years, managed boutique fitness studios like Row House. And what was the act, the Amanda Kaiser technique. I love kickboxing, so a handful of of different things that I’ve done in the past. But I don’t think that it’s it’s something that I have to do to limit myself to being good at one thing. Yeah. You know, so I.
[00:03:03] Betty Collins
Learn that now do three things well, not ten things average.
[00:03:06] Danielle Godby
Yeah. Absolutely. So.
[00:03:08] Betty Collins
Well, my daughter loves kickboxing, I mean and so for Christmas, I always have my kids give a gift. Their spouse gives them a gift that they don’t know is coming because everything else is done with links. And they give me these lists and they know everything that’s going to be open. So I said, Are you sure you want to buy her boxing gloves? He goes, I can handle it. I got it. Incredible. But yeah, but she loves how it’s a good venting for her. It’s a great plus. She really works out and it’s a good exercise.
[00:03:36] Danielle Godby
A phenomenal workout.
[00:03:37] Betty Collins
Well, let’s talk the one thing millennials and I don’t look as millennials as the enemy, by the way. But, you know, a lot of times you’re known for job hopping. I mean I mean, that is it’s kind of the environment. And in fact, it’s three times higher than than that of non millennials who do the same job. So, you know, I’m a business owner. You really probably are too in what you do. I need to make it easier for millennial prospects to to choose me because I’m a little bit older and choose me over my competition. But what exactly in your mind do many millennials look for in their job search? What’s that priority to them? What’s what are what’s going to attract them? Right.
[00:04:18] Danielle Godby
Well, we have to keep in mind the advice that we’ve been receiving since we were children, like people in your generation have been telling people in my generation to look for something that they love, right? Do something that you love. You’ll never work a day in your life. And then we all laughed collectively because it’s still work. Right? Right. But I think I hear a lot of buzzwords like impact or, you know, what does that really mean? And I think when I talk to my friends, it’s a lot about feeling fulfilled by the work that they do, being able to go home at night and know that they helped someone do something better or they can feel better about their contributions to their own community. And so it’s not it’s not necessarily about how much money you can make, which. Honestly, it’s quite surprising given all the student loan debt that is saddling my generation, but that’s really not the dialogue that I hear. It’s a lot more about feeling good about what they do and feeling appreciated in what they do.
[00:05:13] Betty Collins
Yeah. So when, when, when millennials look in job searching, I know my daughter is is looking to do some job search or to make a change. She. Is more concern first about truly their mission statement and the culture. And she wants to know what they’re doing in the community. Now, that’s coming from my daughter. We didn’t talk about money a whole lot. We didn’t talk about her career aspirations in five years. What do you want to do? She talked about those things first. Talk to me about your generation with those things being mission culture and what are they really do for the community? Is that a driver for you? Is that going to be an attractor to you for a place to work?
[00:06:02] Danielle Godby
I think workplace culture is definitely a priority for me. Yeah, you know, I’ve left I left places because I don’t feel happy or comfortable. I’ve turned down jobs that were six figures because I didn’t like the story they were painting of their workplace culture. Yeah. And it boiled down to, I think the question they asked me was, do you ever lose sleep at night over your work? And I said, No, I do not, because I leave it all on the table every day. And I know that. And I get to go home and I get to close my laptop and feel good about what I did that day. And I thought to myself, that’s not very it doesn’t prioritize my mental health. Yeah. Or my time off. And then what is the point of then having all that money if you have no time to use it or a family or friends to spend it on, you know. Yeah. And so what are they doing in the community? I did not interview Golden Reserve and ask them what sort of philanthropy they were involved in, but it is important to me to know that their mission is to offer people tools to fight back against the financial industry. And what I mean by that is like seniors don’t have as many resources as the rest of us, like we are very well prepared to plan for retirement. But once we get into retirement, the skills are very different. The view is different. And, and it makes me very happy to know that we are doing extra things for that group.
[00:07:25] Betty Collins
Yeah, yeah, that’s good. That’s good stuff. Well, of course, this is a we’ll put you in the box because all of you want ping pong tables and free beer. Right. You know, what about the ping pong tables and the free beer that you hear that other companies are doing? You know, you see that? Is this something that really millennials want? I mean, is that a preference when they’re picking a company that will that help them learn, grow and be better or be who they want to be, to have those that typical ping pong table work? And I can be in flip flops and we have beer at lunch and nobody cares. I mean, is that really a driver for you?
[00:08:05] Danielle Godby
Well, I can only speak for myself. I would I would say no, definitely not. Those things are very novel. I love that we have a fancy schmancy water machine in our office and I can have cucumber water when I want, but I can make cucumber water at home. Right. You know, I think for me, it’s just wanting the resources required to do my job really well. And I want a group of people around me who will assume the best in me and offer me. Accommodations if I need them or, you know. Yes, wearing flip flops. That’s great. I’m wearing flip flops right now. I love that. It makes me feel happy. I know if that’s a dealbreaker for my job, I wonder how serious I am about that job, you know?
[00:08:48] Betty Collins
[00:08:49] Danielle Godby
[00:08:49] Betty Collins
I like the way you say that. That’s good. Yeah. Now, when you first interviewed for your job, was it a you just knew that this is it. And I’m I’m going and I’m going to jump in and do this.
[00:09:01] Danielle Godby
Well, they had a very different approach on their job posting. So a lot of the job postings in any sales position have to do with commission only. Or what do we need from you? We need top closers, top performers, very disciplined people who know what they’re doing, like that’s the dialogue. As always, this is what I need from you. And if you can’t check these boxes, then move on, you know, take it or leave it. And that’s always what I read. But this one was very backwards. It was this is what we’re prepared to offer to you. This is our 6 to 12 months of training with a partner of the firm. You know, we’re seeking people that don’t have finance backgrounds. And I asked them about that. I said, you know, I have a decade of fitness experience on this resume. Does that give you pause? Yeah. And they said no, because you have you know, you have personality and you have the desire to learn. And we’ll teach you everything else that you need to know. Yeah. And so ping pong tables and free beer, that’s not really my style. But if I have someone who’s willing to look at me in my strengths and my shortcomings and say, Hey, let me meet you where you.
[00:10:02] Betty Collins
[00:10:03] Danielle Godby
And let me give you some training where you need it to watch you shine. Like that goes a long way, right?
[00:10:08] Betty Collins
So are millennials getting a bad rap when that’s what we think that they like and that they’re motivated by? I mean, you know what I mean? I mean, is that not a fair assessment? Because, sure. You know, your generation, is that really I mean, you’re speaking for you, but is that not a fair assessment to put everyone in that box?
[00:10:27] Danielle Godby
The best advice I’ve ever gotten is someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business. And so if I look at Gen Z and think they’re the tide pod people, yeah, that’s not maybe a fair representation of their generation. Right? But it’s none of their business. What I have to think about them and vice versa. You know, all I can do is represent myself and what I know to be good and true. And when people get to know me, they see those qualities over time. So, I mean, if I have to pleasantly surprise employer after employer that I don’t want their ping pong tables and they can return them and save a couple of hundred dollars.
[00:11:00] Betty Collins
But we have an audience with a lot of business owners and, you know, and so I’m hoping they’re hearing what you’re saying. I mean, you’re getting to something that we all just think is the thing, right? And it’s.
[00:11:11] Danielle Godby
[00:11:11] Betty Collins
Thing. Right? The novel thing. That’s a good way to say it. So so, you know, income is not among millennials. Top five factors when they’re applying for a job. I don’t even know what my daughter, who I’m helping, wants in salary. We’ve never talked about it.
[00:11:26] Danielle Godby
[00:11:27] Betty Collins
Yes, but it still has to matter with the high student debt that you have. But among your friends, among your colleagues and your peers, do you find that they value other job attributes like learning and advancement more than they do income? You’ve already kind of touched on that, but let’s expand on that.
[00:11:45] Danielle Godby
Definitely. There are a few different things that I hear come up in conversation and and they’re surprising to me. You would think income would be front and center of the conversation, given that we were taught our whole lives to prepare for college and then college seemed to be the only option for me. That was the only presentation. My mom, you’re going to college, right? No one in our family did. You are. And I’m like, Well, I guess I am. How will we pay for it? You know? So I would think that would be more more prevalent. But what I hear is. They want to make an impact. They want to feel good about what they do. They want to have flexibility to work from home if they need it or to take mental health days to have work life balance. I think is a really important thing. Or then you can go into the benefits package can really make a big difference. Like if you have health care, that could make a huge difference. I know a lot of potential business owners who are one foot in their job and one foot out because they have health care at that job. Right. And they have benefits that they wouldn’t otherwise have or things like paternity leave. You know, I hear a lot of maternity leave, but how many dads get the chance to go home and spend time with their new babies?
[00:12:57] Betty Collins
[00:12:57] Danielle Godby
You know, it’s the little things that kind of flag someone’s humanity. For me and again, in one person, I can speak for myself. But when I talk to my friends, they like to leave their job and know they feel good being there. They don’t want to have to vent about their co-workers or their managers or how how the culture there doesn’t align with them. You know, that’s a very stressful experience. It just gets in the way of doing the job. And so it sounds simple, but if you can just be good people to each other and remove the barriers between that person and accomplishing the goal of their job, that’s. That’s it.
[00:13:34] Betty Collins
[00:13:36] Danielle Godby
[00:13:36] Betty Collins
I know my son has said to me with his children, then they’re three and one and a half. But he’s like, I’m not going to just say college is your only option. There are all kinds of things that you can do, but it all starts with passion for it. And both of my kids, everything was about this is the experience I want to do. She ended up being a teacher. He’s a hospice chaplain and I’m a business person. Yeah, they give me a bad. They give me a bad rap. It’s all good. It’s all good. So business owners want to I think they want to do a better job than retaining millennials. They want that future. They want that next generation. They do. I mean, we we talk about it in Brady. We’re now a lot not just who’s going to replace Betty Collins, but who’s going to replace Betty Collins replace place. You know, it’s not just me. And here’s somebody now. We’re trying to think in two generations. Sure. So they want to keep them. But but investing in in their learning and advancement can be costly. And it can be uncomfortable for us to take that risk to some degree because we’re going, okay, of course, we’re thinking you want the novelties more than substance.
[00:14:45] Danielle Godby
[00:14:45] Betty Collins
Too, but what can business owners do to motivate them to stay? And then, you know, you’re not looking for the next thing or the next best thing and that kind of thing. How can we do that?
[00:15:01] Danielle Godby
Well, I think it’s very basic. If you pull it back to the bare bones, it’s just building a relationship with someone that’s that’s strong, consistent. You want something that lasts. So you have to invest in that relationship, right? It doesn’t matter if it’s a friendship, a romantic relationship or a work relationship. You know, you have to continue to follow up with these people and and check in with them and offer them choices. But I’ve noticed some of the things that piqued my interest is I’ll hear someone who’s been in a job for a long time and they seem to get these. I’m using air quotes here, promotions. Right. And they’re getting to other people’s jobs, but there’s no pay increase for these people. And so they’re being it feels like a reward. They’re being rewarded with this opportunity, but then it also feels like a punishment. Yeah. Why do I have to do all this extra work just because I’m good at it, you know? And so to me, it’s it might be simple on one side, not being a business owner yet. You know, I have a business mindset, but I don’t have to work with a pal.
[00:16:00] Danielle Godby
Right. So but consistent opportunities for promotions, you know, lateral roles in the same job. You don’t have to leave your workplace, but maybe they’re sick of doing that role. Maybe they want something where they can be paid the same and do something else and contribute in a different way. Or, you know, ultimately, if it’s a good workplace culture, I’ve been hit with a couple of non-compete agreements in my time, and I mean, that’s very common in fitness, it’s common in finance, common and anywhere in the industry. Yeah. So anywhere that there’s sales, you have talented people, you want to retain them and there’s a little bit of fear like I just invested so much time, so many resources into you and your growth. I don’t want you to leave me and that’s reasonable and fair. But if you take that into, let’s say, a romantic relationship, relationship and you’ve invested all this time and dates into this one person, you say, I don’t want to fully commit to you because what if you leave me?
[00:16:57] Betty Collins
[00:16:58] Danielle Godby
And that’s not a very productive or fruitful way to live the great relationship. Yeah, right. But I mean, it’s not easy to be the first one to go first. But one of the things I really liked about Golden Reserve is that they said, Hey, we’re going to take a bet on you and you’re going to take a bet on us, and it’s going to take a lot of work on your part. But we’re here for you and here are your resources, and it’s up to you if you succeed. And they told me one in ten people make it in this industry that I’ve decided to go into. Six months ago.
[00:17:30] Betty Collins
But you’re making it.
[00:17:30] Danielle Godby
You know, I have the audacity and the boldness to know that’s me. I have to be that one person out of ten. Yeah, but I don’t think I would be that comfortable if they weren’t ready to sponsor my licensure or my certificates or to give me training when I ask for it, you know? So.
[00:17:47] Betty Collins
But you felt like they were all in with you. It wasn’t. Here’s what we’ll do, but here’s what we’ll do. If it was, we’re all in.
[00:17:56] Danielle Godby
Yes. And people don’t want to leave jobs like that because they become family. Yeah. And it’s not like that. We’re all a family here. So we’re going to abuse you mentally? Sort of.
[00:18:06] Betty Collins
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get.
[00:18:09] Danielle Godby
I’ve seen some some memes as a millennial, we communicate in memes. Right. But the places that are the hardest for me to leave are places that feel like family. The communities that I’ve built in different fitness studios. I was really, really sad to leave those, but I was guided by people who know and love me. That job hopping is how you make more money, and if you leave one job, you get to bump your pay a lot. And if you do that every few years, you get more experience and more skills and more pay. What’s stopping us from keeping that person there and still giving them these bumps and these opportunities to contribute? Yeah, I guess would be my question.
[00:18:47] Betty Collins
Well, let me ask you a few things and see what you mean, because first of all, do you feel like you, your generation. The you guys who are going to take over the world one day and we’re all going to be going. They took over the world. Right. When you hear things like. Do you want a mentor? I want to be your mentor or I’m a mentee. I can’t be a mentor or whatever. What do you think of mentor mentee relationships? Your generation? That. Are you open to being teachable? Are you open to hearing and being part of somebody who just might know more? Or they might really want to generally help you?
[00:19:29] Danielle Godby
[00:19:29] Betty Collins
Just expand on that a little bit.
[00:19:31] Danielle Godby
I think everybody knows something that I don’t know and you never know unless you listen to them talk and you ask them to tell you their story. And I’m very supportive of any mentorship that I hear about or participate in. I don’t think being a mentee precludes you from mentoring someone else. Because we have diverse skills and we can offer a lot to different groups of people. And I think if you are very closed off to that, you’re going to have a very hard time in and anything that you do. And that’s one of the one of the things that I attribute to my success and being flexible enough to go from one industry to the next is being coachable. Because if I came from a decade of fitness experience and I was closed off to the idea of somebody knowing more than me, I would know a fraction of what I know now, and I wouldn’t have nearly as much success as I do now in this new role. And I would probably be really lonely and anxious about it too. Right. Why is it just my job to do this when there’s a wealth of information around me? I think I’m a little bit. I like to offer value before I ask for anything. So engaging in those relationships can be can be, I don’t know, complex, difficult, I guess, to approach someone and say, hey, can you mentor me? Right. Like, what am I supposed to offer that person? You know? So I think it’s more comfortable in situations where I’ve met people who I know I can help and I say, Hey, you know, I drop a little breadcrumbs for them. I let them come to me. I don’t want to be overbearing at all. Sure, either side of that is a difficult conversation, though. Like I know something that would benefit you. I want to I want to take you under my wing. That’s delicate. But then being the person who wants to know more is delicate, too. So.
[00:21:19] Betty Collins
Right. Because I think there is a huge desire that boomers, which is kind of where I’m in. I was born in 63, so I don’t know where I’m at, but it doesn’t matter to me. I really could care less. But we love to be able to mentor, but sometimes turns into we’re going to tell you all we know and what we think. And and then it isn’t a relationship where you’re going to really get you’re not going to hear us, you know? So sure. But I think your generation, two or generations, that two and three behind me are craving somebody that was willing to jump in with them, whether it’s hard or not, whether it’s a it’s awkward or not.
[00:22:00] Danielle Godby
[00:22:01] Betty Collins
So so interesting thing about you is when we talked just before we started in the podcast, what I find intriguing is that you were a ballerina, I don’t know, very many ballerinas. And you did that for what about you said 14 years and you said, I learned a lot of things about when I was a ballerina. Definitely talk about that.
[00:22:24] Danielle Godby
Well, I’ve always been a dancer. I think that was my mother’s not so subtle way of getting me out in front of people. Okay. Just she says my father is very awkward around people and he’s very is very shy. And she didn’t want that for me. And so, for better or for worse, I was three years old and she stuck me in a.
[00:22:43] Betty Collins
To get on stage.
[00:22:44] Danielle Godby
Right. So I’ve been performing since I was very, very little and I didn’t really know anything else and which is good because I’m pretty extroverted and it would be a strange combination of qualities to be extroverted and also shy. Right? Right. So I think you learn a lot about your limitations and how strong you can be. I think dance is a powerful form of self expression. You know, I didn’t have an outlet for that after college and that’s what prompted me to start Group Fitness. Yeah, and I missed it so much because it helped me feel valued, like I was contributing to my community. I had impact, all these things. And so kind of to bring this back into our earlier conversation. It’s kind of like you can look for these things in a job, but it’s almost the same concept of putting all of your eggs in one basket and looking for the same thing in a romantic partner, for example. Like you want them to be your everything, your whole universe. And that’s just not realistic, right? One job cannot be your whole universe. It’s not realistic. So I think it’s important to sort of pad your life with things that bring you joy and that bring you passion. So I find all sorts of opportunities to dance, whether that’s in my kitchen or at a ballroom dancing studio that I just found, fitness dance classes. I think that brings people out of their comfort zone in a really beautiful way.
[00:24:07] Betty Collins
Well, I will say to you that. It would be good if we just took our labels off. You know, I kind of want to end with a little bit about that, whether I’m a boomer or an X or gen. If we took our we took those names away, it would be so much better. Right. I agree. And then just having these kind of conversations, you’ve been such a delight today. It’s just restores my faith in OC. There are generations behind me that get a lot at at your age. You’re just because I shouldn’t ask this. But how old are you?
[00:24:41] Danielle Godby
I’m 29 inches.
[00:24:42] Betty Collins
49 in July. Oc OC We say we’re 29 again many times.
[00:24:48] Danielle Godby
I’m at the age I’ll always be.
[00:24:50] Betty Collins
Yeah, that’s right.
[00:24:51] Danielle Godby
That’s right. I have arrived.
[00:24:53] Betty Collins
So what would you like to say to my audience who probably looks a lot like me? Oc As a kind of a closing, inspirational thing coming from a millennial that we’re not going to call you a millennial, but what would you want to say to my audience that would just maybe wrap up all this in a nice bow?
[00:25:11] Danielle Godby
Well, I think if you can approach another human being with kindness and curiosity, it goes a really long way, no matter who you’re talking to or what kind of conversation you’re having, because there are many people in every generation that I’ve met who go in with this this thought that they they already know what that person is about to say, and that closes you off to actually listening to them.
And so listening actively being genuinely curious about what that other person has to say is it’s going to solve a lot of problems before they begin. You know, there are a lot of really educated, passionate people out there who just want to meet someone else in the middle. Right. It takes two to tango. I don’t think it’s an easy one. One sentence answer by any stretch. But I mean, I’ll stop making fun of boomers as soon as they start making fun of me. Right? That’s not going to work. I’m going to have to stop first. Yeah, right.
And then boomers can see that and they can say, like, okay, right. Maybe I’ll give this one slack.
[00:26:09] Betty Collins
I have a lot of people under the age of 40 here and they’ll say to me, When your generation keeps using the word you millennials, we shut down immediately. We don’t have we don’t hear anything else. You have to say. True. If we learn something today, it’s like, let’s stop putting everyone in a box. Well, Danielle, it’s been a pleasure to interview you today. I think my audience will get a lot out of what you have to say. Totally invigorating. Totally inspiring. And that’s what we do. Inspiring women.
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