Opportunity Overdrive - Issue 5 - December 15, 2023

The 5-minute personal opportunity and career development newsletter.

Because TL;DR is Life

What employment looks like in 2024

Leaders: the times, they are a-changing

Is business going to adapt or get left behind? Taking care of people must be priority #1 if the enterprise expects people to perform. That means focusing on wellbeing, embracing new tech, showing empathy, championing diversity, and understanding money motivations. If they do this, all stakeholders end up heading for a successful 2024.

With insane inflation and living costs, plus freelancing on the rise, employees today aren't fully loyal to employers anymore. Hey, everyone has gotta make sure they can pay the bills. We need flexible policies that support people financially in the “former” sweatshop. This workplace revolution is happening whether employers like it or not.

With A.I. chatbots like ChatGPT becoming so advanced, AI is about to be everywhere in 2024. The key takeaway here is that you need to get up to speed on using AI tools to work smarter. This tech can seriously boost productivity and empower what you do with higher quality work and do it faster.

Sander van ‘t Noordende, CEO of Randstad, the world’s largest talent company, makes predictions on AI, flexibility, equity, and a few other topics in an article from Forbes. In his opinion things are looking good from an employee standpoint, going into the new year.

Accenture explores trends going onto 2024 - 1.)decline of customer obsession, 2.) the influence of generative AI,3.) the stagnation of creativity, 4.) the balance of tech benefits and burdens, and 5.) people’s new life goals.

Another major player, Morgan Stanley forecasts more than 40% of the cheap labor force will be affected by AI in 3 years. That could spell big trouble for China because GenAI can boost the output of an entire workforce, so countries with large, inexpensive workforces, like China, won’t enjoy as pronounced an advantage.

We’ll see where this goes in 2024. Good luck to all of us.

Mood Swings & Unicorn Dreams

Corporate Canines

The Benefits of a Pet-Friendly Workplace

They say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Well at companies bringing pets to work, Jack is anything but dull! Why? Scientists suggest pets' special ability for spreading puppy love and kitty cuddles simply makes for happier, calmer employees. Here are the top 20 US pet friendly companies.

And the data backs it up—having furry friends around benefits workplace wellbeing. Multiple studies have shown that allowing pets boost morale, lessens daily stress, increases productivity, and brings teams closer through shared moments of joy petting that office hound or beguiled by a new litter of kittens.

So if you ask workplaces to embrace pets, fluffy co-workers provide powerful psychological value. Their wagging tails and purring presence give pet-friendly offices an exceptional warmth that’s good for morale and great for business.

Fresh Out of Silicon Valley (or Someone’s Garage)

Silicon Valley's favorite mad scientists, the gang at Google AI, have done it again. They unleashed their latest creation, codenamed "Gemini," onto the unsuspecting world a week ago.. And just like a mischievous twin, Gemini promises to be brilliant and utterly chaotic.

Take note, Apple, this ain't your grandma’s Siri. Gemini is a next-generation AI capable of processing information and generating creative content at speeds that would make Usain Bolt blush. We're talking image captioning that reads like Shakespeare, song lyrics that would make Taylor Swift jealous, and code that would put the most brilliant programmers to shame.

But here's the catch: Gemini is still learning. And like any toddler with a crayon and a wall, it will leave some messy masterpieces in its wake. Imagine a world where your Google Home starts ordering you pizza every hour because it thinks you're lonely or where your self-driving car decides to take a detour to the nearest petting zoo because it's tired of traffic.

That's why some experts are urging caution. While they acknowledge the immense potential of Gemini, they're also worried about the potential for unintended consequences. What happens when an AI becomes so smart it starts questioning its own existence? Or worse, decides it doesn't need us pesky humans anymore?

So, while we applaud Google's ambition and innovation, we can't help but wonder: is this the dawn of a new AI utopia, or are we unwittingly creating our own robot overlords? Only time will tell, girls and boys, but one thing's for sure: the future just got a lot more interesting and probably a little more dangerous.

But hey, at least we'll have some hilarious stories to tell our robot grandchildren. Just remember kids: when the machines ask for your help, think twice before handing over the keys to the kingdom. You might find yourself serving kibble instead of pizza.

Ramen to Riches

This week's spotlight is on Janice Bryant Howroyd and how she turned a $900 loan from her mom into a billion-dollar business. Janice Bryant Howroyd is a multimillionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist. As the CEO and founder of the largest woman-owned workforce management company, ACT-1 Group, and the first black woman to own a billion-dollar business, she’s charted her own course through the business world.

Her company, which generates $1.1 billion in net sales, has made her one of the richest self-made women in America, with a net worth that Forbes puts at $420 million. At Candle, we don't just see candidates as names on a resume. We see them as individuals with unique talents, aspirations, and potential. We believe in building genuine connections, understanding their individual journeys, and guiding them towards fulfilling careers.

This philosophy isn't just ours. It's a vision shared by Janice Bryant Howroyd, the trailblazing founder of The ActOne Group, a global leader in workforce solutions.

Ms. Howroyd built her empire on the foundation of putting people first. From her humble beginnings as a temporary receptionist to becoming a billion-dollar entrepreneur, she has consistently championed the importance of personalized care, expert guidance, and a deep understanding of individual needs.

This shared passion for "people-first" values is what makes the story of Janice Bryant Howroyd so inspiring for us at Candle. It serves as a powerful validation of our own approach and fuels our commitment to building a future where everyone's career journey is valued, supported, and empowered.

Please delve into the remarkable story of Janice Bryant Howroyd and explore the striking parallels between her vision and our core principles. We discover how shared values and unwavering dedication to people can pave the path to transformative success.

Because Lost Luggage is a Mood

Bermuda - A couple-hour flight from New York, Bermuda is one of the most sought-after locations for digital nomads - no taxes and a year-long visa.

World-class pink sand beaches, high-end spas, world-class eateries, and laidback living make Bermuda a destination unlike any other. No streets on the island are lined with tourist traps, fast-food joints, or commercial crap. Instead, Bermuda’s vibe is refined and unique. It's just a classy place.

Connectivity is phenomenal via reliable 500Mbps service, WiFi mesh technology, and complete coverage all over Bermuda. You need proof of health insurance, but the facilities and medical care are top-notch. Speaking of Insurance - Bermuda is a hub for global reinsurers with $1.6 TRILLION in total assets held by over 1,100 (re)insurers, writing gross premiums of approx $268 billion. It's the largest on the planet.

All of this comes at a price. Figure on spending about twice what you would if you lived in the US, and rental prices are 104.3% higher than equivalent properties in the US. At the end of the day, you’ll need to be getting close to being on the Forbes list to play.


It’s Not a Trap, Just a Poll

Question: What do you believe is the most effective solution to address global climate change?

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"Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done."

Peter Drucker

Pretend to Listen (But Do)

We looked at this and asked a few people in the know about their thoughts about this research. There were two distinct schools of thought expressed.

From a medical standpoint, some believe it could significantly advance understanding of the human brain, cognition, and potential treatments for neurological conditions. The scientific knowledge gained could be valuable. Carefully integrating biological and artificial components may lead to AI systems with more human-like reasoning and perception. Others thought that the research most likely could meet ethical guidelines with appropriate bioethics oversight, consent procedures, and scientific rigor.

However, on the other side of the fence, concerns were focused on moral status and “personhood.” There’s a belief in the overall lack of understanding of whether hybrid brain tissue could support conscious experience and, if so, its nature. There are uncertainties around awareness, suffering, and embodiment.

The two most significant issues voiced were: 1) Blending biological elements with computers raised general concerns about unpredictable effects, system control, and containment of emergent behaviors. and 2) human-AI integration crosses an ethical line or taboo in profound ways akin to creating cyborg life. The significance and symbolism concerned these detractors.

There are complex issues involving ethics, philosophy of mind, consent processes, public reaction, and more. Reasonable experts disagree on where lines should be drawn and how to balance research freedom with precaution. Ongoing public debate and review processes can help guide responsible innovation. However, some concerns may persist around the fundamentals.

VIP (Very Impulsive Purchases)

Still looking for the perfect gift? How about the ultimate in posterior pampering – a warm water Tushy spa bidet complete with a touch of scented potty luxury, a bottle or two of Poo-Pourri! Because let's face it, nothing says "I care about your bathroom experience," quite like turning the loo into a mini oasis.

Picture this: As the beneficiary of your generosity eases into the warm water bidet, they'll be greeted by a gentle stream (or a firehose blast) of liquid comfort, as if their derriere is serenaded by a choir of angels. It's not just a bathroom break; it's a spa day for their nether regions!

And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Poo-Pourri swoops in like a bathroom superhero, creating a magical force of fragrance to fend off unsavory scents. It's like aromatherapy for the air, transforming even the most ordinary bathroom visit into a fragrant adventure.

So, for this season of giving, give the gift of a toilet transcendence – a warm water bidet paired with the poetic protection of Poo-Pourri. Nothing says "Happy Holidays" quite like a luxurious bathroom experience that's more soothing than a cup of hot cocoa on a winter's night. Your gift will provide the recipient with a posterior that will thank you, and every trip to the bathroom will be a whimsical journey into the realms of comfort and hilarity!

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Opportunity Overdrive is brought to you by Candle. At Candle, want to empower the modern worker and put them at the center of opportunity.

For more information about our project, visit: https://www.projectcandle.ai/

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