Opportunity Overdrive - Issue 7 - December 28, 2023

The 5-minute personal opportunity and career development newsletter.

Because TL;DR is Life

Wild Ass but Informed Guesstimation

We’ll focus on the jobs market here, disregard all the headline grabbers like wars, climate change, interest rates, and AI, and focus on the jobs market.

We think the job market in 2024 will likely see increased hiring activity compared to the layoffs prevalent in 2023. However, employers will be much more selective and strategic with their hiring, focusing on candidates with specialized skills that align with business goals.

Specifically, demand will be high for expertise in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cybersecurity. Job seekers should proactively develop proficiencies in these areas through courses, certifications, and hands-on experience. Soft skills will also remain important, so highlight capabilities like communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.

For employers, effectively conveying their brand and culture will be key to attracting top talent, especially those who handled layoffs poorly. Providing transparency around past issues and future improvement plans will help regain candidate trust.

Moreover, ensuring diversity and inclusion remain priorities will be vital for accessing a broad talent pool and building an innovative workforce. If these areas are deprioritized, it could significantly impact retention and productivity. Companies should be mindful not to scale back diversity initiatives when reducing costs.

While AI will automate some tasks, it is better thought of as enhancing human capabilities versus wholesale replacement of jobs. Employees should view AI as an opportunity to offload repetitive work and focus on higher-value responsibilities. Staying abreast of technological developments through continual learning will be advantageous.

Lastly, rigid return-to-office policies could hamper retention, especially for working parents, caregivers, and other groups. Offering options like hybrid schedules and commute assistance shows employees their well-being is valued. Flexibility will be key for both attracting and retaining top talent in 2024 and beyond.

In summary, strategic hiring focused on specialized skills, conveying an appealing culture, prioritizing diversity, leveraging AI collaboratively, and allowing work flexibility will enable employers to assemble high-caliber teams that drive business results in 2024.

"Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you're donating blood.”

Bill Murray

Mood Swings & Unicorn Dreams

Want a complete downer? RTO (Return to Office) could be headed your way. According to quite a few different studies, it’s not a function of if it’s going to happen; it’s about how often you’ll need to add an additional couple of “work hours” to your day to visit your cubicle.

Resume Builder, which surveyed 1,000 company leaders. Nearly 30% say their company will threaten to fire employees who don’t comply with in-office requirements. Only 2% of business leaders said their company never plans to require employees to work in person. We’ll see how this all pans out, but U.S. job growth accelerated, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.7%, so you still may have choices in where you head for your next gig

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

Agent AI - We’re working with you and for you.

The coming wave of autonomous, goal-driven AI agents may not just handle menial tasks but could also become powerful career allies. Imagine having a personal AI assistant that proactively helps you network, apply for jobs, and grow your skills. We have imagined it and are building it along with a few other stealth offerings.

Your AI agent could be like a tireless career coach who works behind the scenes on your behalf 24/7. While you sleep, it could be out there scouring job boards, contacting contacts, and signing you up for relevant workshops and certifications."

Of course, we'd want safeguards to prevent any sneaky AI behavior, like accepting jobs without your knowledge. But an AI agent personalized to understand your career goals, skills, and preferences could be invaluable. AI won't replace human jobs; it will augment human ability. And what better way than having a digital helping hand to assist your professional growth?

So bring on the robots! With the right design, autonomous AI could take away tedious career-boosting tasks, freeing us up to focus on the parts only humans can do - like creativity, empathy, and strategic thinking. The future is looking bright for human-AI collaboration.

Ramen to Riches

Get this - Stacey Ferreira made her first million before she could even legally drink. And she dropped a best-selling book at the same time. Like, how savage is that?! This queen is only 31, but she's out here slaying the game as a total tech boss babe and CEO. This goes back about ten years, but the spirit of entrepreneurs remains the same.

Stacey was coding at a young age. Then, in high school, she had a lightbulb moment that changed everything. Her bro's computer crashed, and he lost all his homework files. So Stacey was like, "We need cloud storage for all our passwords and ish we need." And thus, her site mysocialcloud was born!

Stacey and her bro Scott were so hyped about it they dropped out of college to build the biz. That's courage right there! There was no question the deal needed funding, so she tweeted, of all people, Richard Branson about investing! She finessed her way into pitching him IRL and secured nearly a million in funding!

With Branson's clout, mysocialcloud blew up online. They eventually sold it for a fortune, making Stacey and Scott millionaires before drinking age.

Stacey then wrote a best-selling book about being a successful young entrepreneur. She joined the Thiel fellowship and came up with her next viral idea - Forge. It's like a flex talent pool for employers to hire part-time workers. Boom, in 2020 Forge was acquired by WorkJam. The price wasn’t disclosed, but we think it’s safe to say Stacey cashed in a second time. Kudos!

Stacey is out here speaking her truth and inspiring other young hustlers. She's a straight-up icon for under 30s getting it done.

Because Lost Luggage is a Mood

Are you wondering what digital nomad equipment you need for your travels? Having the right equipment is essential for success. Living and working remotely can be incredibly rewarding, but it also requires having the right tools and technology to stay connected and productive.

Some stuff is really necessary, but forget the stuff that just takes up space. You need good equipment (remember this isn’t a vacation) without doubling your college debt or breaking the bank. Key words: compact and functional.

  1. Laptop: The sacred altar of the digital nomad. Without it, you're just a nomad.

  2. Smartphone: Your lifeline to... well, everything. Lose it, and you might as well be on a deserted island, you might be anyhow.

  3. Noise-Canceling Headphones: For when the world gets too loud or you're seated next to a crying baby on a plane.

  4. Portable WiFi Device: Asking for a coffee shop's WiFi password in six different languages gets old.

  5. Power Bank: Your device's lifeline when they scream, "I'm dying!" at 2% battery.

  6. Travel Adapter: Plugs are like snowflakes, unique everywhere. This keeps you powered up.

  7. Ergonomic Travel Mouse & Keyboard: Because carpal tunnel doesn’t care about your wanderlust.

  8. Virtual Private Network (VPN): For those times you need to pretend you're still in your home country.

  9. Compact Travel Router: Turns the sketchiest Ethernet connection into your own private WiFi.

  10. Dry Bag or Waterproof Backpack: The only thing worse than a rainy day is a rainy day with a soaked laptop.

    Remember, it's not just about having the right gear, it's about keeping your humor while you roam the globe!

Ctrl+Alt+LOL

Don’t worry - we know change is happening fast, and soon, many of us will be doing jobs that don’t even exist yet. Now, here’s someone that we’re pretty sure is perfecting a skill that no large language model will be interested in doing now or in the future.

Here’s to job security.

Or whatever this is.

It’s Not a Trap, Just a Poll

It seems there isn’t a single facet of professional life that’s not at least

What is your outlook for the year 2024?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

"The only thing worse than starting something and failing ... is not starting something."

Seth Godin

Pretend to Listen (But Do)

Picture this: you've spent years cramming for exams, pulling all-nighters, and downing unimaginable amounts of coffee to get that shiny degree, say in computer science. And then, BAM! Along comes AI, strutting its digital stuff, potentially making our hard-earned skills as quaint as an 8-track tape in a Spotify world.

Nobody is safe. Even those pushing this technology to the edge.

VIP (Very Impulsive Purchases)

BMW’s iVision Dee is a mind-blower, but it also opens the doors to a rash of problems. Try registering it —

Hi, I'm here to register my new BMW.

Clerk: Ok, what color is it?

Right now it's blue.

Clerk: OK so what the hell does right now mean??

It doesn't really have a normal color. The paint uses thermochromic technology so it changes based on temperature. Sometimes it's red, sometimes green, sometimes yellow.

Right. So, let’s try this again. What color is the car?

Person: I'm not sure.

Clerk: That’s helpful. I don’t have time for this sh*t We don't have a rainbow option in our system! I can only enter one color. This is ridiculous.

Well, what if we just pick one color for now? : Let’s go with blue.

Clerk: Fine, I'll register it as blue, even though that won't reflect what color it actually is most of the time. This is so frustrating; we've never had to register a chameleon car before. The DMV system is not made for this!

I'm really sorry about this! I didn't realize it would be such a pain in the ass. It’s totally….

Clerk: grumbling You better, or that color-changing car is getting a big fat ticket next time I see it change from blue to anything else!

This is the FREE career newsletter that could
end up costing you a lot more not to subscribe to.

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/

Join the conversation

or to participate.