Opportunity Overdrive - Issue 8 - January 4, 2024

The 5-minute personal opportunity and career development newsletter.

Because TL;DR is Life

Cybersecurity Jobs - Do they or don’t they

Well, folks, the cybersecurity worker shortage has reached a fever pitch. Companies are crying for more defenders to fight off hordes of hackers, while job seekers are left scratching their heads, wondering where all these mythical jobs are hiding. Between the data from Cyberseek and expectations of “shortfall candidates,” it seems we have a veritable quandary.

Turns out, companies' expectations for degrees, certs, and experience are completely out of whack. They want clones of James Bond with a computer science PhD, 30 years under their belt, and more awards than Michael Phelps. Meanwhile, most real cyber pros are average Joes and Janes doing their best to keep the bits and bytes safe.

Companies need to take off their rose-colored glasses and realize not every hero will ride in on a white horse. Sometimes, the best cyber defender is the diamond in the rough who's eager to learn on the job. Companies need to relax the requirements and invest in training motivated newbies! Don't keep holding out for a unicorn.

Of course, even diamonds lose their shine when they aren't paid properly. Salaries need some serious bumps to attract the gems. Though with budgets tightening faster than a corset on prom night, fat raises are harder to find than a mall Santa in July.

Will the cyber worker shortage continue in 2024? Experts say demand could go either way. Companies may have to choose between their cyber workforce and keeping the lights on. Let's hope leadership realizes skimping on security is like strolling through a dark alley in your PJs - risky business!

The bottom line is that companies appreciate their cyberdefenders. Job seekers, keep polishing those skills. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit”

George Carlin

Mood Swings & Unicorn Dreams

Will 2024 be good for workers?

  • 69% believe that 2024 will generally be better for workers than 2023.

  • 71% say it will be a good time to change your job.

  • 68% agree it will be a good time to start your own business.

  • Almost 8 in 10 respondents (78%) believe that there will be more positive work-related changes taking place in 2024.

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

Web 5? What the hell is Web 5?

TBD, a part of Jack Dorsey’s company Block, has released a new set of tools under the Web5 project, aiming to simplify the process for developers to build applications on a new kind of internet. This open-source toolkit means anyone can use and modify it without cost.

To break it down:

  • Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs): Think of these like email addresses or usernames. They are unique digital IDs that you control, unlike traditional IDs, which are often controlled by a central authority (like an email provider).

  • Verified Credentials (VCs): These digital certificates confirm certain details about you, like your name, age, or if you own certain digital assets. They're like digital versions of your ID card or driving license, but more secure.

  • Decentralized Web Nodes (DWNs): These are like storage units on the internet where your data is stored not in one central location but spread out across many places. This makes it more secure and less prone to being controlled or taken down by any one entity.

We wholeheartedly agree with the overall mission and applaud Jack and his team for their efforts to provide decentralized identities, personal data storage, and verifiable data exchange capabilities.

Ramen to Riches

2024 - is this the year you make the jump?

The life of an entrepreneur is a far cry from the relative stability of a corporate job. Rather than simply clocking in and out, entrepreneurs pour blood, sweat, and tears into building their own businesses. Long hours, risk-taking, and wearing multiple hats are par for the course. There's no cozy safety net - it's sink or swim. But while corporate jobs provide structure, entrepreneurs follow their passions. They alone reap the rewards of their success. So, while entrepreneurship is challenging, it offers freedom that corporate life can't match. Failure is not failure. It’s a lesson. The choice comes down to your appetite for adventure versus your craving for security. However if you have the courage, being your own boss is awfully sweet. Jensen Tung has been down this road; check out what he has to say.

Because Lost Luggage is a Mood

South Korea announces digital nomad visas beginning 1-1-2024

South Korean Visa

Pack your bags, digital nomads - South Korea is rolling out the welcome mat! As of January 1st, 2024, remote workers can explore the Land of the Morning Calm with a shiny new digital nomad visa.

The Korean Ministry of Justice announced this game-changing development, offering access to one-year “workcation” visas with a chance to extend your adventures for a second year.

Unlike the restrictive tourist visas of the past, limiting stays to a mere 90 days, the digital nomad visa lets you blend work and play for an extended South Korean sojourn. Imagine roaming from bustling Seoul to breezy Jeju Island with your laptop in tow, stopping to sip bubbling makgeolli wine or slurp steaming bibimbap along the way.

The visa permits solo nomads and whole families to take the plunge, as long as you meet requirements like being over 18, providing an income of around $65,860 annually, and passing a clean criminal background check.

Are you already in South Korea on a tourist visa? No problem! You can still apply within the country if you meet the criteria. Just don't plan to pick up a local job since this visa is for remote work only.

While the first year of this experiment rolls out through South Korean embassies worldwide, envision a future where the Land of the Morning Calm becomes a top hub for digital nomads in Asia.

The only thing that might keep you from considering this fabulous country is their neighbor to the north.


Returning to the Office? Here's How to Reduce Stress and Support Mental Health.

It’s Not a Trap, Just a Poll

Are you planning on changing careers in 2024?

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“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them."

Vaibhav Shah

Pretend to Listen (But Do)

Employers are posting way fewer jobs these days. Job listings on sites like Indeed were down over 15% at the end of 2023 compared to last year. So stay tuned to Project Candle, as we continue to develop the best career strategy moving forward.

The great hiring frenzy from earlier in the pandemic has chilled out, despite low unemployment. That's good news for the economy not crashing too badly.

But while job openings are dropping overall, in-person customer service and healthcare gigs are still popping off. Listings for childcare workers, waiters, nurses, etc., were still way above pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2023, Indeed found.

Those jobs have been desperate for workers and are playing catch-up from COVID shutdowns. Pay and benefits have gotten juiced up to attract applicants. Sweet deal if you're looking for work in those areas, at least for now.

Not so much if you want a traditional office job. Postings tanked for software developers, marketers, HR, and finance. Tech and corporate openings are way below what they were pre-pandemic. It's brutal out there for entry-level job seekers and recent grads trying to get their feet in the door.

Wage growth has slowed too, so don't expect as many fattened paychecks or crazy signing bonuses now that businesses have more applicants to choose from.

The takeaway? Dust off those customer service skills if you want to cash in. Otherwise, it will take hustle to snag a job, especially in corporate fields flooded with applicants.

At least the economy probably won't implode too badly. Small victories.

VIP (Very Impulsive Purchases)

Prepare for spring golf with a finely tuned swing for only $55K.

Fairways fade from vibrant green to dreary brown as the grounds crew packs away the flagsticks until spring. There is no need to envy snowbirds and their desert courses. Just step inside your simulator, launch a virtual ball down a Hawaiian fairway, and enjoy a balmy 60 degrees. What could go wrong driving golf balls in your house?

This thing is pricey but doesn’t include broken windows, lamps, or 65” big screens meeting their untimely demise, courtesy of a wicked slice.

Or, maybe an errant 8-iron shot that could knock your wife unconscious. You may be sleeping on the couch until the simulator is returned. You may also find homeowner associations across your state lobbying for legislation to regulate indoor golf simulators.

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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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