tl;dr: Next round of interviews takes place starting July 22. Sign up here to share your career change stories.
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind! I’m half way through recording interviews for my mini podcast for career changers, 50 Conversations.
The podcast project started as part of my new book which arrives in Fall 2019. The book teaches people how to change careers, upskill, and thrive in a rapidly changing workplace.
When I put the call out for interviews with career changers on LinkedIn, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The brilliant part about career changes is that they come in all shapes and sizes. My goal with the mini-podcast is to showcase the variety of paths people take while showing others how to change careers.
So far all the conversations with career changers have been riveting. The list of topics we’ve covered is long: bootcamps, online courses, going back to school at 35, masters degrees versus certificates, learning to code, imposter syndrome, community college programs, working in cutting edge roles, artificial intelligence and automation, workplace learning, layoffs and bouncing back from layoffs, the future of work, and so much more. There have been plenty of giggles and more advice than I could possible write in a blog post.
The conversations span Gen X and millennials, including two recent college graduates who have already changed careers. Most, though not all, are college graduates of the last 15 years who are to figure out the new career narrative, one that doesn’t match what they were promised when they got their college degree.
I’ve interviewed people who are just starting over, people who are in the middle of a bootcamp experience, and those who are on their fourth career change. All of the conversations are filled with nuggets of wisdom, reflection, and success.
Want to share your career change story or know someone who does? Submit your info and I’ll reach out in July when the next round of interviews resume.
Interviews with the next batch of career changers will resume in mid-July. The first podcasts will be released in late July. If you want to know when they’re available for your ear, sign up below.
“I voted yes to go on strike to ensure my job isn’t outsourced to a robot,” said Chad Neanover, a prep cook at the Margaritaville, said.“We know technology is coming, but workers shouldn’t be pushed out or left behind. Casino companies should ensure that technology is harnessed to improve the quality and safety in the workplace, not as a way to completely eliminate our jobs.”
The article also cites a survey from Cognizant that reported “three-fourths of hotel operators said AI-based systems would become mainstream by 2025.”
Tech buzzwords explained:
Dark web—Onion service
Data science—statistics done by nonstatisticians
My love (obsession?) for career education is deep. I could talk about how we train people for the job search and the future of work for hours (and sometimes I do). I love listening to peoples’ work lives. But I know career education isn’t the most entertaining subject. As much as I try there’s only so much I can do to transform traditional career advice like “research all the companies”and “LinkedIn is your power tool” into engaging content. Enter, gifs. I love gifs. My newsletters have them. My courses have them. Gifs help me liven up some of the driest parts of my career content (and really, when I say dry I mean desert-dry…)
Today I hit a major milestone in my gif appreciation: I made my own.
I teach people how to build soft skills, specifically negotiation, networking, and public speaking. Unfortunately developing these three skills make people feel incredibly uncomfortable. To deal with discomfort I drive home this motto: embrace awkward. Awkwardness is to be expected when we try new new things. Awkwardness happens with difficult conversations. Stepping outside our comfort zone is bound to be awkward. Avoiding awkwardness is futile. Instead, we should embrace it and power the the fuck through it.
Power-the-fuck-through-it doesn’t make for snappy, corporate friendly workshop copy, so Embrace Awkward is my go to motto.
Anyhow, I’ve enshrined my favorite career advice in a lovely gif for my upcoming course, How to Ask for a Raise.
I haven’t even started my online course. I just sits there, purchased. I am no closer to upskilling than I was when I wrote my professional new years resolutions post dedicating this year to upskilling.
What motivates people to upskill? Money? Fear (of job loss, irrelevance)? Curiosity? Passion for the subject?
Read the glowing article above where founders gush over a soon-to-be world in which all inanimate objects have tiny cameras that monitor our everyday movements. How does it make you feel? Is this the first time you’ve ever heard of the Internet of Eyes?
“Similar to the Internet of Things, the IoEyes is a network of cameras and visual sensors connected via the internet enabling the collection and exchange of visual data on a scale unimaginable before.”
This was the first time I’ve heard of the Internet of Eyes (IoEyes) and it’s absolutely terrifying. Equally terrifying are the founders who believe “IoEyes will only have a positive effect on society as a whole.” These guys seem to be clueless about the negative impact these technologies will have on society. You’d think there’d be a second thought on the “trillions of frames of potentially actionable data” they’re sucking up when data breaches are happening at record paces. Or maybe the founders just don’t care because profit&brand. And they’re doing it all to give us a better quality of life, to give us things like better data from our toothbrushing experience:
Imagine performing a simple daily task and knowing what’s going on inside your body.A real-time visual feed of you brushing your teeth will generate not just one visual signal but millions of layers of signals, including analyzing heart rates, blood conditions, DNA structure, temperature, and emotional state.”
Regardless, these founders (and maybe tech journalists) need to take a break from building (and reporting on) the future of surveillance for a bit of Netflix and chill with Black Mirror. Black Mirror is notorious for it’s dark take on how technologies affect society. Their episodes stay in your head way beyond episode. The series makes you rethink the impact of technologies in a visceral way. Every time I read an article like the one above it makes me wonder if any of these founders watch the show.
So my Netflix and chill recommendation for the founders is as follows. Start with the episode, The Entire History of You. Then move on to Nosedive followed swiftly by Shut up and Dance. Throw in the Christmas episode for fun.
Then get back to me about how positive these technological advances are for society.
PS: IoEyes also helping to reinforce those pesky gender stereotypes and support controlling personalities:
“The benefits of biometrics and sensors offer invaluable support. From deterring people from driving when they are too intoxicated, to making sure your teenage daughter isn’t bringing home that boy you don’t like when you aren’t around.”
“When I first got the three pages of specs for a chief-of-staff position at Kleiner Perkins in 2005, it was almost as if someone had copied my résumé. The list of requirements was comically long: an engineering degree (only in computer science or electrical engineering), a law degree and a business degree (only from top schools), management-consulting experience (only at Booz Allen or Bain), start-up experience (only at a top start-up), enterprise-software-company experience (only at a big established player known for training employees) … oh, and fluency in Mandarin.”
That’s Ellen Pao’s career in the elite of the elite from a must-read excerpt of her upcoming book, Resent, which details the intense harassment she experienced at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
The excerpt is worth the read in part because it challenges the assumptions we make about women who speak out on sexual harassment. It’s not just a woman who speaks up, gets fired, goes to court, loses, life goes on. Imagine having this happen to you when you spoke up about wrong-doing in your organization:
In response to my suit, Kleiner hired a powerful crisis-management PR firm, Brunswick. On their website, they bragged about having troll farms — “integrated networks of influence,” used in part for “reputation management” — and I believe they enlisted one to defame me online. Dozens, then thousands, of messages a day derided me as bad at my job, crazy, an embarrassment.
Corporate. Troll. Farms. Backed by people who have piles money like this:
Ellen Pao is a fighter. A leader. A storyteller. And she’s a damn strong role model for women, especially those navigating those same elite circles.
I’m working on many projects right now: I’m consulting, writing, and building. Eventually everything will be under one big reveal but I’m not there yet. So when someone asks me what I do I have a ton of flexibility in how I answer. I love the challenge of trying out new professional narratives in casual networking situations.
Last week I bombed hard as I was telling a new professional narrative. At a dinner party with my partner’s coworkers, someone said to me “So I hear you’re working on some coaching stuff.” I winced a bit. I’m not coaching. In fact, I’m trying to avoid coaching. So I tried out a new story:
Me: I used to coach but not anymore. Now I’m doing some consulting, working with career services to upgrade their curriculums for international students. But that’s just for right now because I’m launching a school to prepare students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Him: Awkward silence and polite smile.
Imagine it’s a fine summer evening and you’re enjoying some delicious ceviche talking amongst the group about the fresh scallops and vacation. And then someone tells you their working on preparing people for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
WTF does that even mean?
He had no idea. I don’t blame him. I don’t even know why I said it. A polite silence ensued. He walked away. I went back to eating my ceviche and wallowed in the awkwardness.
Then I made a mental note: spend a little less time on the interwebs reading reports of robots taking over all the jobs and more time talking to real people.