The End of Jobs and Bosses

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume. After watching this video, you should be thinking about ways to display and prove your skills as the world of work changes.

No “jobs.” No bosses. I think the future of work is going to be decentralized, “bring your own skills to work,” about shared ownership, and will favor people who can effectively self-manage… themselves.

The “Pop Up Organization”
The future will probably involve fewer bosses. Recently, a group of American freelancers got together to create True Story (a card game and mobile app) and there’s one striking thing about the company. It isn’t a company. There are no bosses, no managers, and no official titles. It was a collaboration between a group of freelancers who met, created, signed revenue sharing agreements, and walked away. See http://nyti.ms/2v613SJ.

This is becoming an important way of working — and not just for bands of freelancers. Jody Miller, the founder of the Business Talent Group (see http://bit.ly/2x97CFq), makes a living assembling teams of freelancers for short-term projects for Fortune 500 companies.

Algorithmic Managers
Increasingly, software algorithms are being used to allocate, optimize, and evaluate human workers and business processes. Sound familiar? That’s what managers used to do. At companies like Uber and Lyft, there are 500 and even sometimes 1000 drivers for every 1 person who does traditional “management” functions.

The new conversation being had by next-generation management scientists isn’t how humans can be better managers, it’s how algorithms can be better human managers. For example, see the paper “Working with Machines” at http://bit.ly/2i9oclV. For more information about the DAO see http://bit.ly/25RWicG.

Also, watch Senator Ben Sasse being interviewed about the future of work at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. I believe he’s correct about much of his view on the future of work (and he’s definitely going to run for President, so he’s worth learning about). Here’s the link with the timecode embedded: http://bit.ly/2uV835l

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We’re Obsessed with Ambition in all the Wrong Ways

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume…and think differently about your job search!

ambition

What is ambition and how do we qualify an action or lifestyle as ambitious or not?

Typically, how we think and feel about ourselves is greatly influenced by what others (our parents, our peers, leaders in our industry) think of us. It’s dangerous to assess ourselves in this way because it leads to making decisions that aren’t right for our needs, our values, our experiences, our personalities, etc.

I believe it makes us watered down versions of ourselves and actually impedes the positive impact that we are capable of having; we do things for the wrong reasons because our focus is on the image of ourselves that the public reflects back to us instead of the reality of who we actually are.

Lately, I’ve been working on breaking the approval seeking part of myself and thinking of ambition as dependent on the individual and what their goals, values, and interests are because ambition means different things to different people. And the same goes for achievement and success.

As you think about your career trajectory and, over the years, prepare your resume and keep your career profile up-to-date, I encourage you to stay connected with what YOUR true ambitious self looks like vs. what you see on the cover of Fortune, what your parents’ ambitions are for you, or what you see your peers doing.

Are you overcoming obstacles and doing the hard work to get to where you want to be and achieve what you set out to achieve? Are your goals based on what you actually want for yourself and do you let your values and ethics guide you in the right direction?

Following the Mainstream Can Cause Us Harm
The pressure for making certain “acceptable” decisions doesn’t stop with our friends and family. Norms are pushed on us through the media as well, as Alain de Botton so aptly describes in Status Anxiety:

“Ideology is released into society like a colourless, odourless gas. It is embedded in newspapers, advertisements, televisions programmes, and textbooks -where it makes light of its partial, perhaps illogical or unjust take on the world; where it meekly implies that it is simply stating age-old truths with which only a fool or a maniac would disagree.”

eazl jeff bezos

This includes ideology about the economy and who qualifies as a useful person within that economy.

Now, you still have to possess skills, interests, and talents in an area where there is clear need in order to be employable or create a career for yourself. In general, being people-centric will help set you on the right path.

But prioritizing money and praise is NOT the only way to be an ambitious person. Ambition is possible without either of these foci.

If you perform some kind of action that greatly influences your community in a positive way but there is not necessarily any kind of monetary reward or public recognition for it, are you not ambitious in your efforts and are you not successful?

What we see reflected back to us often in these cases is that it doesn’t qualify as ambition but we shouldn’t be assessing our ambition based on someone else’s judgement of us. Our limit should not be where the paycheck and the praise ends.

Get comfortable with the idea that what other people think about you does NOT matter and is most often a distraction from being a real leader!

Traditional Views on Ambition
For too long –in my opinion and based on the findings of researchers in the fields of the science of happiness, sociology, consumer behavior, and many other areas of study– we have measured ambition based on the amount of money and/or public recognition that an individual receives or seeks.

We conflate the feeling of love (however disingenuous it may be) that we get from strangers based on money rewards and attention with real success and love.

eazl paparazzi

If you aren’t bringing home a fat paycheck or on your way to getting one, you aren’t all that ambitious.

If you aren’t being featured in publications as an expert in your field (or if your don’t care to be), ambition simply isn’t part of your personality or something that you prioritize.

We, as a society, are confusing monetary gain as a measurement of an individual’s value in the world and we are being told what it means to be ambitious instead of deciding what it means for us and what WE want to contribute to the world.

This is causing much confusion in the world of professionals as college graduates leave programs that were never right for them for jobs that aren’t right for them. These big decisions that we later (sometimes much later) realize are mistakes that can often be traced back to status anxiety and our narrow view of what ambition is because we followed the path that others told us was the right one.

What Makes a Person Ambitious?
The problem with the public attention and financial success mindset surrounding ambition is that we are leaving out the numerous other approaches to ambition that one might argue are far more important than a salary or public praise and, in the end, do more good for society and future generations.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that those who receive the praise and the money are the ones who deserve it; we buy into the idea that we live in a meritocracy. So those who fall into the category of wealthy and/or public figures stake claim over the adjective “ambitious”, leaving out the many others who are striving to be change makers or make progress in their fields; the ones who haven’t prioritized public recognition and most likely made sacrifices regarding their paychecks….or simply have their noses down in their work.

So what makes a person ambitious? There isn’t a definition that I can give you because there is no model to follow. You are going to have to create your own model.

That might initially sound scary to you….but what it should sound like is FREEDOM.

You have to decide what your ambitions are for yourself. What is it that you love and enjoy? What do you feel are your innate talents and how can you work hard at delivering those talents as a service to those around you? What is ripe for disruption?

Once you’re on that path -on YOUR path- you can feel comfortable in your ambition and won’t need to look for approval.

 

Self Discipline is Underrated

📿 How are you challenging yourself to be more disciplined? 📿

Could self-discipline hold the key to a healthier, happier, more successful future?

The Books Mentioned in this Video:
• Siddhartha by Herman Hesse – http://amzn.to/2u3P48y
• Hooked by Nir Eyal – http://bit.ly/2fbUmw2
• Nudge by Richard Thaler – http://amzn.to/2v2txhO

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The Importance of Learning How a Language is Really Spoken

This guest post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume. You can find a coupon for 25% off Charlie’s course, Zero to French: A Complete Guide to Spoken French, here.

charlie-street-french

street french

When we learn a foreign language in high school or college, it’s usually not really how native speakers use the language in everyday life. We learn the language in a very proper and academic way, but that tends to not be very useful in real life situations. So you end up with people who might have studied a foreign language for several years, but can hardly use what they’ve learned at all.

It’s pretty sad right? Why else would you learn a language?

I definitely understand why academic institutions teach languages like that. They want people to learn proper grammar and in a way, sort of protect the language, but it just seems like a giant waste of time that so many people spend all this time studying something and end up being unsuccessful at it in the end.

So if you’re studying a foreign language with the intent of actually being able to apply what you’ve learned, studying in a classroom is not nearly enough! You have to go out and use what you’ve learned in order to be proficient at it. There’s really no other way.

street french

The problem with how most people currently learn languages is that they’re limited to textbooks, exercises, and tests, which can be helpful, but they don’t spend enough time using the language to become proficient at it. If you want to have beautiful, flowing conversations in French, you’re going to have to practice having beautiful flowing conversations in French with other people.

It’s a lot like driving a car. You can read a book about driving and learn the rules of the road, but unless you actually get behind the wheel of a car and spend a decent amount of time practicing, you’ll never be a very good driver. There are some things that you would just never be able to learn in a classroom.

street french

So for those of you who would like to speak a foreign language proficiently one day, I highly suggest you get out of this “classroom” mentality and focus on using the language as much as possible. Sure you can learn the basics and even take a couple of entry level classes to get your feet wet, but get out there and start using what you’ve learned as soon as possible.

There are sites like couchsurfing.com and meetup.com where you can easily find some friends who speak the language you’d like to learn and practice with them. Don’t overthink it! Just have a good time with your new friends and remember, the only way to get good at something is to practice doing it.

Get started learning French today with Zero to French: A Complete Guide to Spoken French (25% off) and start developing an invaluable skill to add to your resume!

Facebook Advertising: The Facebook Ads 2017 Certification Course (Trailer)

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume. 

*Get a $10 discount on the course here: http://bit.ly/fbads10*

In less than 3 hours you’ll be able to use Facebook’s ad targeting features, install and use the Tracking Pixel, launch campaigns, and receive a certification.

Learning how to use Facebook Advertising isn’t just for launching Facebook ads to sell products. Instead, think of Facebook ads as a way to communicate with hyper-targeted groups of people. Facebook advertisements can be used for recruiting, for public relations, to promote events, to build communities, and, of course, for selling products and services.

Learning to use the Facebook Ads suite for business will enable you to be better at online marketing, modern digital communications, and will give you a strong background for a variety of social media and digital marketing applications. You’ll also earn your Facebook Ads 2017 certificate which you can link to on your LinkedIn® profile, resume, etc.

For more info: http://bit.ly/fbads10

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Fake News is About to Get Bigger and Faker

🎧 Listen to a great podcast on this topic via WNYC’s Radiolab 🎧

What happens when hyper-realistic fake information is easy to create, hard to detect, and can be spread across the world to billions of people within seconds via social media? We’re going to see…

Photoshop for Voices
Adobe’s VOCO software can now take a 20-minute recording of a person’s voice and then enable an editor to type any words they want–even if none of that was said ever during the 20-minute recording–and produce near-flawless audio that could fool anyone… and this tech is only going to get more accurate and harder to spot

Fake Video is Here
Now, any president, prime minister, CEO, or celebrity, can be someone’s lifelike puppet on video. Watch a video produced by a team at Stanford that shows the face of former US President George W. Bush being scarily manipulated in real time.

Questions
The implications of this technological advance are immense. In the near future, fake news–audio, video, etc.–will be incredibly pervasive on the web. What does this mean for news outlets?

Will people need to pay for quality, trusted information?

How will we identify artificially-generated videos and audio?

What’s next for truth and information online?

What business opportunities does this present?

http://futureoffakenews.com/

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Career & Business Book Haul (Summer 2017)

This post is part of our Summer Scale Up series. We’re helping you scale yourself and accomplish more.

career and business book haul

One way to start giving yourself regular Brain Boost (like the ones we publish every Friday) is to commit to making reading a regular part of your week (and your life!).

Reading is an essential part of being a well rounded person and achieving the success that you want. Big readers are more intelligent, better writers, and have a more robust toolbox for dealing with challenges and difficult situations.

We recently took a trip to Myopic Books in Chicago -a FANTASTIC book store to check out if you are ever in the city- and came back with a HUGE HAUL of books to inspire our work with Eazl.

Myopic doesn’t have a large business book section but you’d be surprised at what kind of inspiration and guidance you can find from literature that isn’t technically in the business category. At Eazl, we look to philosophy, history, sociology, and a slew of other topics for guidance in our business, our lives, and our personal career trajectories.

Here are the treasures we came back with (we spent an average of about $10 per book).

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

status anxiety by alain de botton
Summary: de Botton takes a look at history, philosophy, economics, art, and politics as they relate to growing status anxiety in the modern world.

Significance: This kind of topic and inspection on why people (aka consumers) behave the way they do is insightful on a career level and on a skills-of-life level. Imagine being able to better tap into what motivates humans in order to either be persuasive or create more positive interactions with others.

How I’ll apply it: There’s no doubt that what I’m learning from this book will show up in Eazl content somewhere. We’ve created content on similar topics before (like The Science of Happiness and Social Status). I’m also using it as research for an independent project that I’m working on.

The Division of Labor in Society by Emile Durkheim

the division of labor in society by emile dirkheim

Summary: Originally published in 1893, Durkheim wrote a lot about how societies could maintain their integrity the modern era; a time in which the Industrial Revolution was changing the landscape of society.

Durkheim presents a new vision of the social structures and the issues caused by capitalism (still relevant today). He argued that uncontrolled state power could lead to the end of individuality and believed that only a free society that promotes voluntary bonds between its members will result in the prosperity of individuals.

Significance: Concerning the current political and economic climate, this book is 100% relevant for our content on the future of work and for our own careers.

How I’ll apply it: I haven’t started on this one yet, but I’m guessing it could lead to a blog post at minimum.

Good Work by Gardener, Csikszentmihayli, and Damon

good work

Summary: Co-written by three renowned psychologists, Good Work provides strategies for creating a work life that is both expert and socially responsible based on real life stories from real professionals. They set out to prove that ethical success -in a world where market forces drive all- is possible.

Significance: This topic comes up a lot when we work with our students and clients on their career planning. There is always the question, “Is it possible to be both values driven and wildly successful?”

How I’ll apply it: I’m not sure about the level of sophistication in how the information is presented. I’ve been on the business ethics train for a while. Maybe I’ll learn something new or discover some tips for increasing profits in an ethical way. Not sure what to expect.

 

A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

a book of five rings

Summary: Written by the great swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi in 1645, the five books are the stories Musashi taught to his own students in his dojo. The teachings have been used and applied to business strategies in Japan all throughout the 20th century.

Significance:It is common to view business as a military operation and that mindset is pervasive throughout the business world. Whether or not you agree or opt into this kind of thinking, it is important to understand the approach that many other business owners and C-suite professionals are taking if you are going to operate alongside them.

How I’ll apply it: Not sure if I’ll apply this knowledge to my own career at all because, honestly, my approach to business and success is far more feminine and I don’t really know where military/warrior techniques fit into my life. It’s good to know how other entrepreneurs -in Japan in particular- are approaching business.

 

The Work of Nations by Robert Reich

the work of nations

Summary: Reich explores the effects of globalism has on the economy and job market today. How can normal Americans compete? What skills are the most valuable? And how can we ensure that all can benefit from the global economy. This book is well informed, ahead of its time and published in the 90s. A lot of the issues he covers may be familiar to you today but the masses weren’t attuned to this thinking 20 years ago.

Significance: So obviously relevant today politically and economically, the writer makes some interesting observations and warnings that may put some things in perspective for American workers.

How I’ll apply it: What Reich writes about in The Work of Nations is significant for all of us in America. We create a ton of content on the future of work (like How Blockchain will Revolutionize the World’s Data, There are Big Opportunities in Craft Products, Get e-Citizenship in Estonia) and will definitely continue keeping our community informed about the future of the labor market.

 

The Essential Essays of Reinhold Neibuhr

the essential reinhold niebuhr

Summary: Reinhold Niebuhr was a Theologian, ethicist, and political analyst and one of the primary figures of twentieth-century religious thought.  In these essays Nieburh, a liberal Protestant theologian, examines the catastrophes of the 20th century with “optimistic pessimism”.

Significance: Whether you are religious or not, you’ll find value in Neibuhr’s approach to examining human behavior and ethics.

How I’ll apply it: I’m not sure if the learnings in this book will show up in anything formally or if it will be used just for personal study. Regardless, if it does have a significant enough of an impact on the way I think, you’ll be seeing some version of it in some form or another, whether it’s in a blog post, a vlog, or the way I interact with the Eazl community. I would consider my (short) life’s work thus far to be related to ethics and values so I find what Neibuhr has to say incredibly invaluable.

Fun to note: Barack Obama views Nieburh’s work as instrumental in his own development.

 Other Books at My Bedside

Productivity: Why You Should Work in Clusters

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In the mid 1970s, two American researchers used people’s reactions to words to discover something that we can all apply to using our brains. Your brain is better when it works in clusters. See the research here.

Better Comprehension
The two researchers found that when they showed people words that had similar meanings people were able to actually read the words more quickly than if the words they were shown had no relation to each other.

The takeaway here is that we will be able to understand something and make connections on some topic if our brains are warmed up to thinking about that topic.

Our brains won’t be as capable if we use them to flip between topics every few seconds. Our brains like to think in patterns.

Better Judgement
The researchers also found that our brains can identify falsehoods better when we think in clusters. For example, if we hear a 5 sentences on the same topic, we’ll easily spot the sentence that is untrue but if we hear 5 sentences that all pertain to different topics, we’re less capable of identifying which sentence is false.

So, try to work in clusters. For example, if you need to create one piece of marketing collateral each week, next time try to create all four pieces of marketing collateral for the month on the same day. You’ll likely feel like it’s faster, easier, and more efficient.

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From HubSpot: Are Notifications Driving Us Crazy?

This shared post is part of our Summer Scale Up series. We’re helping you accomplish more, the smart way!

notifications

“As it turns out, there could be a downside to all of the benefits mobile technology provides. We might be able to work from anywhere on our smartphones or tablets, but such mobility and accessibility come at a cost — and too much technology could actually be making us less productive.

In this post, we’ll explore how notifications impact your brain and your mental and physical health, and what you can do with your devices to help minimize the negative impacts of the little red dot.”

notifications

How to Use Your Brain (According to Neuroscience)

This post is part of our Summer Scale Up series. We’re helping you accomplish more.

What do neuroscientists have to say about how we should use our brains? Let’s dive in!

The OG Power Processor
Currently, the top-of-the line Mac Pro (not a MacBook–Apple’s $4,000 desktop machine) tops out at around 7teraflops per second in processing power. The human brain is estimated to be able to process almost 350x faster–closer to 1 Petaflop per second. Our brains are great at evaluating information. See how the Harvard researcher came up with this estimate.

Storage Problems
Our brains aren’t so good at storing information–especially short-term storage. Researcher George Miller showed that when we have more than 7 items in our short-term memories, our ability to make good decisions drops significantly. See his findings and learn about Miller’s Law.

So what does this mean for you and how you use your brain? First, try to delegate memory and project-management like duties to software. Take pressure off yourself to remember everything you’re working on. Instead, spend your brain power processing information and using logic to find pathways forward. You’ll be much better at that than a machine will be.

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