Archives for posts with tag: opportunities

social-sharing-button

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 10 years since Netflix and Zipcar changed the economy to a shareable consumption model that has become a compelling alternative to traditional forms of buying and ownership.

Now many consumers are choosing shared access over ownership.

The effects of the global economic crisis, environmental issues and the expansion of a globally connected social web have created a new generation of businesses and jobs that are changing the “world of work”. In the job market, the world is going from “having a job” to “doing a job”. Companies are essentially “renting” employees as contractors when they need them instead of “owning” them as full-time employees.

Take a look at how even businesses are changing to reflect this ”renting mentality”.

Consider AirBnB. Back in 2007, Gebbia and Brian Chesky were recent graduates in need of extra cash to pay their rent. On a whim, they built a website offering attendees of a design conference a place to stay in their apartment on an air mattress and included a home-cooked breakfast. Encouraged by the experience, they decided to build a web platform where booking a room in a person’s home anywhere in the world was as easy as booking a hotel room. AirBnB is now in more than 8,000 cities and rents houses, castles, cars and yachts.

Zipcar, now owned by Avis, convinced people that they could avoid car ownership and enjoy the perks of access without inconvenience. Now companies like Uber, RelayRides and Getaround don’t own any cars like Avis, they simply enable the sharing of autos owned by individuals. Essentially they have “re-purposed” products/services by enabling them to be shared via web access.

German car manufacturer Daimler (they make Mercedes) is also developing this new business model into a part of its core business. Daimler AG distributes 100 vehicle models in 200 countries worldwide. Its Car2Go service is similar to Zipcar’s, except that it doesn’t require a reservation or a two-way trip. Car2Go’s mobile app allows a person walking down the street to locate a Smart car and access it immediately via a windshield card reader and PIN number, drive it anywhere locally, and leave it there for someone else to use. Daimler has also started developing apps that work for any car, not just a Daimler-made vehicle to capture this new model of transportation access.

  • Why buy a second home when you can rent a chateau in France on Airbnb for $300?
  • Why hire a chauffeur when they don’t come with an Uber app that tracks their relative location to yours and can be used for a quick pick-up for a 2-mile trip to the dentist?
  • Even owning the music of your favorite music artist is a lot less appealing when you can stream it immediately on or offline with Spotify and without taking up any space on your hard drive.

These business examples make a compelling case for why you to need make yourself a web-enabled personal brand. Many employers are evolving their businesses model where shared employee access makes more economic sense than employee ownership. This is not a niche trend led by web-based companies. It’s quickly becoming the new way of doing business using the globally connected social web.

To ensure your income security and marketability, take time now to assess how you can become a part of this rapidly changing business mindset. Study the tools of the Internet that essentially offer you the capability to reach an “income market” beyond a reasonable commuting distance from your home.

As a Boy Scout, I earned a marksmanship merit badge demonstrating that I could safely use a gun and hit a target. However the most valuable lesson I learned, has changed the way I think about business and my career today – To hit a moving target you have to LEAD the target and anticipate where it’s going. Flexibility to change course, accessing the power of the Internet and looking for what lies ahead have become the key factors in ensuring your economic security as it relates to your job. Perhaps the word job should be changed to “income stream” to highlight the importance of having multiple income streams coming from many customers (employers).

Changes are coming quick and they are inevitable.

Start NOW to make yourself a SHAREABLE web-enabled personal brand.

The opportunity of a lifetime is right in front of you. Go for it!

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People are usually bad at predicting the future because everyone thinks the future will resemble the past and they have totally different perspectives of the past based on their own experiences.

Statistics genius Nate Silver recently told a story that offers us an insight into why we need to be aware of our viewpoint looking toward the future of our career path.

Radar technology was in its infancy in the 1940s. Navy planes circled the Hawaiian Islands, searching for threats by sending planes that would fly around the islands until they were low on fuel. The Japanese military knew exactly how large that circumference was, so it sent its aircraft carriers just beyond the range that the U.S. reconnaissance planes could fly so a surprise attack would be easy.

The point is that our viewpoint usually just gives us a fraction of the whole picture. There are important developments and technology that are just outside your viewpoint that, if we knew about them, they would totally change how we view the world and future employment opportunities.

Another factor is your personal history, which is heavily influenced by your own experiences. But just like the Navy aircraft, your own experiences are only a partial view of the world, altered by when you were born and your past, the equivalent of the reconnaissance planes with a limited fuel range.

Dr. Morris Massey a Sociologist, and a former professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder produced a 70’s video titled “What You Are Is Where You Were When”. An updated version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZFLiQ8XkBE captures the essence of “viewpoint” not just related to what we believe, but also how it can affect how you develop your future employability.

The lesson here is that we need to continually and consciously update our viewpoint.

That’s why I have always believed that (1) Who You Hang Around With and (2) What You Read, are the 2 Key Factors In Determining Your Future.

Consider these ideas to ensure your viewpoint enhances your future success:

  1. Set aside an hour a week to browse the magazine section of your local library. Pick a magazine that piques your interest and look for insights that can offer you a new perspective related to a future career.
  1. Go to http://www.stumbleupon.com, select topics of interest and then let the site algorithms bring you to related websites with just the click of a button.
  1. Use a Twitter Keyword Tracker http://bit.ly/1oHmDaw to find articles and links to topics that will lead you to alternative career perspectives.

In computer technology, the acronym WYSIWYG translates to “What You See Is What You Get”.

Make it a habit to change what you see by taking a different route to work, rearranging your office furniture or maybe going to http://www.meetup.com to discover new friends who can offer you a new perspective on what you believe and how you think.

The world of work is changing fast. It’s time to update the software of your thinking and embrace the exciting opportunities that await you.

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Everyone knows that the riskiest financial strategy is to have all of your money in one stock. Yet for most working people, they have all of their income dependent on one company.

Think about it. If you lose your income, almost everything else in your life will be affected. Why then should you entrust your financial security to one company or one career.

In this new employment market, you need a career that includes diversified sources of income along with one that includes a residual income component. Consider these options:

  • An eBay business where you can sell an on-line product that adds extra part-time income.
  • A part-time job where you teach a night class.
  • Work weekends doing a job that offers a secondary cash flow that can teach you new skills.
  • Write a book where you can earn residual income – you do the work once but keep earning money over time.
  • Set up affiliate marketing links on a Blog to earn referral income automatically.


Now more than ever, the Internet offers most of these options for little, if any investment, other than your time.

Think of your career as an income portfolio instead of tasks that you do.
Track the results you get for your effort and focus on what earns you the best return for your time.

1. Focus on Cash Flow – Careers today are moving away from the traditional 40-hour work week to more self-directed opportunities for generating income. The jobs of the future are becoming project based and tied to multiple employers who need your services periodically.

2. Know Your Rate of Return – There are often different ways to achieve the same career goal. Some ways may take less time but produce the same result. Calculate your rate/hour and try to maximize what you earn for what you do. If your earn 100K but have to work 70 hours per week you’re only earning $27.47 / hour. Use your time more effectively and you could work less and earn more per hour.

3. Manage Risk  Find a mix of income opportunities that align with your talents to minimize risk and the stress of trying to start something outside your area of expertise.  Think of ways your income sources can complement each other.

4. Invest in Yourself – For most people, training stops when they graduate from school. Invest in yourself by setting aside time and money to use for continuing education to stay current in your field and learn new things that may make you more valuable.

5. You Can’t Manage It if You Can’t Measure It – Many people actively manage how they choose their career and a company, but passively manage how they will develop their career. Too often they wait for a layoff or job dissatisfaction to motivate them to start a new career track. Periodically evaluate what results you are getting tied to what you are doing. Set up a simple spreadsheet and “know your numbers”. Then decide how you can improve your results.

A money market investment typically protects investment principal while providing a modest return.

Think of your career development like a money market. It’s careful balancing of investment risk to reward where time is your investment and multiple income streams are your reward.

CEO-of-Life

For most of us, when we graduate from high school or college, we assume it’s time to go out and get a job.
But like many things the masses do, it doesn’t mean it’s the best option, particularly in today’s employment market. In fact, getting “a job” may NOT be your best option

1. Having  A “Job” Is Essentially Trading Your Time For Money

Because you only get paid when you’re working, you are essentially “renting” yourself and trading income for time.  The key is to separate your value from your time by either adding a way to increase your income with an added commission or some payment based on results not just time.

2. Limited Experience

A job only gives you experience at that job. You might think it’s important to get a job to gain experience.  But if your skills ever become obsolete, then your experience won’t be worth much.  Ask yourself, “What will the experience you’re gaining right now be worth in 5 years?”  Will your job or skills even exist or be in demand?

3. Employment Security

Many employees believe getting a job is the safest and most secure way to support themselves. Look at the increasing number of layoffs and contractors in the workforce along with the amount of work being outsourced to other countries.  Does having only one source of income truly give you employment security? Could your job be digitally outsourced to the Internet (consider on-line university classes and buying books from Amazon instead of a local bookstore).

4. The Value of Relationships

Many people find that their jobs are their primary social outlet.  They hang out with the same people working in the same field. Yet relationships are the key to get a job and increase your value to others in the business world. In today’s world, it’s what you know AND who you know that counts.

5. Getting  A “Job” Versus Doing A Job

Realize that you want to earn income by providing value — not just offering your time.
You can apply this concept working with an employer or by starting your own business in addition to working for a company.  The key is to find a way to have multiple streams of income along with one that offers residual income.

Stop looking for a job and focus on providing valuable services. Employers and customers will be calling YOU for work.

Now more than ever, understand that YOU are the CEO of your life!

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Did you ever stop and ask yourself, “How does the global job market affect me?” In the new plug-n-play world, what happens in other countries has more impact than you might think.

The current problem of unemployment in developing countries resulted from of a period of rapid but unbalanced development. The world’s population has tripled in the past 70 years with most of the growth coming from outside the US. 

Meanwhile, faster rates of economic growth, particularly in Asia, have accelerated job creation outpacing the growth of the available labor force. Lower birth rates, higher levels of education and higher rates of economic growth are gradually restoring the balance between population and employment opportunities globally.

The world is now in the early stages of another demographic revolution, which will have a significant impact on the future of employment worldwide – a steep decline in the birth rate and an increase in life expectancy in economically advanced countries. The result of these trends will be a reduction in the number of young people entering the job market and a surge in the size of the elderly population.

50% of the population in industrialized countries is now in the dependent age groups, which includes those under 15 and those over 65. As the old age population grows, the working age population will shrink even more. By 2013, it’s estimated that the labor-force growth in the US will be almost zero resulting in a shortage of 17 million working age people by 2020. China will be short 15 million and India is expected to have a surplus of 45 million workers.

Another trend that has been developing for years is finally starting to create problems. It’s not a shortage of jobs, but a lack of skilled workers. Low skilled manufacturing jobs have been exported to lower wage developing countries. At the same time, the demand for workers with higher levels of technical knowledge has been rising rapidly. Consequently there is less demand for older workers who have not continued to upgrade their knowledge and skills.

Rising skill requirements combined with a shortage of skills is creating a growing disparity between the skills of the workforce and the needs of the economy. Numerous studies confirm the existence of a substantial shortage of workers with the required level of skills to fill vacant positions. The technical skills shortage applies to jobs in almost every sector. Even in India, which produces 400,000 engineers annually, corporations are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified workers.

The proportion of adults over 60 in high-income countries is expected to increase from 8% to 19% by 2050, while the number of children will drop by one third. The aging of the population is leading to labor shortages, skills shortages and an increased tax burden on the working population in order to support social security income for the increasing retired population.

Migration is also increasing between industrialized countries as well as from developing to industrialized countries. Outsourcing began with the migration of manufacturing jobs to lower wage developing countries. With the increasing business transactions tied to the Internet, manufacturing positions have declined and now represent less than 25% of jobs in most countries. Service and knowledge industry employment has become 85 % of all civilian employment in most countries. This trend is also accompanied by a major expansion of temporary and part-time positions resulting from companies trying to maintain a flexible work team to hedge against fluctuations in the economy.

Yes, just like to Disney song, “It’s a Small World After All”, we are seeing that we truly are part of a global family. It’s actually nothing new. The Internet is showing us a connected world that has really been there all the time.

Robot Fast Food Worker

As a former Boy Scout working on my marksmanship merit badge, I learned that when you want to hit a moving target you have to anticipate where the target will be and then take your shot before the target is in front of you. Today’s job market requires the same mind-set; anticipating where jobs will come from and then positioning yourself to meet the qualifications.

The best example of this strategy can be found in automation as it relates to robots, a rapidly evolving trend in manufacturing, medicine, food service and knowledge-based jobs. Many people continue to look for jobs similar to what they had, however the real opportunities will come from preparing yourself for where new jobs will evolve.

Years ago, 70 percent of U.S. workers lived on farms. Today automation has eliminated 98% percent of their jobs, replacing them with machines. Farmers became web developers, factory production workers and software engineers taking jobs that evolved from work eliminated by automation. This transition to automation is already happening with machines that utilize mass produced sensors, artificial cognition, machine learning and algorithms that anticipate preferences and suggest options.

As manufacturing costs are reduced because of robots, the cost of transportation will become a more important factor than the cost of production, making localized production the next trend in product manufacturing and delivery. Take a look around you and you will see that automation is already shaping a radically new job market.

Consider Kiva. They make robots that scoot around warehouse floors and pick up items from shelves to help fulfill customer orders. Amazon is already a customer, along with Staples, The Gap and Crate and Barrel. Some bots can lift 170 pounds retrieve boxes, sort them, and load them onto trucks. Pharmacies are also using pill-dispensing robots to fill prescriptions.  Narrative Science sells software that writes stories about sports events just using game statistics and other applications that can generate a synopsis of a company’s stock performance from related text found on the web. Even surgery is becoming increasingly robotic. In 2008, NYU became the first medical center in New York to use the Da Vinci Si, the world’s most advanced computer-assisted surgical system. Even a non-technical job as a Bartender may be changing. Bartendo is a lightweight and portable machine that can make a perfect drink in 10 seconds and serve 200 drinks in an evening. You can even view reports on a tablet or smart phone of the drinks made and the quantities of ingredients used.

As software makes automation a common reality, many professions will evolve that will open up a strong demand for people who can design, program and work with robots. If this industry interests you, now is the time to explore this market if you want to make yourself more marketable and get a lead on your competition.

Automation is just one of many professions that are evolving as fresh alternatives to re-inventing yourself to be more marketable and offer career-broadening options. Take the time to explore evolving technologies that interest you and then build a bridge to architect a job that will be in demand and offer you new challenges. If you’re a teacher, considering expanding your expertise in on-line learning. If you’re a desktop computer support specialist, look into becoming an expert on mobile phone apps or focus on cloud computing.

The bottom line is: Go after what you WANT, don’t just look for what’s AVAILABLE.

Have a “target career” and then develop yourself to be remarkable in that profession.

Most investors will tell you that anticipating opportunity in the stock market will make you the most money. Invest in your career by looking for opportunities not just jobs.

Get motivated in less than 2 minutes. Watch this video: The Start-Up of YOU: Rediscovering the Entrepreneurial Spirit in All of Us and start today to architect a lifestyle to DO WORK THAT MATTERS!

In our day-to-day pursuit of a great career, a balanced life and yes, even a great lunch, we have so many options.

But if you take a close look, even with all these options, there’s something special that brings people into their “favorite place”. It’s usually not the price or just the quality of the food – it’s the “culture” or the RELATIONSHIP the customer has with the food brand or its employees.

Consider Jack in the Box, with 2,200 locations in 18 states, just one of over 50,000 fast food restaurants in the US. It’s “Munchie Mobile”, a 34-foot long truck is inspired by 1970s van art. On the outside is a menu displayed on a flat-screen TV, while the inside is equipped with a grill, fryer and toaster.  The “cool factor” of this showing up at an event is amazing.

If you study the “Jack” branded spokesperson, you get the feeling that he’s connected to you as part of your family. The TV ads, the napkins and even the cups have messages that are endearing.  Think Southwest airlines. Jack in the Box and Southwest are in different businesses, yet both focus on building strong relationships with their customers.

Periodically, I stop by a local Jack in the Box in San Diego just to experience the “brand”.  Almost every time I stop in, I’m greeted by Nancy. I never have to ask for my extreme sausage sandwich without cheese. She just confirms my preference and makes me feel like I’m a VIP customer. Her attitude always comes with a genuine smile and a “how’s your day going comment” that makes me feel that my business is truly appreciated.  Stop and watch her for 5 minutes, and you’ll see her dedication to delivering the food fast and always with a genuine attitude of “we appreciate your business”.

Price and product are secondary to what is a great employee-customer relationship.

Now more than ever, truly remarkable companies and people are focused on building great relationships.

Anyone that has ever run a restaurant knows that, it’s not the new customers that keep you in business, it’s the RETURN VISITS from EXISTING customers.  In a global employment market, price, availability and quality are important, but true greatness comes from building great relationships.

A few years ago, I flew to London on Virgin Atlantic and arrived in England late due to delays at the departure gate.  As I walked off the plane, I was handed a letter auto-signed by Richard Branson that apologized for the delay and offered me 10% off on my next flight – a $90-$150 gift.  Six months later, I was in Australia on a Virgin Atlantic flight. I never checked competitive airfares.

If you want to get inspired by seeing the amazing power of relationships, watch The Pixar Story, a documentary of the history of Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar is the studio that produced Toy Story, an animated movie that earned $361 million worldwide.  It’s available on Netflix – here’s a preview – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU1fVeYzYlI.

Today with all the social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook, it’s easy to collect “contacts”. But to truly be successful in business and in our personal life, it’s the power of relationships that can take us from good to great.

We are all in the “people business”.  Nancy at Jack in the Box is an expert. Her remembering that I like my extreme sausage sandwich without cheese, highlights the secret to winning in business today. 

Finding a job in today’s job market requires a lot more than just looking on job boards for available positions.Consider how identifying a “Disruptor” can help you find a job.  A disruptive innovation is typically a technology that helps create a new market and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market, displacing an earlier technology.

A great example of this is the iPad, a product that could alter the course of how current businesses operate and potentially open up new employment opportunities as a result. Apple’s SIRI could potentially threaten Google by diverting search traffic directly to a specific website.

By just speaking to SIRI, using Google’s search engine can easily be bypassed. SIRI is not a search technology, but when SIRI takes a user directly to Rotten Tomatoes for a movie review, it allows end-users to bypass traditional search engines and provide them with information that may have originally required a specific search inquiry. Because SIRI is simply activated by your voice, end-users also bypass advertising links. Since Google gets the majority of its revenue from search advertising, the capability to bypass a traditional search engine could be a major problem for Google.

What appears to simply be a business threat from a Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface (SIRI) may in fact be a clue for where to look for new employment opportunities. If SIRI or a similar Android technology becomes the dominant way for people to find information when they are mobile, a likely employment market for specialized applications is not far away. Web designers may want to consider a career broadening transition to specialize in mobilized sites that integrate other applications optimized for voice recognition software.

The lesson here is that job search is a PROCESS to discover a STRATEGY to find meaningful and in-demand employment. Don’t just look for posted jobs. Also consider matching or enhancing your skills for opportunities that represent something that adds value to future business needs.

Take your search one step further and go after jobs that are likely to become opportunities and offer potentially longer-term employment. You’ll have less competition and learn new skills that will make your expertise scarce and worth more. Disrupt your current way of thinking and forget about what’s currently available and focus on preparing yourself for what’s just around the corner.

For most people, their job is sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day and essentially trading their time for money.

Ask most people what they earn and they respond in terms of how much they make per hour. Having a full-time job seems to be the goal of most people who ultimately want to be assured of a steady income in return for showing up on a regular basis to complete tasks assigned by their employer.

Take a closer look at the changing world of work, and you’ll see an evolving trend toward DOING versus having a job. Understanding this difference is the key to your future success, regardless of your chosen profession.

A simple analogy to understand this shift in the job market is thinking of yourself as either a hunter or a farmer. To survive in today’s employment market, you need to become a hunter AND a farmer.
Since the Internet now offers most of us the opportunity to have customers almost anywhere, we can control our income by increasing the number of people we help and by offering a valuable product or service.

Notice that the focus is on having “customers” (many employers) not just “renting” your time (one employer). Think about this. Your income will always be in direct proportion to the number of people you serve. It’s that simple. Decide on what you can offer that is in demand and spilt your time between finding new customers and delivering a great product or service.

Change your thinking to DOING versus HAVING a job and you will become more marketable AND employable.

Today there are fewer opportunities to be employed, so focus on developing yourself as a “brand” and market what makes you remarkable. Then ask yourself, “How you can serve more people?” The more people you help get what they want, the more you’ll get what you want.

If you’re currently unemployed, consider spending 50% of your time job hunting. Use the other 50% to create a job for yourself. Explore what you can do that is marketable, can be delivered digitally and is in demand by a large number of people.

Becoming a hunter AND a farmer is the key to becoming financially stable in the new economy. Get good at finding customers and offering something that is remarkable, and you will always have work and a stable income.

I have a framed statement on my desk that reads: .
It reminds me every day that we all are essentially self-employed. Focus on marketability instead of employability and the results may surprise you!

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