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Apply contrarian thinking to accelerate your career during turbulent economic time

Right now, things are not easy. Profitability has become significantly more important to companies. Big tech giants like FAANG have slowed down their hiring significantly as they prioritize higher profits after the hiring frenzy during the pandemic. Startup valuations have come down to more realistic levels, and instead of focusing on revenue multiples, profitability has become the new trend. The general mood among employees is one of anxiety, worry, and uncertainty. Many people are feeling stressed, unmotivated, and, in some cases, bored. In fact, I’ve recently had multiple clients reach out to me seeking advice on taking a short-term leave. If you’re feeling burned out, I highly recommend exploring the option of leveraging Federal Medical and Family Leave benefits to take some time off. I’ll be publishing an article on this topic next week, as it is a complex and important subject. However, I also believe it’s crucial to adopt a contrarian approach when considering your career during these times.

Contrarian Thinking:

One of my favorite quotes is from Warren Buffet: “Be greedy when others are fearful; be fearful when others are greedy.” Now is the time to be greedy and be prepared for the next great opportunity.

Many of us recognize that generative AI is the next big thing. It’s right in front of us, but there hasn’t been a breakthrough yet. Everyone is talking about it, and more killer apps are waiting to be built or are already in development. This current moment reminds me of 1995 when we witnessed the birth of the Netscape browser and felt the endless possibilities that lay ahead. It also brings back memories of the mid-2000s when the iPhone was introduced. A friend of mine left the corporate track during that time to start a mobile company because he saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the mobile industry. History is filled with people who made such leaps but failed to profit from them. So, what specific actions can you take to increase your chances of being successful in this next wave of growth?

Actionable Steps:

Update your skills: I recommend everyone to invest in a paid ChatGPT account and start building simple applications. Learning by doing is the best way to learn. Google also offers free AI introductory courses, and Andrew Ng has a few classes available online as well. Spending $20/month on a paid ChatGPT subscription can be the best investment you make in yourself.

Surround yourself with intelligent individuals: There are several ways to achieve this. If you’re looking to switch companies, join a company and a team that you truly respect. Your goal should be to work with the most talented group of people possible. Remember, you are the average of the five people you work with every day. You can also meet bright individuals by collaborating on open-source projects or actively participating in online discussion forums with high-caliber individuals.

Embrace opportunities: This might involve joining a promising AI startup, starting your own AI side hustle, or even launching your own startup. In the next few years, interesting and potentially lucrative opportunities will arise, and you need to be ready. Fortune favors the bold who are prepared.

In times of uncertainty, applying contrarian thinking can give you an edge in your career. While the current economic landscape may be challenging, it also presents unique opportunities for growth and success. By updating your skills, surrounding yourself with intelligent people, and embracing opportunities, you can position yourself for success in the next wave of growth. Remember, be greedy when others are fearful, and be prepared to seize the next great opportunity that comes your way.

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