Monthly Archives: September 2016

Now Robots Are Coming for Your Job

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hasn’t been shy about predicting the earlier-than-expected robot revolution – a time when people will lose their manufacturing jobs to robots. And he’s not alone.

On Sunday, Cuban tweeted, “Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it.” He linked to a Medium article highlighting similar takes from Tesla (ticker:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, legendary physicist Stephen Hawking and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates. Among other information, the article cites statements from these leaders in an effort to alert readers about the future of automation.

Bill Gates suggested that governments could tax robot workers just like human workers. “You cross the threshold of job-replacement of certain activities all sort of at once,” he recently told Quartz. “So, you know, warehouse work, driving, room cleanup, there’s quite a few things that are meaningful job categories that, certainly in the next 20 years [will go away].”

The Medium post cites the 2013 claims of two Oxford economists who predicted that 45 percent of U.S. jobs might face automation in the coming two decades.

Musk recently even went so far as to say at the World Government Summit in Dubai that humans and machines have to merge or face irrelevance when the artificial intelligence(AI) age hits.

 Fortune notes Cuban previously wrote a blog post in December on this subject, imploring then President-elect Donald Trump to spearhead America as a global leader for robotics. He wrote, “if nothing in the States changes, we will find ourselves dependent on other countries for almost everything that can and will be manufactured in a quickly approaching future.”

“We have to face the fact that countries are going to lose jobs to robotics,” he added. The only question that needs to be answered is which country will create and own the best robotic technology and have the infrastructure necessary to enable it.”

At Boeing, Trump Promises For Better Jobs

A day after discharging a blistering attack on the media’s coverage of his administration, President Donald Trump turned a sunnier cheek Friday, promising better-paying jobs and a rejuvenated manufacturing climate in an optimistic address to Boeing workers in South Carolina.

Standing before the newest version of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner at a plant in North Charleston, Trump infused his speech with flowery language touting American ingenuity and exceptionalism.

Defense Contractor Stocks in a Trump Administration

“Our country is all about making dreams come true,” the president gushed before about 5,000 employees from the aerospace company. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg remarked that it was a “record turnout” for a company rollout event.

While his remarks included no new policy proposals, Trump reiterated his oft-cited campaign pledge to rely less on foreign imports and to incentivize companies to make products in the U.S. He promised that businesses that abandoned the U.S. in search of cheaper production costs and lower wages would pay a price.

“There will be a very substantial penalty to be paid when they fire their people, move to another country,” he said.

 Trump cited Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Intel as examples of companies keeping jobs in the U.S. as a result of an improving business climate since his election.

“Jobs have already begun to surge,” he claimed.

But Ford clarified Friday that it would continue to open two auto parts plants in Mexico this year, despite its earlier announcement it had scrapped the plan, according to Agence France-Presse.

Additionally, a source told Reuters that Apple would pursue manufacturing in India in exchange for tax concessions.

The developments demonstrate the challenges Trump will face in keeping American companies from fleeing simply by force of personality and without a significant change in public policy.

The Boeing event was meant to be more symbolic than substantive. Every president since Franklin Roosevelt has visited a Boeing facility or a company that Boeing owns. Five years ago to the day, President Barack Obama visited a Boeing plant in Everett, Washington.

In December, Trump urged the government to cancel an order with Boeing for a revamped Air Force One due to the costs. On Friday, he tempered his remarks saying he was still “looking seriously at a big order. The problem is Dennis is a very, very tough negotiator.”

Later, when Trump toured the cockpit of the new Dreamliner, he told reporters that the “price is too high, but we’re negotiating.”

“We’re going to save billions and billions of dollars. Many billions of dollars,” Trump promised.

Boeing, which employs 150,000 in the U.S., plans to invest $6 billion domestically this year.

Brand Yourself for being Career Stability

Wouldn’t you love to have someone approach you and ask if you would like to work for their company? That can’t happen if you are a well-kept secret.

In the simplest of terms, a brand is a recognized name. Let’s add to this that your brand is what people think of when they hear your name. Within your niche, your name could one day be as well-known as Coke or Pepsi. There is no guarantee that jobs will automatically appear. However, you can increase the odds of getting discovered if you develop a strong personal brand.

Truth be told, your professional reputation has already been established. People who work with you know what type of worker you are. They’ve seen you in action. So what if you want to alter how people perceive you? Can you rebrand yourself or upgrade your personal brand? The first step is defining what you want to be known for.

Try answering these three questions to fine-tune your personal brand.

 What problem do you solve? Every business has a problem that needs fixing. This is why companies hire new people. It is also the reason companies buy services. When you understand this simple rule, it will help you convey your message.

Businesses look for help that will increase profits, decrease time or labor or improve efficiency. No one is going to hire you based only on your degree or an impressive list of past employers.

Problems come in all shapes and sizes. But to get you started thinking about the problem you solve, think about times when you have come up with an innovative solution. You may be known as the original thinker of the group. Every company needs an out-of-the-box mind.

Perhaps you implemented solutions that saved time. Your new processes may have reduced hours worked on a project or enabled a new product to reach the market faster. Time is money, so if you possess the knack for saving time, your skills are in demand.

Making something easier, whether ordering a product, speaking to a customer service representative or streamlining an internal process, is a skill most everyone appreciates. If you’ve ever removed red tape or automated tedious work, you’ve made some people very happy.

Write down the top problems you’ve enjoyed solving.

How do you meet or exceed needs? The work you’ve done in the past is indicative of the work you will do in the future. If you have met or exceeded expectations, that says a lot about you. But you’ll need to be specific.

Have you made it easier to get projects completed? Have you made it less risky to do business with your employer? Do customers love to refer your company? If you serve internal customers, in other words, other departments within your company, you are measured the same way.

Start asking yourself how you made it easier for departments to interact with you. Have you anticipated potential problems and proactively put measures in place? Do you listen to what your internal customers are asking for?

Identify the situations when you’ve improved how customers interact with you, your team or the company, and you’re one step closer to pinning down why people like working with you.

How do you make a difference in the world? Personality goes a long way to differentiate you from the competition. Think about what people have said about why they enjoy working with you.

It could be due to your management style or how you communicate. Or maybe you’ve been recognized as the person who gives 110 percent to get things done. Is it possible that people come to you because you put them at ease and they trust you will provide the best solution?

 Take note of the positive feedback you’ve received and look for recurring patterns. You shouldn’t take this for granted or be humble. Your unique way of getting things done makes a difference in the world. Capture this feedback and use it to market yourself.

String them all together. When you take the answers from above and string them all together, you’ve created the rough draft of your unique selling proposition or value proposition. Play with the words and test the response you get from people who know you well.

Know when and where to use your answers. You want your message to get out. You want people to discover you when they search online or when they talk to friends or colleagues. So it’s important to share your message online and in person. You can take the keywordsfrom your answers and add them to your LinkedIn profile, especially in your summary. If you are active on other social networks, be sure you use the same keywords in those bios. You can even create a personal email signature containing those keywords or a tag line.

And when someone asks you what you do, don’t rattle off your job title and employer. Instead tell the person the type of problem you solve, how you meet needs and how you make a difference in the world. They will find it a lot more interesting.

Ways to Hand Out Your Business Card

We’ve all been there. You’re at a professional or social event and have a good conversation with someone. You want to keep in touch, so you offer your business card (if you have one) before parting ways, and the other person does the same. If you don’t have one to give out, you may simply ask for theirs and assure them you’ll follow up with an email with your contact information. Note: make sure you actually do this the following day.

But let’s examine the idea behind exchanging cards, because in some cases there may be a better way to share your information. Cards are easily tossed and lost. Just the process of handing out business cards creates a lot of awkward exchanges. For example, if you have to dig into a deep hole in your purse to grab your cards and your personal items start falling out of your bag at the same time – awkward. If you reach out to someone before shaking hands or just after with your card extended – awkward. You haven’t even had a chance to talk yet; how could you possibly know if this is someone you want to keep in touch with? Here are some things to think about before you hand out your business card.

Don’t:

1. Hand it to someone when you first meet, unless everyone is doing that before a meeting commences. As noted above, this is just plain odd because you haven’t yet established if you even want to maintain contact. In addition, the other person is bound to assume you are just trying to collect as many cards as possible and couldn’t care less about who they are. This is like giving someone you meet at a bar your phone number before you start talking.

 2. Give it to everyone and anyone you meet. This certainly isn’t going to make you memorable. You will be the person who wants everyone to have your contact information. You might as well be sending a friend request to every person who is on Facebook. It’s just not strategic.

3. Give someone multiple cards unless they specifically ask for more to hand out to people who they think might want to talk to you. No matter what profession you’re in, this is presumptuous and won’t help them retain a positive impression of you. If you’re in a field such as sales or real estate where increasing contacts quickly is important, figure out another way to follow up with the person that will make it easy for them to share your contact details with others.

Do:

1. Think about whether it makes sense to exchange cards in the first place. Is this someone you want to get to know as a friend? Exchange your phone numbers, emails or send a Facebook request. If there’s a professional reason, a card may be the answer.

2. Make sure the cards are accessible and that you have a decent amount with you. Know where they are before you enter the event. Since you’ll be exchanging them when you and the other person are ready to part to meet someone new, grab a drink or head to the restroom, you need to be fast!

3. Take notes on the back of each business card you receive so you remember where you met the person. Recall something notable about your conversation that you can later refer to. How many times have you looked at an old business card you’ve collected and said, “I have no idea who this person is or where I met them”? That doesn’t benefit you at all.

4. Write an email the next day to tell each person how much you enjoyed meeting him or her. Refer to something specific you talked about and let them know you look forward to staying in touch. If you promised to send them a contact or a piece of information, follow through at that time.

5. Connect with your new contacts on LinkedIn. This way you can keep up with their professional moves and keep in touch every so often to see how they’re doing.

What is gained in a business card exchange? Contact information for a person you’d like to keep in touch with. Collecting as many cards as possible for the sake of collecting isn’t the point. If you want to do it right, be strategic. You don’t need to get a card from everyone; rather, get them from those you truly intend to stay in touch with. You can easily exchange a phone number or email with nonprofessional contacts, such as those you meet at your child’s school, at the park or on a plane. If there’s a reason to share your professional information based on what you’ve discussed, go ahead and give them your business card. But it doesn’t make sense to give out your card in every case and especially if you are not going to follow up – it can be easily tossed, lost or you could simply be forgotten.