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Is your job pointless? Never mind, AI is coming for it


Last edit November 26, 2021

Welcome to Sidekick by Kickresume — your trusty companion to all things career (that won’t bore you to death).


Why some jobs are pointless and good salaries don’t keep people motivated

Here’s a paradox: Employees of non-profit organizations are usually more motivated than office workers, although they often earn much less.

Why is that? After all, common sense dictates that paying people more money will help them stay motivated longer. 

The problem might have a lot to do with so-called bullshit — or pointless — jobs.

Now, I can almost hear some people’s brains squeezing out an inner monologue like: “Is my job pointless? How do I know? Oh, jeez...” Well, deep down you probably already know, but if you don’t...

  • Pointless jobs evolved over the last century as many productive jobs have been largely automated;
  • Can be done in 1-2 hours instead of “prescribed” 8-9; 
  • They are the elephant in the corporate meeting office – everyone knows the elephant is there but nobody wants to talk about it. 

If any of the above rings true to you, Lawrence Yeo proposes a solution.

You can think of it as a symbiosis — a symbiosis of a pointless job with a passionate side hustle. It could be that gardening blog of you started ages ago, the punk-rock band you play with on weekends, the poetry book you’re secretly writing, or anything else, really. 

In the end, the combination of the two can help you stay both well-fed and sane.

Full article: The Riddle of the Well-Paying, Pointless Job


GPT-3 is coming for web developers’ jobs first. Then for (almost) everybody else’s

“Artificial intelligence? Puh-lease, that’s light years aways.” 

Nope. I looked. It’s definitely already here. 

Take OpenAI’s neural network-powered language model GPT-3, for instance. Its previous, less capable version, GPT-2, was deemed too dangerous to unleash, pardon, release to the world. 

Why? Because it can generate texts that are indistinguishable from those written by skilled humans. That may sound relatively harmless until you realize that almost everything in your computer is essentially text, or, in other words, code.

So, the real question is: How many jobs today revolve around tapping away at a keyboard? 

...yeah.

Luckily, good guy Kitze is here to lead you down the rabbit hole of concerns, consternation and panic about your job security. Well, at least if you’re a web developer, since these 21st century blue collar workers seem to be first on the list. 

True, it’s harsh. But it’s always better to know and prepare, than to grope in the dark. Or in Kitze’s words, "The problem is that most people don't want to let go of the way things are until it's too late. This is not a web developer problem, it's a human problem." 

So you may not want to wait until it’s too late and your profession becomes as obsolete as book transcribers, factory lectors, or telephone switchboard operators in the past.

Maybe the answer is to accept the change, embrace GPT-3, and start using it solve the real problems we face. 

That is, as soon as it’s released from closed access.

Full article: GPT-3 is the beginning of the end


Your future boss might be an AI (but that’s okay)

Sure, we’ve moved away from the late 90's idea of virtual reality with sleek black costumes, liquifying spoons, and dodging bullets. 

Yet, it’s only a matter of time — not much time, Nick Bostrom would argue — before the Matrix trilogy might become a twisted case of “i-told-you-so”.

What we know for sure is that the limits of information processing in machines are much higher than those of biological tissues (the human brain says hi...slowly). 

That’s also the reason why the AI's path from zero to mouse-level intelligence will be more difficult than the path from simple human-level intelligence (“village idiot”) to Albert Einstein intelligence. 

If you’re interested in more, Nick Bostrom will explain to you how machines will take over and there’s only so much we can do about it, unless we change the way we are building AI today.

But who knows. In our recent survey of how people (who use Kickresume) imagine the future of work, an overwhelming majority said they would prefer having an AI as their boss. Interesting.

Full video: What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?


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YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS CAREER ADVICE 

Hear! Hear! Kickresume’s resident HR expert Christy Morgan is about to dispense useful cover letter advice. 

  • What are the most common cover letter mistakes?

“Making it too general. Not telling me why you’re a good fit. That’s why the very first paragraph of the cover letter is so important. You should address it there. […] Then the voice of the letter.  Research the company’s tone of voice and adjust your cover letter to it. Also avoid sounding arrogant. Some people do that. They write ‘I’m the best…’ without evidence.”

  • What’s the ideal formatting of a cover letter?

Cover letters should be clean and easy on the eye. It should be around three-four paragraphs long, maximum one page. No walls of text. You should use a font size between 10 and 12.“

  • Do you have any special tips on how to stand out?

“Make sure you’re a good fit to begin with. Lots of people apply for jobs they don’t meet the essential requirements for, so recruiters will positively notice good fits. […] If it’s a regular company, you can stand out by actually giving them what they’re looking for. As for the personality-driven companies, you’ll stand out by putting some character into it.” 

Need more tips? Check out our article Recruiter Reveals: Follow This Cover Letter Outline for Maximum Success. 

  • Martin Poduska, Editor in Chief at Kickresume
  • Martin Poduska
    Editor in Chief
    Martin Poduska is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. He leads Kickresume’s team of writers and is the main person responsible for upholding the standards of expertise and quality on the blog.In addition to having written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles, as chief editor he has also edited and revised every single article on this blog. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month.Martin holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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