Published September 2022 on Spotfiy

719: Reid Hoffman | Adaptability Is the New Stability

1. Introduction

Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and billionaire investor, shares his insights on how to navigate the changing landscape of the job market. He emphasizes the importance of adaptability and building a reliable network to achieve stability in volatile times. This episode provides valuable career advice for those starting or in the middle of their career.+

2. Career as an Entrepreneur

Career as a Startup:Reid discusses how the traditional career path is changing and why we need to approach our careers as entrepreneurs. Jordan shares his experience with his parents' stable careers and how the auto industry in Detroit used to be.Show transcript +
Thriving in Volatile Times:Reid shares his support for a more general safety net, but emphasizes the importance of being the entrepreneur of your own career and investing in adaptability. Jordan shares an example of how his dad's career at Ford required him to be adaptable and move around the country. Trusting in yourself and your network gives you the basis for stability and safety in volatile times.+
Learning Mindset:Reid Hoffman shares the importance of having a learning mindset and being in a state of constant improvement. He encourages individuals to always be in a state of "permanent beta" and to never feel like their skills or assets are a finished product. This mindset allows for adaptability, joy, and the potential for amazing opportunities.+

3. Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning:Jordan and Reid discuss the importance of lifelong learning and having a growth mindset. They highlight how successful people are always looking to learn and adapt to the changing world, even if they don't necessarily agree with new ideas or technologies. They also challenge the common advice of "follow your passion" and emphasize the value of constantly learning and evolving.+
Passion vs. Reality:Reid and Jordan discuss the importance of considering not only your passions but also the market realities and your competitive edge when choosing a career path. While passion is important, it shouldn't be the only factor in making career decisions. Flying blind can be dangerous, so it's crucial to bring all the variables together to make an informed decision.+

4. Competitive Differentiation

Competitive Differentiation:Jordan and Reid discuss the importance of competitive differentiation in achieving success. They emphasize the need to acquire skills that set you apart from others and give you an edge in your chosen field. They caution against blindly following advice to acquire skills without considering how they will help you stand out.+
Valuable Soft Assets:Reid and Jordan discuss the importance of investing in soft assets such as skills, knowledge, and relationships, which can lead to serendipitous opportunities and greater long-term value than simply saving money.+

5. Soft Assets

Soft Assets:Reid and Jordan discuss the importance of soft assets in a career, such as building connections and learning new skills. They suggest that thinking of life as a team sport can help individuals achieve success, and encourage listeners to invest in their soft assets early on.+
Soft Assets:Reid Hoffman shares his experience of joining the industry and how he leveraged his soft assets to do so. He emphasizes the importance of building a skill set and being willing to learn new skills quickly.+
Career Lessons:Reid shares insights on the importance of internships and being close to the action in your career. He emphasizes the need to be adventuresome and try new things, and highlights the value of soft connections and learning from industries that are changing faster than ever before.+
Permanent Beta:Jordan and Reid discuss the importance of being in a state of constant learning and skill stacking to create unique and rewarding careers. Specializing in one area can be limiting, but combining multiple skills can lead to success in various industries.+

6. Sponsors

Jordan shares tips on how to save money while having fun, including using Zelle to split costs with friends and GoodRx to save on prescription prices.+

7. Skill Stacking

Skill Stacking:Jordan and Reid discuss the concept of skill stacking and how combining multiple skills, even if not at an expert level, can lead to a successful career and a broader network. They emphasize the importance of having a diverse skill set in today's economy.+
Learning vs Earning:Reid Hoffman shares insights on how focusing on learning early in your career can unlock opportunities and lead to more remunerative job paths. He also emphasizes the importance of thinking about long-term career goals when choosing job offers. Jordan Harbinger adds that when you're young and have less responsibility, you can afford to take bigger risks and focus on learning.+

8. Investing in Soft Assets

Learning vs Earning:Reid and Jordan discuss the importance of investing in soft assets and choosing learning opportunities over earning potential, especially early in one's career. They also touch on the value of specializing in rare skills.+
Recognizing Opportunities:Reid shares insights on recognizing opportunities and how networking and skill stacking can help you be ready for breakout opportunities. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing when the time is now and going all the way down to specialize in a skill. Your network can be broader than you think and can help you see opportunities through their lens.+
Networking Tips:Jordan and Reid share valuable networking tips, emphasizing the importance of building relationships before you need them and staying active with your team. They suggest making a list of 10 people you would call if you got laid off and reaching out to them now, and catching up with old contacts purely for social reasons. These practices can lead to unexpected opportunities and help reactivate relationships that may have otherwise been lost.+

9. Elevating Your Skills

Elevating Your Role:Reid and Jordan discuss how to elevate within your current job by learning something new and bringing it back to your team. They emphasize the importance of networking and learning from smart, creative people to improve your output. Jordan shares a success story of how a random conversation led to a client and a big profile on a popular podcast.+
In-Demand Skills:Reid Hoffman shares his insights on the most important skills to have in today's job market. He mentions the timeless and essential skills, such as collaboration and communication, as well as specialized skills like AI and crypto. He also predicts that synthetic biology will be in high demand due to the ongoing pandemic and the need for new solutions.+
Future Technologies:Reid and Jordan discuss the potential of synthetic biology and how it can store a massive amount of information within DNA. They also touch on the importance of AI as a co-founder to company inflection and how it will be a huge game-changer in the future.+

10. Future Computing

Future Computing:Reid and Jordan discuss the potential of synbio technology and nanobots in the future of computing, including the possibility of personalized medicine and a universal vaccine for all diseases. They also touch on the potential dangers of this technology in the wrong hands.+
Learning for the Future:Reid Hoffman explains that the key to learning skills for the future is to be flexible and willing to pivot when necessary. It's important to recognize that not every idea will work and to be open to adjusting your strategy. Always be learning and go with the wave.+
Internet Job Trends:Reid discusses how to identify job trends in the internet industry and which skills to invest in to stay relevant. He emphasizes the importance of following the trend and investing in skills that have a high demand in the market.+

11. Sponsors

Jordan shares how listeners can save money on car insurance by switching to Progressive, with an average savings of over $700 and seven discounts available.+

12. Career and Market Realities

Navigating Market Realities:Reid and Jordan discuss the importance of navigating market realities in entrepreneurship. They emphasize that even the most brilliant ideas won't succeed if they don't align with market demand. They also touch on the concept of investing in ideas that initially seem crazy, but become obvious in hindsight.+
Choosing Your Career:Reid Hoffman shares insights on how to choose the right career path. He emphasizes the importance of company culture, choosing the right manager, and picking an industry instead of a job. These factors can greatly impact one's career growth and opportunities.+

13. Industry Insights

Finding the Right Industry:Reid Hoffman shares insights on how to choose the right industry to work in. He advises going with the tide and picking an industry that will be thriving in the future, rather than one that is decaying. Being in the right industry can provide a wealth of possibilities, options, opportunities, and economic stability.+
Trust and References:Reid Hoffman shares how people can get assistant jobs with CEOs. It's almost always through references of trust. Trust of work ethic, integrity, learning curve, and judgment is important. Personal references matter because they provide insight into the person's character.+
ABZ Planning:Reid shares his concept of ABZ planning, which involves having a plan A, B, and Z. He emphasizes the importance of having a backup plan and being prepared for any situation in your career.+

14. Flexible Planning

Flexible Planning:Reid shares his advice on flexible planning for entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of having multiple sets of plans B that are off your strategy and investment thesis for plan A. He also discusses the need to have a plan Z, which allows you to reset and get another plan A when things aren't working out.+
Plan Z:Reid shares how having a Plan Z can allow you to take higher risks and pursue your dreams. Jordan adds that it's important to avoid accumulating debt and build a financial runway to be able to lean into opportunities.+
Strategic Career Pivots:Reid explains that pivoting is not just randomly throwing things on the wall and seeing what sticks. It's a strategic process that involves adjusting your investment thesis, realizing your mistakes, and learning from them. He suggests setting aside time to work on your plan Z and lowering debt to have appropriate runway.+

15. Building Your Online Brand

Building Your Online Brand:Reid and Jordan discuss the benefits of having an online brand, even if you work in a regular career. They address the fear of updating your LinkedIn profile and the importance of being native to the internet to stay competitive in the job market.+
Online Profiles:Reid Hoffman advises on the importance of updating your online profiles, particularly LinkedIn, to increase discoverability. With billions of people searching online, being findable by the right person can lead to great opportunities for individuals and companies. However, individuals should be cautious about using company time to start a podcast or create content that could be considered time theft. It's important to get clarity upfront and have any agreements in writing. Lastly, it's important to not just have all sizzle and no stick on your online profiles, as it can lead to smoke and mirrors and ultimately hurt your credibility.+

16. Strategic Modeling Tips

Strategic Supermodeling:Reid Hoffman shares how Tyra Banks became the most booked fashion model by approaching modeling as a job and strategically changing her style to fit the preferences of designers.+
Career Inflection Points:Reid and Jordan discuss the importance of being proactive in building relationships and preparing for career inflection points. They emphasize the value of networking and having both soft and hard assets to fall back on. Jordan shares how his network was crucial in the success of his show and business.+
Professional Growth Tips:Jordan shares practical tips for professional growth, including the importance of networking, investing in low and high-end skills, and learning one new transferable skill each year. He also emphasizes the need to continually generate professional opportunities, even if you're currently satisfied with your job.+

17. Outro

Jordan shares insights on networking and risk assessment from his Six-Minute Networking course and book. He emphasizes the importance of building connections before you need them and shares tips on assessing risk.+