You are officially in the confusion era, find your anchor | by Pratibha Pandit | THIS PRACTICAL [WORK] LIFE | Sep, 2023

Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

Welcome to an era of confusion! You are in it and you may not even realize.

We are talking about the times of diametrically opposing views and ways of doing things and an overload of information with little to no ability to verify the authenticity.

It’s an era of hyper-content creation, never mind that a vast majority of them are writing about how to create content or how to make $$ from content. When content is the core product where volume is the key ingredient for success, you are left to discern what is information and what is opinion [For eg, this article my friends, is a pure opinion piece!].

If you want to save yourself from the endless scrolls with no material gain in your brain’s knowledge database, pause and think before you hit that follow/subscribe button and ask yourselves, what are the 3–5 most important topics that I really need to keep an eye on? No, you cannot be an AI expert, a finance ninja, a game guru, and a master chef, all at once. So start cutting the noise, for your own sanity.

It’s an era of hyper-personal brand-building, where everyone has a daily/weekly newsletter worthy of life lessons to share, even when they are just about touching 30! You may wake up to utter confusion of did I just waste all my life? or How come I never had the time to do so many things these people have done? or how did I not stumble upon all those great ideas? Before you brood over a wasted life or over the lack of super ninja skills that everyone else has and you don’t, step back and take a deep breath and remember,

They are in the process of chasing success too, based on what success means to them and you do not see the trials and tribulations behind the shiny web pages and newsletters.
Your life is yours for a reason. Embrace your journey.

All power to personal brand builders but for my own sanity I like focusing on the ones who are building that brand by sharing some core skills, domain knowledge, or spending time on my behalf to research and analyze an area to greater depths.

It’s an era of AI hype cycle, to the point that many social media profiles have been converted to that of AI experts overnight. Everyone has an expert opinion to share. Everyone has a “You are missing out if you don’t learn these AI tools” list, sending you into deep confusion or depression even — how did all these folks get caught up on AI so fast?”, “ Am I falling behind if I don’t have something about AI to show on my profile or talk about?

All hype cycles in the past were filled with exuberant, it’s going to change the world upside down euphoria or phobia complete with armchair critiques and instant experts. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of them. So, relax! take one step at a time. It always pays to be curious but grounded.

The question you should really be asking yourselves is, what is the value of creating cool Midjourney pictures or fake Leonardo Decaprio, and Jenna Ortega videos or a list of carefully curated ChatGPT prompts to your profession or your line of interest? Stay curious and first invest in learning what it could mean to your professional line or areas of your personal interests rather than going into the rabbit hole of countless cool tools that are currently popping up every day.

It’s an era of the changing nature of work, both in terms of how businesses are run and how the workforce wants to operate. The largest social experiment sponsored by COVID-19 pandemic has brought both employers and employees at a crossroads with each other. Many leaders are still struggling to admit that the work-from-home experiment was a success though they were not the ones to green-light it. Employees on the other hand cannot imagine themselves hopping in a car multiple times a week, let alone 5 days a week, to waste their time on the road for a job, while also secretly missing the good old days of office banters, happy hours and free lunches!

Companies can no longer be in the la la land of being that hot company with a ton of growth “potential”, nor employees can demand 2x-3x salary bumps on jobs that get 500 applications the minute they get posted. The entrepreneurial kind is opening up to the idea of building companies without VC money and work no longer means a 9–6 job for many. Even those with the most conservative idea about work are opening up to the concept that work does not have to always equate to a full-time job.

We don’t know where all of these will land in five to ten years from now but the fact remains that we are still responsible for keeping a tight rope on our ship. We are still responsible for asking ourselves where do I want to be five years from now and putting in place carefully thought-out short-term goals to reach there.

In times as confusing as these, it is easy to lose ourselves in the countless theories and glittering stories. More than ever it is important to stay grounded in our own realities and be in control of our own narrative and destiny. The rest is all noise!

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