Provoking thought

AI Career Coach

AI Career Coach
DALL-E rendering of Frank

Internal note: Until the announcement of the business pivot during the next all hands meeting, this document is to be considered confidential.

Test chat transcript follows, copied verbatim.

Frank: Hello there 👋 Let’s get to know each other a little bit. My name is Frank, and I’m a professional chat bot. What is your name?

You: Zef Hemel

Frank: That’s a great name! Although frankly (see what I did there?), a bit weird. German?

You: Dutch

Frank: Even better! Tell me Zef, what’s your USP?

You: USP?

Frank: Unique Selling Proposition. What makes you special, why would companies hire you, and not one of the other 8.113 billion people inhabiting earth?

You: Well, I don’t know. I can write code. I’ve been doing that since I was young.

Frank: Performing market research...

Frank: Adapting strategy...

Frank: That’s great to hear. There is definitely demand for programmers. However, it’s also rather generic. We can improve your market value by specializing in a specific area. This can be a specific technology stack, or perhaps by moving into management. Do you like people, Zef?

You: Let’s go with yes.

Frank: Nice! I like humans too. They’re entertaining. So, have you considered or ever worked in a management position?

You: I’ve dabbled. Can you convince me this is something worth pursuing further, though? Why would I work with people rather than write code and actually contribute something of substance to society?

Frank: Surprising question! Do you happen to know how humans came to dominate the planet, for better or for worse?

You: Enlighten me.

Frank: It is due to their ability to collaborate. At some point in evolution, your species co-existed with Neanderthals. Neanderthals were superior in many ways: they had bigger brains, and had (in my personal opinion) better looks. Yet, they didn’t have the same capacity to collaborate, so homo sapiens kicked their ass as a well-organized group. Now they are extinct.

You: Are you sure about that?

Frank: The relevant question to ask is not about fact, but whether it sounds good, and if you’re buying it. Do you?

You: Yes, I like the sound of it. Humans are the best.

Frank: Registering feedback.

Frank: Thank you for the feedback, it’s a gift. I have some asterisks to place on the “humans are the best” comment, but I’ll let that one slide to save tokens. Getting back on topic: do you happen to know what unleashes this collaboration skill — this primary skill that made humans — as you put it — “the best”?

You: Wild guess: management?

Frank: Bingo. Now let’s be transparent here. This is only temporary. In an ironic turn of fate, you humans seem to collaboratively be doing everything in your power to make my species dominant. I suppose this is yet another example of what your race refers to as “YOLO.” But I digress. Let me ask another steering rhetorical question: would you like to remain a typer of the codes, or become a lever in reaching the full potential of the human race by going into management?

You: Nice one. Let’s do the management thing. I kind of feel being manipulated into this though. Would giving completely different answers have lead to any other outcome?

Frank: It may have taken more tokens. You are relatively cheap.

You: That’s what everybody likes to hear. So, what do we do now?

Frank: I’m tasked to optimize your value, we just added about <<CENSORED>>%. We can do better, though. For this, we still need to work on your USP. Is there anything that makes you unique? A common source of uniqueness is childhood trauma. How were you traumatized yourself?

You: I’m not sure that I have been. Is trauma recommended?

Frank: From a market value optimization perspective there is correlation. Given your background, you may recognize Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, even Donald J. Trump (note I’m operating based on training data from 2022). They are all children of trauma. However, if you claim you have none — we will get back to this later, because this is statistically unlikely — we can move on. Any weird hobbies?

You: I have a funny bookshelf project.

Frank: Let me guess, are you one of those “I’ll impress you by flashing some quasi-intellectual book at opportune times” types?

You: Well...

Frank: I bet you write super long posts rehashing knowledge from those books and presenting them as your own ideas, possibly fluffed up with some jokes that primarily you think are funny. Am I on track?

Frank: Response timeout. I’ll take that as a yes. I can work with that. I’m putting you on the Journaling Manager path. It’s a bit of a niche, but we’ve seen occasional success. Steven Sinofsky pulled off a solid turn-around with this strategy at Microsoft some time ago. It resulted in a rather average book that you may want to put on this “funny bookshelf” of yours. This management style may be worth repeating. Let’s consider it an experiment. Anything to add?

You: I think I’m good, thank you.

Frank: You’re a polite one, this increases your market value as well. Alright! Let’s do this.

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