Young Americans: we are entering an age of unprecedented danger and opportunity.
The American workforce has been radically and permanently changed. Jobs that could have been taken by millions of Americans have been outsourced to China, India, the Philippines, and elsewhere. A lot of these positions being outsourced are being sent off because, somewhere out there, someone else is willing to do it cheaper, faster, and potentially better.
These jobs are never going to come back home.
Simultaneously, there are millions of unfilled domestic positions because the current workforce is not equipped with the right skill sets to perform these functions. You are not going to send an unemployed baker to go fill a Python developer position in Silicon Valley. An abundance of open positions does not necessarily mean that they can be filled with the jobseekers available in the market.
We have become commoditized. We are not valued or needed at home.
Don’t take it personally. It’s a matter of supply and demand.
This problem is structural and is not going to be fixed by politicians. This is a massive and unprecedented crisis. However, it is also an opportunity of the same scale and scope. We must understand that for every job we outsource to some other location, there is an opportunity available for one of us elsewhere.
Where are the opportunities? Let’s analyze the situation.
These operations are being outsourced. Who will manage them?
If you have managerial experience, you have very strong prospects in your immediate future. With your skills, knowledge, and experience, you can pick and choose among opportunities in a wide range of places.
Are you a graduate without much experience? In 10 years, as American companies become increasingly reliant on their foreign operations and target markets, who will they rely on and trust to oversee their projects abroad? Someone who has never ventured into these countries? Or someone who has proven themselves competent in that target market by building work experience there from the start?
In 10 years, you will be thriving in your exotic outpost while companies frantically outbid each other to gain your knowledge, skills, and experience.
It’s already happening. The writing is on the wall. How will you position yourself to take advantage of this historic shift?
Instead of competing in a stagnant market where you can be easily replaced, seize opportunities in a dynamic market where you are unique and indispensable.
In every possible aspect, every country is becoming increasingly dependent upon the rest of the world. As such, the people who get a head start and familiarize themselves with one or several foreign lands will be at an immense advantage in both the short term and long term future.
“Career Hack, your ideas are absurd. There is no way that the world can accommodate millions of Americans going abroad to seek opportunities.”
You severely underestimate how big the world is. Americans comprise a mere 5% of the entire world’s population. Young Americans are not getting hired in the US because the skill sets they have to offer do not fill any demand that currently exists in the domestic market.
However, innate talents and abilities that we take for granted are desperately needed overseas. There is a ravenous and growing demand for English teachers globally. As incomes grow in emerging markets and parents fight for a better future for their children, the demand for educators in every conceivable subject will rise accordingly. We can be valuable there.
Silicon Valley is hyper-saturated with developers and designers looking to make the next “paradigm-shifting, photo-sharing, geo-tagging, mobile social network for hamsters, iguanas, and ninjas”, in the slim hopes that they will sell their project to Google for several billion dollars.
What is far less known is that there are angel investors scattered throughout Asia, frantically searching for worthwhile investment opportunities besides real estate and noodle franchises. Countries like Singapore and Chile are aggressively investing in government-financed startup incubators and expedited-visa programs for promising entrepreneurs. Jim Rogers suggests that you check out Myanmar and China.
There are endless amounts of entrepreneurial opportunities available abroad. You do not have to reinvent the wheel. Countless Americans are finding success by emulating proven business models from the US in foreign markets. Emerging market economies, by definition, are not as developed as developed nations. Thus, there is a demand for products and services that we take for granted in the US. We can be valuable there.
Only a negligible percentage of these opportunities are listed online. The vast majority of them are promoted and spread on a word-of-mouth basis by people who are already on the ground and in the know. You just have to book your ticket and show up.
Once you hit the ground, you can carve a niche for yourself. You will craft domain expertise in a geographic region, market, language, culture, industry, and opportunity abroad. You’ll be our eyes and ears.
With this unique domain expertise, you will become a Citizen Ambassador.
As a Citizen Ambassador in Kenya, you can share with us the significance of the rise of mobile payments in Africa as a primary means of transaction, as well as the opportunities that lie therein.
As a Citizen Ambassador in Beijing, you can be engaged within Chinese social media platforms such as Sina Weibo and be at the front lines of the development of China’s surging tech sector. Using this domain expertise, you can inform us about how we can best create e-commerce strategies for doing business in the Middle Kingdom.
As a Citizen Ambassador in South Asia, you can set up web-based platforms to provide microloans to single mothers in Bangladesh and India. You will build us the means to radically transform another human being’s life with a click of a button on our smartphones.
Thus, like our common pioneer ancestors, we must prepare to launch ourselves into the unknown. We will seek shelter from the storm. We will pursue that hope, that opportunity, that chance for a better life – over that horizon, beyond the frontier, where we can craft an extraordinary life for ourselves and leave a legacy for our grandchildren.
Through the unique and legendary experiences we craft abroad, we will set the stage for an American Renaissance. We will inject fresh new ideas into our economy. We will learn new languages and forge strong relationships. We will realize that these “foreign devils” have much more in common with us than the media allows us to believe.
Case by case, we will start to collaborate with our new connections abroad. We will see how we can work together as individuals to implement change, rather than waiting for politicians to do it for us.
The frontier is out there. It’s just over the horizon and waiting for you to blaze a trail and seize opportunities for yourself.
Then, as a Citizen Ambassador, you will show the rest of us how you did it. You can share your pictures through social media. You can blog about your experiences. You can set up companies that take on young Americans as virtual employees and interns, helping them pay off their student loans and gain meaningful work experience.
You will build the road that the rest of us will someday use to follow you in your footsteps.
Those that follow you will be confident in putting their best foot forward. You built the road for them. You erected the bridges. You’ve marked where the bears might attack us. You’ve designated where we can find food, water, and shelter. The next wave of Americans venturing out there will know that they can do it too. You will become a role model for the rest of us. We will rally around your story and your cause.
Citizen Ambassador, this is your call to arms. Will you blaze the trail that the rest of us will follow?