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The days where your boss tells you what to do and you do it are over.


“You’re expected to run your own operation. Figure out what the problems are, figure out the answers, and tell other people. This constant sharing up and down is an essential part of business today,” Dan Roth, Editor and Chief of LinkedIn told me.

He’s been on my podcast twice.

“How many podcasts have you been on now?”

“It’s in the multiples. Maybe three,” he said.

I was his first podcast. And now his fourth.

He knew all these obscure facts about the workplace…

  • “Spotify gives employees 6 months parental leave”
  • “33% of people would take a 10% pay cut to gain flexibility”

Then he talked to me about ghosting (this new phenomenon where people just don’t show up for work).

But I had a few core questions to ask him. This is what I learned.

1. “How do you change jobs if you’re stuck in debt?”

Ok. Before I tell you what Dan said. I have to tell you how LinkedIn helped my career. And personal life.

I wanted to write about the misery of work. And about the anxiety I got from being married to money. I wanted to expose myself as a failure. I lost 15 million dollars basically overnight because I couldn’t stop thinking I was poor.

And I’ve written a lot about how I bounced back from that depression. It’s a method I call “The Daily Practice.” And if you’ve read “Choose Yourself” you know what I’m talking about.

But there are a lot of people who are stuck in that mindset of not having enough. The bills pile up. The kids outgrow their clothes. Credit card debt and interest go up and up.

And you ask yourself everyday two questions:

“How did I get here?”

And “How do I get out?”

So I asked Dan Roth, “Let’s say you have $100,000 in debt, how do you change jobs if you’re stuck in debt?

Then the ideas came pouring out.

A) Skill development

“If you’re not keeping your skills up to date, you’re not going to be able to get ahead in whatever job you’re in,” Dan said.

This means invest in yourself. Read books, listen to podcasts, watch Google Talks on YouTube, take LinkedIn learning courses, or Lynda courses, etc. I even have courses that I make for people who want to learn how to self-publish a book or sometimes I make courses about finance.

Making a course is the #1 way to develop your own skills.

Here’s what I do.

Find something you’re interested in learning about. Then do some research, write an article or make a video.

Post it and then ask for help.

This is key.

Because it gives you that perfect feedback loop.

And if you’re posting on LinkedIn, you automatically have access to professionals in any industry. Use hashtags. And then repeat the process.

Dan told me that whenever LinkedIn puts out a course, they watch to see how that skill is changing in the market. “The data we get says, ‘Here are the skills that people are paying most attention to.’ And also, the instructors are constantly keeping up with what’s going on.”

For example, let’s say there are new changes to Adobe Photoshop. The instructor instantly goes back in to the course to walk you through the new version. Which is totally opposite of what the tenured professor does.

The tenured professor makes a syllabus once and teaches it over and over again. Maybe they update it occasionally. But it’s never as new or ahead as it needs to be.

I always say, “Don’t go to college.” And this is why.

I graduated with a masters in Computer Science. Got my first job at HBO. They thought I was so bad that they sent me back to REMEDIAL school for two months. Their goal? Get my skill set to be as good as their worst computer programmer.

B) Have a plan Z

Dan was quoting Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, who says have a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan Z.  

“Define Plan Z,” I said.

“Plan Z is the side hustle, which is the one thing you keep baking in the oven. It’s not making money right now. It might not make money for a few years. But it’s the thing you’ve got cooking.”

Getting out of debt or getting rich happens when you work outside of the 9-5. It’s the book you’re writing on the train. It’s the website you’re developing on your lunch break.

Dan and I talked about more ideas on the podcast. He actually had a lot of ideas for writers. Plus, we also both write about this on LinkedIn all the time.

And then I asked him more questions…

2. “How do you see people using LinkedIn to get out of their corporate job or to find that side gig?”

3. “What surprises you? Based on the data you’re seeing your about workers?”

Then I asked for more obscure facts.

And I think the most valuable thing I learned from Dan Roth was about the endless possibility he’s seeing in today’s market.

And for some people, that could be really discouraging. Because it means you have a chance. And some people want to believe they’re in chains.

But this podcast with LinkedIn’s Editor in Cheif is proof…

Proof that your path today doesn’t need to be your path for life.

You just have to stay updated.

Also Mentioned

Dan Roth’s interview on ReCode 

My interview with Yuval Noah Harari (author of “Sapiens”) by LinkedIn)

Dan’s article “LinkedIn Top Startups 2018: The 50 most sought-after startups in the U.S. (26-50)

Beth Comstock

George Anders

Reid Hoffman


“The Daily Rundown” on LinkedIn

The Martian” by Andy Weir

My interview with Andy Weir

Steve Case, founder of AOL

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia

My interview with Ray Dalio 

Principles” by Ray Dalio

Ace the Interview” series on LinkedIn by George Anders

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Sally Krawcheck 

Uber’s TV series with Spike Lee

My top articles on LinkedIn:

How To Quit Your Job the Right Way 

10 New Reasons You Have To Quit Your Job 

Thanks so much for listening! If you like this episode, please subscribe to “The James Altucher Show” and rate and review wherever you get your podcasts:

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