Here is the published version of this week’s Forbes Careers newsletter, which brings the latest news, commentary and ideas about the workplace, leadership, job hunting and the future of work straight to your inbox every Wednesday. Click here to get on the newsletter list!
Call it the grade-school version of succession planning. Like a note passed in class asking “Do you like me? Check yes or no,” Elon Musk asked his followers Monday if he should stay on as CEO of Twitter. Must promised to “abide by the results of this poll,” and more than 57% of respondents said he should quit. By Tuesday night—despite saying future polls on major policy decisions would be restricted to paying subscribers—Musk said he’d step down after he finds a successor.
Never mind whether he’ll actually follow through. Musk changes policies with abandon, and with no board to keep him in line and sole ownership of the platform, he can do whatever he wants. The bigger question will be who he can find to take the job, especially after suggesting to his 122 million followers that he’ll pass the baton once he finds “someone foolish enough” to take the job.
How’s that for a job ad? Work for a mercurial billionaire who says and does exactly as he pleases, acting on whims and flip-flopping on policies. Lead a decimated workforce that is sleeping in conference rooms and has faced ultimatums and U-turns on remote work rules. Drive strategy at a social media platform with falling revenue, angry users and rising hate speech.
Of course, there will be some taken by the opportunity—lured by the possibility of turning it around, attracted by Musk’s seemingly larger-than-life status, drawn to a disruptive leader who seems intent on radically reshaping a platform that at times has had a powerful impact on social change..
But many talented executives are likely to say no thanks. Musk is right: Few are likely foolish enough to sign on to lead a company reports say holds a mountain of debt, contains few guardrails despite being big enough to need them, and will face inevitable calls from Washington over questions about safety and hate speech. Trying to recruit an executive to a company that seems increasingly mired in chaos—and with an owner my colleague Diane Brady writes has shown a strongman’s distaste for free speech in suspending some journalists’ accounts—will be an enormous challenge.
If you’re looking for a job, here’s hoping you find one that has a boss who doesn’t expect sleeping in the office, a level of stability rather than chaos and the flexibility to work in a way that lets you focus, spend time with your team and still attend to the rest of your life. The Forbes Careers newsletter will be taking a holiday break next week, but will be back Jan. 4 to wish you a happy 2023.
—with Emmy Lucas
Forbes released its annual list of the best mid-sized U.S. companies, using data from FactSet to screen more than 1,000 companies with a market value between $2 billion and $10 billion. The top 100 ranking is based on earnings growth, sales growth, return on equity and total stock return. Read more from the story here.
It can be awkward to talk about money. Try these tips to navigate pay conversations.
As a leader, you can grant autonomy but still have limits.
Exhaustion is common amid the holiday craze of professional and personal responsibilities. Here are tips for coping with that “end-of-year burnout.”
Finish strong by avoiding these five mistakes as you wrap up the year.
ON OUR AGENDA
Job anxiety rises: Results from LinkedIn’s latest Workforce Confidence Index show that more than 30% of professionals reported feeling anxious, fearing their employers are planning budget cuts and layoffs, Forbes senior contributor Jack Kelly writes. However, the concerns are not universal. People in fields such as consulting, recruiting and administrative support typically have higher confidence levels, the report found, while those in the tech sector are more worried.
Harvard’s new president: The oldest U.S. higher education institution announced last week that Claudine Gay has been selected as its 30th president, reports Forbes contributor Shaun Harper. When her term begins next July, Gay will be the first Black person to serve in Harvard’s top leadership role since its founding in 1636.
Bias against female leaders: It’s on the rise, the annual international survey Reykjavik Index for Leadership suggests. Most worrisome, Forbes senior contributor Kim Elsesser writes, is that the study revealed younger generations have less progressive views about women in leadership roles than their parents or grandparents.
Argentina’s teamwork: The key to Argentina’s historic win at the Qatar 2022 World Cup was the strong bond between its players, writes Forbes contributor Luciana Paulise. The power of a common goal–bringing the trophy back to Argentina after 36 years—can bring people together and inspire greatness like few things, Paulise writes.
SBF’s career crash: In the latest SBF news, disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has agreed to be extradited from the Bahamas to the U.S. to face a slate of criminal charges over fraud allegations, Forbes’ Nicholas Reimann reports. The decision comes after he abruptly backed off supporting extradition hours before, during a tumultuous court session.
In new book Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers—and Seize Success, career coach Dawn Graham provides advice on how to land a new career when you’re feeling stuck in your current one. Since “resumes and job boards were designed with traditional applicants in mind,” this book tells you how to go beyond the basics and get noticed when applying for new roles.
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