Career Advice From The World’s Most Famous Robots

There’s a lot of uncertainty about the future of American jobs. And it’s understandable. The highly respected research firm Gartner published a report stating that 30% of the current jobs will be eliminated by 2025. And for those of us thinking that applies to jobs like tollbooth attendants, Gartner made a point of noting, “white collar jobs are certainly not immune.”

So, yea… people are nervous.

Robots, neural nets, machine learning, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, package delivery drones and the Internet of Things all working together with “big data” analytics to outperform whatever we may be doing for a living. And the Internet of Things means sensors embedded in everything (heck, probably even sensors inside other sensors).

I for one, have good reason to be nervous. Harking way back to the earliest days when I bought a Mac in 1984, and personal computers were basically the equivalent of a 4 month old baby in diapers – I couldn’t even beat the game “ChessMaster 2000” – and on the easiest level no less. The chess game had this highly advanced (cheesy robotic) speech emulator that would announce “CHECKMATE” after it’s final move of every single game I played.

It’s a distant memory, but I recall the feeling of machine intelligence inexorably overtaking human capability. Actually, that’s a wild exaggeration, but the ChessMaster 2000 did convey a tone of smugness each time it announced its win.

Looking at where technology is today, it’s hard to predict how quickly this stuff is advancing. Today I bought a bottle of water from a vending machine, but out dropped a Coca-Cola. Was it a mistake? Or a machine conspiring to shorten my life.

So where do we go to get answers on successfully navigating our futures within this rapidly evolving new world? And what exactly are the odds of successfully competing alongside these smart androids.

Like you, I’ve learned from some very smart people in my life – including parents, teachers, bosses and friends.  And after some deep thinking, it struck me like a bolt of lightening what they all had in common. They were all humans.

Not wanting to limit myself to good ol’ living sapiens, I went straight to the wisest sources I could find – robots.

Here then are some lessons from The World’s Most Famous Robots on successfully navigating your future and the odds of doing so.

A) K.I.T.T.: Knight Rider

“It is essential to your survival that you calm yourself and complete this task.”

K.I.T.T. is giving two very important lessons here; both of which will greatly contribute to your having a successful career. Basically to keep cool and complete your work.

That’s good advice, especially from a talking car. And while keeping emotionally calm is easy for a robot, a lot of people find this to be a challenge at times. Yet experience shows us that it’s often difficult to make good rational decisions when emotions get the better of us. Keep your RPMs low.

B) Optimus Prime

“Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing.”

Take it from a robot that transforms from a semi-truck, OP is right on the money here. We have to be ready to seize our destiny when opportunity or challenge presents itself.

C) T-800: Terminator

“I’ll be back!”

Every person is going to have their share of successes and failures. So commit right now to being tenacious and reliable in your pursuits. Remember, Arnold didn’t give up as the Terminator.

Repeat the words “I’ll be back” as self-encouragement using an Austrian accent.

D) HAL 9000: 2001 A Space Odyssey

“I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.”

HAL wasn’t even really a robot, but more like a supercomputer that spied on everybody and ran the entire spaceship.

At some point, HAL 9000 got a little big for his britches (computer talk) and started taking over control of the spaceship. But HAL nonetheless doles out some excellent wisdom in this quote. Basically, he’s saying “be all you can be.”

Plus he’s watching you and knows if you’re trying hard enough.

E) Robocop: Robocop

“Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law.”

Enough said!

F) The Robot: Lost in Space

“He who chickens and runs away will chicken out another day.”

Be courageous! There will always be doubt and uncertainty.  Be bold. Be confident. And those habits get strengthened with repeated use. Also, let me point out that this is the only rhyming I found from any robot.

G) Bishop: Aliens

“Not bad for a… human.”

Keep a sense of humor. Bishop was a loyal friend who kept his head even when his head was severed off by an Alien attack.

H) DATA: Star Trek

“In the event of a water landing, I have been designed to serve as a flotation device.”

Be adaptable. What’s more, be willing to do some things below your capability at times. DATA was a super rational and intelligent robot, yet he was happy to act as a foam pool noodle if necessary.

I) TARS: Interstellar

“Absolute honesty isn’t always the most diplomatic nor the safest form of communication with emotional beings.”

How do I look? What do you think? Do you like the new recipe I tried? Sometimes a little care and kindness in responding goes a long way towards bolstering and supporting another person.

TARS isn’t advocating lying and deception, but rather recognizing the value in maintaining civility and consideration for each other.

J) C-3PO: Star Wars

“Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.”

I’d wanted to better understand the odds of successfully navigating our futures within this rapidly unfolding new future world. And based on what 3-CPO said about navigating an asteroid field – I decided to take the final lesson on probabilities from a human.

Replying back to C-3PO, the inimitable Han Solo said…

“ Never tell me the odds.”


Tom loves building meaningful businesses and technology (with people who care). Follow him on LinkedIn. Reach him at or on Twitter @thomastriumph

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