Bran or Bacon: Thoughts About Your Career AI and Machine Learning

Bran or Bacon: Thoughts About Your Career AI and Machine Learning

“One of the greatest handicaps is to fear a mistake. You have stopped yourself. You have to move freely in the arena, just not to wait for the perfect situation, the perfect moment . . . If you have to make a mistake, it is better to make a mistake of action than one of inaction. If I had the opportunity again, I would take chances.”

                                                                                                                                                                       ~Federico Fellini


I enjoy an occasional piece of bacon. I like sausage more but great bacon is something special for me. I live life as a bran guy and that shows up in how I have managed my career. I have been careful and cautious making very few jobs changes (5 companies in 40+ years) before moving into coaching.

That was a big change because it was all on me. I couldn’t lament that the firm that contracted for me was not providing adequate resources or that my co-workers were difficult. All choices are mine. But the funny thing is that they always were mine. I just wasn’t paying attention.

I was always pretty good at recognizing trends early. I bought my first computer in 1983 and included a modem to communicate with people in the pre-Internet days. I am LinkedIn member 7653 because I spotted something in the idea that was intriguing.

When I started my first search firm, I started to network with other recruiters in New York and did very well sharing fees Bran or Baconwith others. For those of you in IT, this was a time when “hot technology” was OS/COBOL and firms were starting to use CICS. Yes, it was a long time ago.

One of my affiliates called me one day and started to lament, “I’m going out of business. I have all these great OS/COBOL people and clients want them with CICS.” “Well, get them with CICS”

“But I have these great OS/COBOL people!”

“Who cares? Your clients sure don’t.”

He was out of business within 6 months of our call.

Folks, many of you have “safe careers” that will be replaced by AI.

How many of you have even considered the potential impact of artificial intelligence on your work?

I am pretty confident that even if you have thought about it for the 30 seconds or so most of you think about things, you have done nothing to start looking ahead to make plans for yourself and your career.

AI is still in its infancy and there is a lot ahead that will still need to be sorted out. Listening to a podcast recently, I heard one vendor firm discuss intelligence was now looking at videos to recognize truthfulness and confidence in what is being said. Decisions were being made as a result of this. Your answers to interview questions on video are being used to compare your answers with those of successful performers in their firm. You may delight in thinking that recruiters will be wiped out by this (they won’t) but trust me when I tell you that the same firms that sent jobs offshore (almost all) will be using AI to eliminate many of those jobs and yours.

If you are younger than 50, you need to be alert to the dynamics in your field because many of you will be obsolete in the next decade or so based upon AI/Machine learning.

Don’t think it can happen to you?

I remember having to go to a bank and stand online to hand a check to a teller who manually verified my signature byBran or Bacon looking at my signature card and deciding that it matched and then cashed my check. We now don’t like interacting with tellers, preferring the convenience of machines.

Being bran won’t help you be safe. Thinking bacon will. The choice shouldn’t be safe or sorry. There are other choices you have, too.

And don’t worry about professional cholesterol. You will wind up in the same place if you play it safe with professional bran instead of trying the sizzling professional bacon.



© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC  2017    


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunterwork involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching from me?  Maybe you want me to critique your resume and/or LinkedIn profile or help you with a negotiation. Visit and order and schedule time with me. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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