What Elon Musk gets wrong about career advice

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At the end of a recent interview on CNBC, Elon Musk was asked what advice he would give his children about their choice of work at a time when AI is upending so much in the workplace. 

Musk paused for a long time, before saying, “That is tough question to answer.” He added, “How do we find meaning in life if the AI could do your job better than you can? I mean, if I think about it too hard, it can be just dispiriting and demotivating.”

Elon Musk is a visionary technologist, CEO, and provocateur. But as he said in that interview, he works all but two or three days a year, he “sacrifices time with friends and family,” including his 10 children, and he wonders, “Does that make sense?” 

Elon Musk tours the Tesla Gigafactory on Aug. 13, 2021, near Berlin, Germany. (Patrick Pleul – Pool/Getty Images)

By making these choices, perhaps he misses the most important piece of advice he can give his children about work: They have more opportunity to find meaning in what they do than at any time in human history.


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