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Letter from the editor: year in review

Arielle Gordis 9 min read
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Workplace trends

Young Chinese workers are leaving the traditional trajectory

Demoralized by a weak economy and shrinking job opportunities, a growing number of middle-class Chinese millennial urbanites have begun to doubt traditional career paths, according to The Wall Street Journal. In the first half of 2023, a survey by Maimai, China’s job-seeking and social platform, found that more than a third of respondents quit or were considering resigning from their jobs in China’s consumer internet sector, a major employer of young people. Many workers in their 20’s and 30’s are ditching their work for meditation and other forms of spirituality, others are moving to hubs for digital nomads, and some are flocking to fortune tellers and Buddhist temples. Playing the lottery has also become trendy among this group, with their purchases of lottery tickets pushing sales up 53% from the previous year. Party leaders are concerned about this newfound search for freedom, knowing they need young people in the economy – not just for stability, but to help make China stronger amid heightened competition with the U.S.

The American workforce is getting older

A Pew Research study this month found that the number of working Americans ages 65 and older has nearly doubled in the last 35 years. According to the data, roughly 20% of Americans in this age group were employed in 2023, and they seem to be working longer hours and earning more money than in previous decades. In the coming years, the percentage of seasoned older workers in the labor force is expected to continue to rise, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting this demographic to comprise 8.6% of the workforce in 2032, up from 6.6% in 2022. Experts attribute this shift to people delaying retirement in order to stay financially secure and mentally engaged – as life expectancy increases, it’s understandable to fear outliving your money, especially as the cost of living continues to rise.

The AI corner

AI consumes a whole lot of energy

As companies continue to bet on AI, experts project that global electricity consumption for AI systems could soon require adding the equivalent of an entire small country’s worth of power generation to our planet. Notably, this massive demand comes as the world is actively trying to decarbonize how power is generated in the face of growing concerns of climate change. Insiders explain that the rapid adoption of AI could trigger a major change to how much electricity is required to run the internet, particularly for data centers that comprise the cloud, which is the basis for all of the digital services we rely on. Alex de Vries’, a researcher at the School of Business and Economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, estimates that the amount of electricity required to power the world’s data centers could jump by 50% in the next three years – and warns that even this number may be an understatement.

Where are all the AI marketing jobs?

It’s long been anticipated that generative AI will completely transform the way marketing teams work, but most big brands have yet to shuffle org charts or hire for AI-oriented marketing leadership roles. In fact, the number of marketing job listings whose descriptions mentioned AI in November 2023 was 8% lower than a year prior, according to Indeed. Interestingly, Coca-Cola seems to be one of the only consumer brands actively signaling its dedication to AI, promoting two executives to the newly created roles of Global Head of Generative AI and Global Head of Marketing AI. The company says this move is intended to accelerate its teams’ adoption of generative AI tools in their day-to-day work. While some experts expect other brands to follow Coca-Cola’s lead in the coming months, others foresee the company remaining an outlier in the near term given that the process of determining how best to use AI in a risk-averse way and set up effective guardrails for the technology remains in its early stages.

Letter from the editor: year in review


It’s hard to believe that this is the last weekly of 2023, and 52 newsletters since the last time I formally introduced myself. In the spirit of wrapping up the year, I figured it’s time to reintroduce myself, tell you a bit about the background of this newsletter, and share some of the greatest learnings from this year.

So, hi there, my name is Arielle, and I’ve been managing the weekly for around two years now.

Back in 2021, a meeting was put into my calendar with one of our CEOs, Roy Mann, to discuss his vision of building a weekly newsletter that would solely deliver work-related value to readers without any marketing materials or product promotions. He pictured a weekly content-driven email that would keep readers informed about what’s going on across the business landscape and provide timely insights for how to be an effective leader in today’s world of work.

This time last year, I spoke about how intimidating the task felt at first and how long it took me to really find my rhythm. Truth be told, however, these days, the hurdles and stress feel quite far away. Throughout 2023, crafting these newsletters has undoubtedly been the highlight of my week. I love the research, the conversations, and the challenge of turning complex topics into valuable and digestible insights.

If you’re reading this, it means you’re one of the nearly three million active readers of the weekly, which is a pretty astounding number. I hope you’ve found the newsletter useful, whether to stay in the know about what’s going on, get guidance for how to navigate difficult work situations, or even just to laugh from a relatable cartoon – your support means so much and is truly what keeps us going. So, thank you.

I want you to know that any time you post about the newsletter on LinkedIn or share your feedback in a submission, we see it and it makes all the difference. We listen to what you’re saying and are constantly working to implement your suggestions.

Some of the latest updates?
A lot of readers requested the ability to look back on previous newsletters, so we’ve launched a beta version of a blog that lets you reread recent posts. View blog

Many of you asked for an easy way to invite teammates and friends to subscribe to the newsletter, so we created a link that you can easily copy and paste to share:

We got great feedback on the videos we’ve posted, so we’ve been working on developing more of this kind of content. Watch videos

Now, time to mention a few key takeaways from 2023:

Encourage team members to think big

This year, I came to my manager with some big ideas for monday insights, and she told me to run with them. She encouraged me to really develop the visions, figure out what kinds of resources would be needed to make them happen, and then determine if I had the capacity to take them on. This helped me effectively take ownership, develop my ability to prioritize projects and evaluate potential impact, and see work through to the end. As a leader, when you can give your team members the space to think big and explore promising opportunities, great results await. In fact, a bunch of exciting things are coming in 2024, and I can’t wait to share them all with you.

Help your employees shine

Give your team members the chance to present interesting projects they’re working on to other teams in order to remove work silos, drive inspiration, and create space for potential collaboration. On multiple occasions, I was given the opportunity to share learnings and achievements pertaining to monday insights with other teams, which proved extremely beneficial. In addition to making the work feel more rewarding, it also really excited other team members about the chance to bring results at the company and many wound up reaching out with ideas for ways to work together and requests to repurpose newsletter material for other efforts. So, in 2024, go out of your way to find ways for your team members to showcase what they’re working on and achieving with others – you never know the kinds of partnerships and impact this can bring!

Promote meaningful recognition

Remember to acknowledge your employees’ successes and encourage your team members to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Every time a coworker messages me to tell me that they loved a recent newsletter or my boss reaches out about an insight that caught her eye, it makes the work feel all the more meaningful and the time I invest feel much more worthwhile. And not surprisingly, data tends to support these sentiments – recent Gallup research found that when employees are recognized at work, they are up to 10 times as likely to feel strongly that they’re in the right place and really belong, and high-quality recognition is strongly associated with lower rates of burnout. So, make it a goal this coming year to take a moment whenever you can to help your team members feel appreciated and celebrate their wins – both big and small.

Here were the most-read newsletters this year:

Water cooler chatter

Adobe’s planned $20 billion acquisition of the design tool Figma officially fell apart, ending what would have been one of the largest private software takeovers in history. Amid mounting pressure from competition regulators, the two companies mutually agreed to cancel the deal, however, Adobe now has to pay Figma a $1 billion cash termination fee.

“It’s not the outcome we had hoped for, but despite thousands of hours spent with regulators around the world detailing differences between our businesses, our products and the markets we serve, we no longer see a path toward regulatory approval of the deal.”
Dylan Field, CEO of Figma

The world’s wealthiest families got $1.5 trillion richer in 2023. The ultra-rich getting even richer has been a theme in 2023, with stock prices rebounding and the global economy faring better than forecasters had predicted. The two richest men in the world alone – Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – have added more than $150 billion USD worth of wealth, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

“No one got richer this year, in sheer dollar terms, than Elon Musk.”
Chase Peterson-Withorn, Forbes staff

Question of the week

Last week’s answer: General Motors, Jersey Standard, U.S. Steel, General Electric, Esmark, Chrysler, Armour, Gulf Oil, Mobil, and DuPont.

This week’s question: What percent of people use emojis at work?

Just for laughs

Letter from the editor year in review
Arielle is a writer and storyteller currently serving as a content marketing manager at When she’s not busy writing, you can find her walking outside for hours on end or planning her next travel adventure.

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