Jobs in the near future

African Business School — Career guidance in the Digital Age. Life skills for a job that does not yet exist.

Science fiction is fast becoming science fact and the way we work will never be the same. The skills we need going forward will be dramatically different from what is required in the near future and what is being taught in today’s institutions. Change is exponential and change is the new constant. Technology represents the HOW of change and people represent the WHY.

New technology platforms will allow economic activity to be organized in ways that shift much of what was traditionally accomplished by full time employees to a crowd of individual entrepreneurs and on-demand workers. It will move from full time employment to short term freelance relationships that come together to solve a challenge as and when required.

The job market is rapidly evolving and unfolding into unlike anything humankind has seen or experienced. Both my children Reyhaan and Sohayla are doing Masters degrees, Reyhaan at Erasmus University Netherlands and Sohayla at Edinburgh University Scotland respectively. The pair will complete this year and hit the job market running in two totally different disciplines. Here’s 4 life skills I’ve shared with them to help prepare for a job that doesn’t exit.

1) Life Skill 1. Me and My Attitude is the single biggest deterrent to separating the trees from the forest. Learn to build resilience and passion with these 7 behaviors.

a) Be Affirmative. “Create a clear picture of the future that is highly visual and easy to communicate.” Paul J Meyer. Use these affirmations. I am calm and I will focus on taking useful positive actions. I am optimistic. I see the challenges as temporary and I will overcome them.

b) Be Empathetic. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou. Empathy builds resilience.

c) Be Realistic. Your ability to make realistic plans and being capable of taking the steps necessary to follow through with them is your mark of resilience.

d) Be Decisive. Learn to face adverse situations, rather than avoiding problems and stress completely. “Bees sting the fiercest when you are closest to the honey.” ~ African Proverb. Everyone has 2 choices, ”Fight or Flight”.

e) Be Approachable. A good relationship with family members, friends, and colleagues is important “No one survives without community and no community thrives without the individual.”

f) Be Long Term. Remind yourself to look at the bigger picture,. Become more confident about your own ability to respond and deal with knock backs. “It would be a shame for a soldier to desert their post just before peace is declared.” ~ African Proverb. Resilience wins the war.

g) Be Positive. Feed your emotions intelligently so that you can take more self-control. Replace the word ‘problem’ with ‘opportunity’

2) Life Skill 2. Digital thinking. This 5-step thought process is the DNA for success. It’s no good having an idea it is what you do with it. Nicola Tesla invented the light bulb; Thomas Alva Edison got the credit. Nicola Tesla invented Alternative current, Westinghouse is accredited with this. Think like this;

a) Step 1. Pick a scenario. Identify an area of interest and focus on it

b) Step 2. Start small. Begin with the fundamentals

c) Step 3. Think big. Have the end in mind.

d) Step 4. Align Education Skills and technology. Increase capacity & deliver value

e) Step 5. Scale fast. Grow your career & personal brand

Using this approach will greatly improve your effectiveness of getting things done. This simple methodology kicks you out of pause mode into play then fast forward.

3) Life Skill 3. Critical thinking. This is about asking the question within the question. It is a concept based on the “5 why’s” and the 7 “so what’s”. When thinking through a problem ask yourself why after every answer at least 5 times to really drill down as to what the challenge. When evaluating solutions ask yourself so what every time you proffer an answer. By the time you get to the 7th so what you would be as close to the answer as you can get. Think deeply and question wisely. Use this simple template to help you.

a) Identify & define the problem

b) Ask the question behind the question

c) Ask focusing questions

d) Examine past efforts

e) Use new lenses to think critically

f) Find the cause

After all it is important you focus your thoughts if you are to find a solution “One does not stop to throw stones at every dog that barks and expect to complete the journey” ~ African Proverb.

4) Life Skill 4. Problem solving. Life is all about challenges. Just as you solve one another is waiting in the queue. At time the queues get long and the challenges ware you down. To manage these you need to learn how to learn. “Only a fool and a genius don’t learn, a fool because he knows nothing, a genius because he knows everything.” ~ African Proverb. This simple process of clearing your mind by answering these 5 questions helps;

a) Stop doing

b) Start doing

c) Do more

d) Do less

e) Do differently

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “Doing the same things the same way and expecting a different result”. To remain sane you need to be able to resolve issues.

The jobs of the future are going to involve those with the highest human and emotional contact. The repetitive, the physical, the routine will all be replaced by technology. Work will become an APP which you use remotely. The job you will do does not exist now. What remains constant are the 4 Life Skills. Regardless of the technology you still need to interact and apply a concoction of logic and magic to win the future.

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