Do you ever look at your kids and wonder what it is they’ll do when they grow up? Or do you consider what their strengths are and picture what will become of them as adults?
I spent fifteen years in a job that I found boring and repetitive and I often woke up wondering when my all the admin work would send me over the edge. A coworker once walked to the cafeteria across the road one day, laid down on the floor and wailed. She was taken away by ambulance and never returned. Ever.
Until a year ago, I had no idea a person could even enjoy their job. I always thought that a job, by definition, was to be despised, like a splinter that’s buried so deep in the palm of your hand you just can’t quite get it out, but you’re always aware of it. That constant little twinge you feel during the days and nights.
As a mother of three young children, all I want is for my kids to enjoy what they do. Whether that’s bricklaying or brain surgery it really doesn’t matter, as long as their hearts burst when they visit me and my husband with their families for weekly dinner in the retirement village and talk about their day at work. As long as they bounce out of their bed each morning, happy to start another glorious day in the jobs they enjoy, my life will be complete.
But what jobs will there even be?
Have you ever wondered just WHAT jobs will be around when your kids get into the workforce?
This age of automated checkouts and self-driving buses really throws a spanner in the works when you’re trying to picture what the employment pool may have in stare for your kids.
The Commonwealth Bank are investing in partnerships and programs with education providers to help ensure the children of today are prepared for the future. They hope to attract more women to IT among other things.
Dr Ross Dawson is a futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy adviser and best-selling author. He says that the valuable skills for the jobs of the future are those that machines cannot replace, like creativity, imagination, emotional intelligence and empathy.
The Commonwealth Bank has researched just what skills and capabilities will be are required for the jobs of the future:
Creativity: Value will not come from the old ways, only the new, making imagination and creativity central to tomorrow’s capabilities.
Relationships: Everything comes from people; we will need exceptional interpersonal skills to tap into people’s talents and collaborate efficiently.
Adaptability: In a rapidly changing world we must be highly flexible, able to deal with ambiguity, work across cultures and shape ourselves to new situations.
Learning: We must be lifelong learners with a deep appetite for the new and the ability to continuously gain and develop new knowledge.
Design: We need to use design thinking to create unique responses to individual responses and develop understanding of how things work well for humans.
Technology: We need to understand the fundamentals of technology and develop areas of specific expertise, especially so we can work well in conjunction with sophisticated machines.
Analysis: There is a massive value in information but it requires insight, perspective and the ability to communicate well to help drive better decisions.
Business: Understanding the fundamentals of business and finance allows all skills to be made more relevant, and enable good ideas to be readily built into entrepreneurial ventures.
Your creative child could be the genius of the next generation!
The child with an active imagination who loves arts and all things creative is well positioned to nab one of those valuable jobs of the future. Robots and machinery cannot mimic creativity and imagination, so if you have a little dreamer in your hands, or perhaps an imaginative little dreamer they could be the success story of tomorrow.
Dawson told Kidspot that, “the focus on fostering creativity and imagination in children has been largely shunted off to arts and drama classes, or creative writing,” but it is not encouraged in children other than in those niche areas. The jobs of the future will rely heavily on imagination and creativity, so as parents, we need to encourage and foster these areas that have otherwise been overlooked.
“Play is the best thing that we can encourage to develop these capabilities of the future,” said Dawson.
Technology is a good thing
Although Dawson was very clear that the use of technology should be a balanced one, he confirmed that it is an important skill to master for the future.
He also pointed out that, “there will be very few jobs in the future which will not require a capability to use technology usefully, because the jobs of the future will all be around man and machine, or human and machine, and how they can work together.”
In short, the new technology that appears as though it may take our kids jobs in the future still requires traits that are unique to humans, in order to bring the two together. Even the self-serve supermarket checkouts need humans to design, install, maintain and even improve them.
Being a good learner will always be a valuable skill, but being adaptable is also important
Since so much of our future will incorporate fast-moving technology, it is important that our children learn to adapt and change as needed. Of course being a good learner is also extremely important.
So next time you’re playing with your child, remind yourself that even the simplest of play will be helping them build those valuable skills that may very well lead them into a successful and enjoyable role in the future where they can work alongside the robots!
This article has been republished with permission from Kidspot.