We are living in a changing world, and we need to play catch up if we want to survive. Many processes are becoming automated due to the advancement in technology. With artificial intelligence here, some of the jobs will be extinct soon. There is a rising concern that the skills we teach children will not help them find a job tomorrow. That doesn’t mean jobs will be scarce. Employment opportunities will be available, but competition is going to be fierce. So what are the skills children need to thrive in the fast-changing world? Below are ten practical skills for children which will come in handy in their future workforce.
1. Problem-Solving: When I was a kid, my brothers decided I should learn how to swim. So they tossed me into the water, I was scared for only a second, but I figured it out. Our world is often faced by complex problems that require fast action to solve the problem. But, are our children ready for complexities in the workforce and how to deal with them? You can’t teach someone how to solve a problem. But if you put them in stressful situations, they will find a way out of it. Therefore, you need to change the learning environment once in a while and give them challenging conditions.
2. Creativity: We are all born creative, but somewhere along the way, we lose our creativity. I don’t know if it is the education system that makes us forget, or it is a failure to nature creativity. Innovation is one of the essential skills needed to be successful in the workplace. Therefore, children need to be creative and use their imagination to solve problems or complete tasks. How do you ensure they are in a constant state of stimulation? Children love expressing themselves in unique ways. Therefore, if you nurture innovation, you inspire them to believe in themselves. Creative minds can survive in a competitive work environment because they are great problem solvers and highly adaptable.
3. Analytical Thinking: Analytical thinking is the ability to assess a situation and seek a more in-depth understanding. Critical thinking is vital in both schoolwork and real life. It helps grasp the relevance of what they are learning in school and its real-life application. They can make rational decisions at work and in their relationships after analyzing the situation. Thinking critically is also the foundation of problem solving and innovation. So how do you nurture analytical thinking? Learn to have open dialogues with your kids, where you ask questions that prompt them to think critically. Why’s and how’re questions often lead to discussion.
4. Curiosity: Are you wondering how curiosity is a relevant skill for the future workforce? The future economy is full of uncertainties, and only those with a willingness to explore will survive. Curiosity breeds risk-taking, exploration, and innovation. I know we often tell our kids to be practical. But, the future workforce will be challenging for rational minds. Therefore, one of the things to teach your kids should be the courage to ask questions. Allow them to feel the excitement of discovery and have a positive attitude towards failure. Give your kid some level of control, and their capabilities will dazzle you.
5. How to Communicate: Communication sounds like an obvious skill. But, it goes way beyond language and grammar. You can determine what a person is thinking about from the way they express themselves. Clear communication is vital in persuading, inspiring, and prompting people to take action. Can your child express their ideas concisely? In the digital world, we should learn how to communicate in social media. Most of the jobs in the future will be done remotely. Therefore, clear communication will be vital for accomplishing tasks and networking with people from around the globe.
6. Adaptability: As earlier mentioned, the world is evolving at lightning speed, and only the most adaptable to change will survive. Technology advancements require people with the ability to grasp a concept and find ways to improve it quickly. Cognitive flexibility also helps in dealing with situations that may arise in the workplace. Encouraging flexible thinking at a young age is an excellent way to instill a positive outlook in every case. Imagine a situation where your child trains to be an accountant, and when they graduate, there are no jobs. What do they do? Whichever course of action they choose to take depends on their adaptability.
7. Initiative: Inspire your kids to have an entrepreneurial mindset. Empower them to take the initiative and provide solutions to global problems. Today, youth employment programs are encouraging young people to come up with business ideas. Likewise, we can support our kids to be entrepreneurial through extracurricular activities. Our education system isn’t conducive for innovators, and often we shut them down. This should change if we want them to survive in future work environments.
8. Teamwork and Collaboration: The contingent workforce is on the rise, and in a few years, remote workers will make up the majority of the workforce. It is exciting how technology is getting rid of geographical boundaries. Digital networks enable people from anywhere to combine their efforts to achieve a specific goal. Therefore, we should prepare our kids for intercultural interactions.
9. Digital Skills: Almost every aspect of our lives is connected to technology. Therefore, children need the necessary skills to navigate technology. Digital literacy from a young age is a great foundation for the future work environment. Most schools are using laptops and tablets in teaching to increase familiarity in technology.
10. Emotional Intelligence: There is a misconception that successful people focus on business only and are heartless. The work environment can be challenging if employees are emotionless and cold. For a company to do well, the workforce needs to foster interpersonal relationships. Therefore, emotional intelligence is an essential skill that children need. It teaches them how to manage emotions in a work environment.
If we want our children to lead better lives, we should encourage them to ask questions and be innovative. Nurturing leadership from a young age is a great step towards a promising future.