Be Your Own Futurist

Here’s the fantastic thing about being a futurist — who knows if you’re wrong until much later?

As much as I enjoy researching and exploring the future of work, the reality is I am looking to the future to help me be clear about what is important to do now. While no one can 100% predict what the future of work looks like, there are still things you can do, here and now, to prepare yourself. Cultivating the mindset and developing the habits of a lifelong learner is just one of them.

Yes, artificial intelligence and robots will take away jobs. The thing is, they will also create jobs. But what kinds of jobs will be created? And how do we now know what will be important to learn in the coming years?

According to visionaries at places like Institute For the Future, uncertainty is a key element in the VUCA world. Uncertainty isn’t a feeling most of us want to feel, but it isn’t all bad. What calms me about uncertainty is that it’s the fuel for each of us to really explore our curiosity as our “day job”. It means we all get to lift our heads up from our desks — so we aren’t surprised one day at just how much has changed when we were so focused and “heads down” (my least favorite phrase). And this doesn’t mean just keeping up with on-the-job training — after all, some jobs will disappear altogether. It means reading with an eye to what is shifting about work, global economies, and emerging technologies. It means reading a lot…daily insights plus deeper books that explore the patterns that are emerging. It means learning new skills and exploring potential pathways possibly outside of our regular work (like design thinking, lean start up skills, and storytelling at WorkLab!). Most importantly, it means paying attention to shifting patterns and what they mean for your life and work.

What are you learning?

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