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Five things to tell students about jobs of the future

Expect the unpredictable


A lot of careers progress in highly unpredictable ways.

While our culture often promotes the idea of linear journeys of learning and work progress via a single career choice, in many cases, those who have found fulfilling work have had ‘messy’ and meandering paths that involved falling into unexpected areas of work. Sometimes involving failure, ultimately they can end up exploring interests and talents and using those experiences to hone in on things they are good at and enjoy.


Fine-tune the 4 Cs

There are four transferrable skills demanded by employers right now that are likely to become even more important in a more tech-driven future. This is precisely because they are the ‘human skills’ machines are unable to replicate.

They are best defined as the four C’s:

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Communication

Young people should flex these traits early on without worrying too much about that amazing high paying job, as these will be highly transferable in years to come.


Bring a positive attitude


The right attitude can help students improve their employment prospects in the short and long-term in a competitive world (although, like generations of young people who came before, they may not want to hear it).

The willingness to put themselves forward with a positive approach and seek out new work experiences – even through volunteering – are signs that they have what it takes to make it in paid employment. While no one is entitled to a job, the right attitude can go a long way to ensuring young people make the most of opportunities.


Identify your strengths and passions


The word passion can get overused at times, but it is a crucial element in individuals finding work that sustains them. That's because we hope that their jobs of the future will fulfill at least a couple of supportive roles in their lives.

  • Financial: A financial return on investment for their education that supports lifestyle aspirations into the future.
  • Meaning and purpose: A contribution to the meaning and purpose they find in life, rather than punching time.

By experimenting with work opportunities that both pay the bills and integrate some elements of their strengths or their interests, or even cultivating a passion, young people are more likely to experience a state of flow, be curious about their work and love what they do, which will help them excel in their careers.


The future is out there


There will be a lot of opportunities for today’s young people in the workforce. Even if Covid-19 has changed the landscape in ways that may make it more difficult for them to get a start or move forward in the short-term due to volatility, the Australian economy will continue to yield new opportunities as the years go by.

Worrying is one thing that probably won’t solve anything for someone seeking work. Young people who just start by getting out there and asking for opportunities might be surprised by what might come back.