The future of work for our children will likely look different from the world of work we know today. WEF's feature on the forces shaping the future of work indicates that one in 16 workers may have to switch occupations by 2030. In this digital age, job growth will rely more on high-skill jobs such as healthcare and STEM. At the same time, technological developments are also changing how people work. In the future, 20% to 25% of workforces in advanced economies could work from home between three to five days a week. For parents, it's never too early to start preparing our children for this ever-changing future. In this post, we'll look at some of the ways you can equip them with relevant skills to thrive in their future of work:
Instilling continuous learning
Professionals in the workforce today invest in skill development to sharpen old skills while acquiring new knowledge and competencies. Developing the mindset never to stop learning is essential to filling skill gaps and ensuring their know-how remains relevant in a fast-evolving work landscape. To keep up with the growing need for digital services and skills in the future of work, educational institutions around the world are instilling professional development in young children by adapting tech-based tools like VR training and digital courses. This is particularly important for those looking to work in STEM fields.
For parents, one way of instilling a continuous learning mindset in children is by setting an example. The best way for children to see the value in always learning is by watching their parents do the same. Spend some time trying new screen-less activities or hobbies with your children, such as cooking or reading a book — and make sure it's fun and educational for everyone involved. You can also introduce "productive screen time" to your children, where, instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media, they try educational apps to learn new concepts and enrich themselves.
Promoting the development of soft skills
Aside from keeping up with new technologies and acquiring digital skills, future professionals should prioritize soft skills. 89% of recruiters say that when a hiring process doesn't work out, it's usually due to a lack of soft skills. Soft skills are those that aren't technically related to one's job. Communication, leadership, time management, and problem-solving are some soft skills that have become important because they apply to various positions across fields.
Encouraging pretend play is a fun way to start developing these essential soft skills in your children. Our previous post on the benefits of pretend play for children highlight how children can learn self-expression skills through interactions or scenarios during play. Children can also learn communication and self-regulation when playing pretend with others.
Encouraging their interests
Finally, as mentioned above, the future of work will likely create new opportunities for future professionals and workforces. With so many options and ways of working, it can be overwhelming for children to know what career paths they may want to pursue. Studies have found that kids more interested in specific subjects were more likely to want to pursue that interest as a career.
Encourage your children's pursuit of hobbies and activities to help nurture their creativity at home by providing them with the right tools and environment—whether this involves encouraging roleplay, helping them repurpose useless items, or creating DIY costumes with them. Investing in additional lessons or educational experiences for your children that further support these interests can also help develop the technical skills they can apply to a future career.
Written by Cristina Martin for shopgreatpretenders.com