The fourth industrial revolution does not only mean that robots will be replacing the jobs performed by manual labourers, but also that a whole new list of career opportunities are there for the taking, if our children are qualified and are in possession of the right skills
And with the world thrown into chaos and uncertainty, working remotely and online learning are here to stay – situations that require their own unique set of skills to face – and overcome – these challenges of our new normal.
We are referring to not just the formal skills, but character traits like resilience, tenacity, problem solving and creativity
Educational expert and Founder of FutureProof SA, Lisa Illingworth urges parents to consider what the future of work will hold for the next generation, and the best way to prepare children for that reality.
Illingworth says that parents need to focus on what they can control, and that is instilling a mindset of cognitive flexibility, complex problem solving and creativity. These qualities will prepare the next generation better than giving them highly specialised knowledge in a specific subject area.
“These skills which form part of the World Economic Forum’s ’10 skills needed to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (2016) are also the skills needed to succeed as an entrepreneur”.
There are many disruptions in the economic environments such as the automation taking the place of jobs, working from home is becoming the standard way of work and with the current pandemic, absenteeism is on the rise. The measure of success and work productivity is becoming more and more output focused and less input focused.
5 Major skills to instill in your children
“Parents should instill five major values into their kids – namely locus control, opportunity awareness, tenacity, delayed gratification and self-confidence”, Lisa advises.
“The first value is that of an internal locus of control – that’s believing that you have the ability, the self-agency within yourself to go out there and find the problems that need solving. Encourage your children to harness resources around you – it is not always about funding or hand-outs for instance, it is about being resourceful. That is the fundamental value that entrepreneurs need to have. They need to look at the world as a set of opportunities rather than a set of problems – we call this ‘opportunity awareness’,” she says.
“Children need to have the staying power or the grit to suffer what might be an uncomfortable situation for long-term goal and that’s something that has to be built over time. They have to be able to go long periods without receiving reward and not need immediate validation for that”.
They also need to believe that they are not mediocre and that they are set up for greatness. It is not always about an immediate reward or praise but rather about pushing them a little bit further to try a little bit harder each time. By withholding a reward or withholding some kind of pat on the back, we instill tenacity which helps to build grit,” Lisa continues.
“It’s not doing the helicopter parenting, jumping in and trying to solve the situations, but rather providing the tools or asking your child to go and find the tools to be able to solve problems”.
She concludes by saying: “Through this process we are cultivating a new generation of entrepreneurs that are going to have a long track record of learning business lessons and solving problems way before they have to enter the world and generate an income.”