New Graduates

GraduateThis past weekend, several children of friends and family graduated college. They are entering quite a battered and jumbled workplace (4 generations), low employment, dynamic global trends/shifts in skills and business models. It is really quite challenging to put one’s arms around what exactly is going to happen. And when one of the graduates asked me this question, I responded by saying I only know the following:

  • We will continue to be able to connect with each other in unprecedented ways, so develop your “connectability” skills
  • There will likely be many changes happening at faster rates, so develop your “adaptability” skills
  • There will be more demand for “innovation” as the shelf life of new ideas and business models will get shorter and shorter – so develop a powerful sense of curiosity and creativity
  • Because there simply are more of you today than there were of us when we graduated, competition will be fiercer …and there will be fewer places for mediocrity to hide, so develop your skills around what you love dearly so that your job is not a chore
  • And finally, the salient difference between you and everyone else is how you fast will grow …which is another way of saying how easily will you be able to shed old ideas and thoughts, so develop a continuous learning approach

In my response, I found myself asking – I just told this graduate the same things I need to tell myself. And if he did what I told him to do and I don’t listen to my own advice, I could very well end up working for him someday….I am convinced that success will not be predicated on  winning the old races with new tools but winning new races with old tools…there has never been a time to fundamentally rethink what you do for a living and whether your skills can withstand the next decade.

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