The cadence of global change is increasing every year and growing rapidly.
Our parents could work in the same profession for decades, but nowadays job descriptions change every few years.
I'm an IT entrepreneur and former product manager, and I've had to learn more in the last few years than I did in the decade before to stay competitive in my roles as a product manager and CEO. As a specialist today, you need to know more, be able to do more and be cross-functional.
Black swans are the new normal: in the last few years, we've had the war between Russia and Ukraine, the Covid-19. For many people, that meant their lives and work patterns changed, they lost their jobs, couldn't travel, lost businesses or were completely restructured.
That's the reality we've to adjust to.
Ability to change
What if my job becomes obsolete in the next five years? What if my family has to leave their home due to a natural disaster or warlike conflict? What if the products and services my company makes are monopolized by a tech giant and I've to lay off employees?
There are no easy answers to these questions. But there's one skill that helps find answers to any question in any situation: the ability to change.
One of the most important indicators of an applicant's future success that a company can find in the hiring process is the applicant's ability to change in the past. This predicts future change. Future change means the ability to solve unknown problems, reinvent products and the company itself.
Ability to change means that in any new situation a person can discard old beliefs and find new ones that fit much better with the new reality:
- we need to live in a nice house with a nice car → we don't know what'll happen tomorrow, so we save on renting an apartment and look for cheaper ways to live
- Life needs to be stable and predictable → life is deeply chaotic and that's okay, we can adapt to it
- I love my job and don't want to do anything else → if necessary, I'll learn a new profession, even if it doesn't match my interests
The ability to change means changing deep beliefs that describe our ego. It's really hard and sometimes physically painful, but it's very worthwhile. But if someone isn't ready to change, the price that the person with this approach will have to pay in the future, because he or she's not ready to give up old beliefs, is much higher than the change in the moment
What about mindfullness
Yuval's Noah Harrari's key thesis from his books 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and Homo Deus that mindfulness is the key skill for modern and future human.
I definitely agree with Yuval, but this is the key skill for long-term thriving as a harmonious human being, but before we reach that state, we must survive. We've to survive the changing world markets and the decreasing demands for future jobs.
Ability to change is the most important skill to survive in the modern world