How to prepare for the change that’s coming in a world of uncertainty.
There’s a quote by Alvin Toffler from his book “Future Shock” that for me perfectly highlights the relationship we have with the future: “The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be the ones who cannot read and write, but will be the ones who cannot unlearn to relearn.” If you are not in that process of unlearning to relearn, you’re in trouble! Everyone needs to develop and change in order to keep up with what is happening in the future and we need to know how to prepare. I’ve created some tips to follow to help you get ready for what’s ahead of us.
The first thing you should do is augment yourself. This means getting yourself into a state where you are exploring every new technology available to us as quickly as possible. Yes, there is a barrage of technology coming out, but that doesn’t mean that you should slow down because the world is not slowing down, and the longer you take to actually engage with the technology, the scarier it becomes. So step one is to augment yourself as soon as possible into whatever technology is available to you so you can become comfortable with it. Try to focus on technology that is relevant to what you are already doing in your life or career and augment yourself with programmes that will help you to further your understanding.
The second step to take in preparing for the future is to do a skills audit on yourself. You first need to ask yourself if there is a chance you or your job could become irrelevant soon, or that your skills could be replaced by technology. This is a really tough thing to do as it’s difficult to look at yourself and identify ways that you have got to be disruptive. I recently did a talk and the MC was an AI-created person on the screen. And I said ‘wow this piece of technology could take my job away from me.’ And that’s the reality of what is going to happen, and this is only the beginning – it’s just a matter of time until we won’t know the difference between AI and reality. So doing a skills audit on yourself is a very important way of preparing for what is to come, and if you don’t want to do it on yourself, find a friend and do a skills audit on each other.
Build a Network
Build a diverse and strong professional network so that you can start to evolve and elevate yourself as quickly as possible. If you are only doing the same job over and over again and not meeting any new people, what chances do you have to evolve and elevate at speed? And this is the time to do just that. Building a strong network will provide you with the ability to jump into something else when the time comes.
Find a Reverse Mentor
Find someone who is younger than you, and that understands the world or your specific space differently from you. When you think about someone who is a teenager who plays around with this technology so easily and comfortably, they can do it much better than you can, so learn from them!
Have Strong Opinions Held Loosely
When it comes to the future keep your opinions but also be open to adapting and developing them as the world changes. What most people do is that they create a story for the future which is most probably not going to be valid after a certain period. So keep your strong opinions held loosely in your mind. When it comes to the future you don’t know anything, nobody does! Most people delete, distort and generalise information they don’t like which essentially means that because you don’t understand it, you won’t allow yourself or others to understand it.
Spend Time in the Future
Spend time in the future at least two to three times a week to allow yourself to understand what could happen in our world moving forward. There are many ways you can do this from reading an article, listening to a podcast, or watching a video – all related to the future. This will help you to get an idea about what’s coming because if you don’t it’s going to hit you over the head and you won’t be able to comprehend it.
Build a Financial Literacy
When planning for the future it’s key to build a financial literacy that you may not have had before. Ask yourself what your relationship is like with money. This is something most people never think about, but people who have a good relationship with money can create better. As we move into a world that’s uncertain, money is going to be a big part of it. For you to be able to be comfortable if your skill or job gets replaced, you will need money to work out what you are going to do in that interim.
Read more By John Sanei