A life-changing event occurred a couple of weeks ago. My incredible wife gave birth to our first child Noah.

For the last couple of weeks, we have been at home getting to know our beautiful son. It has been a precious time and taken up all of our waking moments, as it should! We have been entertaining relatives, friends and well-wishers; as well as learning all the skills necessary to keep Noah as happy and healthy as we can.

As we start to get into a routine with Noah I am starting to think about his future. I spend my working hours and personal time thinking about skills, recruitment and careers. What is our son going to grow up to be? With public concern relating to future careers and skills is he even going to have a career that I would recognise? Luckily with his genetics, he will be super intelligent due to my wife. But how is his career going to manifest?

Meta-skills underpin rapid skill acquisition

My theory is that the most important areas that I can support Noah are in the meta-skills that will help him rapidly develop and learn new skills. The world of work is changing quickly in almost every field. Businesses and individuals that become successful are not those who have learnt just one skill and then relied on that. It is those that embrace change and learn new skills quickly when they are needed. In my opinion businesses, educators and society in general needs to embrace this growth mindset.

In 2016 The World Economic Forum put together a list of β€œThe 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” :

  1. Complex problem solving.
  2. Critical thinking.
  3. Creativity.
  4. People management.
  5. Coordinating with others.
  6. Emotional intelligence.
  7. Judgement and decision making.
  8. Service orientation.
  9. Negotiation.
  10. Cognitive flexibility.

However, the meta-skills underlying all of these, in my opinion, are more important. Especially learning to learn and the concept of embracing lifelong learning.

β€œThe illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Alvin Toffler

What does that mean for Noah?

What does this mean for Noah? What does that mean for me? Luckily or unluckily, depending on your opinion, I love learning. In order to better prepare Noah for the future, I am going to attempt to record and capture as many tips and tricks relating to rapid skill acquisition and learning as possible.

Noah can choose to use this in the future. I hope though through my own endeavours I will learn enough to pass onto Noah and if you are reading this then maybe you will find some pearls that you can apply to your own journey.


James O'Donnell
James O'Donnell

James is on a mission to put the Social back into Social Media!