What careers advice would you provide to those entering the workforce in 2030?

What careers advice would you provide to those entering the workforce in 2030? 

Contribution to discussions for the Global Education & Skills Forum 2018:

‘How do we prepare young people for the world of 2030 and beyond?’

The world has been changing exponentially quickly over the last decade plus and is unlikely to stop doing so (Friedman, 2016).  This means that we don’t know what jobs you will be taking up in 2030 and can probably not even imagine how you will travel, consume and communicate with anything but the very vaguest understanding.  What we do know is that humanity is humanity.  We know that to be successful is much more about one’s values: how one thinks and learns and interacts than by what technological means one does so.

Today, kindness and empathy are found to be more significant guarantees of an individual’s own personal success and happiness than many more technical skills and competences (Borba, 2016) and there is little chance this is suddenly going to become untrue in a decade.  I will always prioritise teaching love, kindness, community and the real humanity encompassed in the beautiful and powerful idea of Ubuntu that we in EducAid borrow from southern Africa[1].  I encourage all young people to give your energy and attention to gaining the attitudes and values that will enable you to build constructive communities around you wherever you go, wherever you work and wherever you live.

In addition, we see that those of you who believe in your ability to grow and develop rather than in your innate talent or lack thereof can flourish and thrive in whatever work environment you find yourselves (Dweck, 2010).  I encourage you to put aside any thoughts that limit you in terms of what you can achieve and how you can achieve it[2].  I encourage you to add ‘yet’ to any statement that begins with ‘I can’t’ and I am sure that whatever the decades ahead throw at us, you will stand strong and tall, ready to adapt, hungry to learn and grow, enthusiastic to acquire new thinking and skills in whatever as yet unimagined formats that they present themselves to us as the years pass.  You who are daunted by failure and threatened by feedback will struggle to adjust to the changes of the coming decades.  But, you who are excited by the opportunities to grapple with new ideas, to meet with new challenges and develop previously undreamed-of abilities will thrive and flourish and be recruited into the work force because whatever happens, you will always be ready.  Hard work, openness and effort will always pay off, whatever the decade, whatever the new skills and ideas to be learned.

To the workers of 2030, I say be brave, enjoy challenges, be generous and have a heart for your community over yourself and you will be ready not just to participate in the world around you but to build and lead and drive how that world works in every sense of the word.

Ubuntu and a growth mindset: an unstoppable combination!

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[1] Ubuntu time takes place in families at the end of each school day when the children remind each other of the meaning of Ubuntu and nominate each other for Ubuntu stars for acts of kindness done during the day.

[2] In EducAid, all teachers and all students train to develop a growth mindset and refuse attitudes of ‘I can’t’.



Borba, M. (2016). Unselfie. New York London Toronto Sydney New Delhi: Touchstone.

Dweck, C. S. (2010). Even Geniuses Work Hard. Educational Leadership, 68(1), 16–20.

Friedman, T. L. (2016). Thank You For Being Late. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


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