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The new World of Work and Resilience

The world of work as we know it is changing. The ‘job for life’ of our parents and grandparent baby boomers rarely exists today, and the ways in which millennials and even Generation X’ers are working are radically different from their predecessors.


On the African continent, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has identified that “Sub-Saharan Africa is far removed from making optimal use of its human capital potential and under-prepared for the impending disruption to jobs and skills.

30% of core skills required across all occupations will be different by 2020, as compared to what was needed to perform those roles in 2015.”


At times, we in South Africa, may feel far removed from any technological advancement, with a failing electricity grid and water shedding being the order of the day, but the tidal wave of technological advancement, “leaves little space for complacency”.


The WEF measures the region’s capacity to adapt to the requirements of future jobs by;

  • Assessing the quality and extent of its education, staff training systems and breadth of skills
  • Assessing the impact of latest technologies, local economic diversification and complexity and employee productivity and unemployment


Aside from the fact that most of we Gen-Xers fear becoming redundant and obsolete,

I have it on good authority that millennials themselves are increasingly burning out.

Resilience has never been more important as a work and life skill. And with work and home being no longer delineated by the boundaries of an office or house, we remain constantly ‘checked-in’ to work and our social lives through technology.


In a recent study conducted across 2500 professionals in SA (hooray!) and the US,

the most important contributors to resilience are;

  • A driving sense of optimism

  • Reduced negative thought patterns

  • A sense of meaningfulness at work


The first two things are areas on which we focus in the individual coaching space, and I build the third into most of my team interventions. But building their capacity seems to core to equipping both our millennials and our older generations in embracing the world of work.


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