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Children of Substance

Children of Substance

Children of Substance


This must be one of the statements I’ve come across that best describes the world of the world of work our children will enter in the years to come.  Approximately 60% of the jobs they will do have not yet been invented and many of the jobs and skills in the world of work today are on their way to becoming obsolete or will morph and change into something entirely different in the not too distant future.

One thing we know for sure is that a job will no longer provide stability or security.  In other words, our children will not be able to rely on their external world for this security, but instead, will have to depend more and more on themselves as their source of internal security in the following areas:

  • Their resilience to withstand change and to grow with it
  • Their resourcefulness to find new ways to create a job and make a living
  • Their flexibility as they have to transfer or adapt their skills to brand new industries we have never seen before
  • Their commitment and willingness to learning, unlearning and relearning
  • Their ability to connect with others and build meaningful relationships
  • Their knowledge and confidence in themselves and their abilities
  • Their ability to make choices and decisions using their internalised value system
  • Their ability to think and live both independently and collaboratively

These are traits or X-factors that will make them ‘sustainable human beings’ who will not just survive but thrive in a fast-changing future.  And while they will need the best qualifications they can get as an initial door opener it is these X-factors, that are not taught to the test, that will be the deal clinchers and differentiators in the new world of work.

“There is no future in any job.  The future lies in the person who holds the job.”
George W. Crane

Who you are, rather than what you do, will increasingly be the source of sustainability in the world of work.  Bringing up children of substance, who are way bigger than the report card or certificate they leave school with, has never been so important.  Their future success depends on it.


For all ages

If you haven’t read my best-selling book, Future-proof Your Child, do get hold of copy. Not only does it sketch the future world of work but it contains 450 ideas for how to develop the X-factors in your child that will enable them to both survive and thrive in the future. They are graded in age from birth through to age 16.


Listen to the podcast of this article by clicking here.


Creative parenting expert, inspirational speaker and co-author of Future-proof Your Child (Penguin, 2008), and Easy Answers to Awkward Questions (Metz Press, 2009)

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