Union Views: How do you prepare for jobs that don’t exist yet?

This is easier than it sounds as, whatever jobs arise, you need to excel at critical and creative thinking, as well as effective communication and interaction.

The US Department of Labor predicts that 65 percent of today’s grade school kids will end up in jobs that haven’t been invented yet.

Artificial intelligence and robots automate tasks we currently perform, while new technologies push companies to question how they tackle challenges and what skillsets they hire.

But, although the jobs of the future are unknown, top employers, universities and business schools all agree that the skills you’ll need are not.

Counteract and interact
That is: being able to break down problems and come up with creative solutions, which you then communicate to teams of people and work on together to make a reality.

According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 93 percent of US employers believe these skills are more important than the degree you studied at university.

You need to know how to think, not what to think. Luckily, this can be learned.

Practice and prescience
Practise how to think by researching the top five companies you’d love to work for. Analyse how the future might affect their markets, products, legal function, marketing, supply chain or whatever you’re interested in. What opportunities might the future present and how might you make them profitable?

For example, self-driving cars are being tested on the streets, so if the next step is self-sailing ships, how will that affect transport and logistics companies like AP Moller-Maersk or ferry operators like DFDS?

Or, if unmanned commercial floor-cleaning machines become the first robots we’ll see in our daily lives, how will that affect healthcare providers or facility management companies like ISS?

Use your research to engage with the companies and apply for jobs. Whether or not they take you on, you’ll be training your critical and creative thinking while communicating and interacting with potential co-workers.