MONTHLY BAROMETER – WELLNESS EDITION
by Thierry Malleret, economist
Monthly Barometer: The Future of Work
All careers are elongating with ageing. Very soon, a duration of 80 years+ will be the norm and, for those born today, probably 100 years. How can we best prepare for a centennial career? With the 4th Industrial Revolution continuing to engulf the world, skills will become more important than knowledge. Lifelong learning and the ongoing acquisition of the “right” skills are the only adequate response.
New research identifies those skills that will matter the most in tomorrow’s world as learning strategies, judgement and decision-making, critical thinking, social perceptiveness and fluency of ideas (all exclusively but not universally human). This will progressively change the way we look at investment opportunities: college degrees will become imperfect proxies for employability, and attitudinal traits, such as active listening, will represent a growing asset.
For many different reasons, this point is of fundamental importance for the wellness industry. To begin with, ageing and the subsequent elongation of our professional lives means that the demand for wellness services will increase: we’ll need to be in better physical and mental health to be able to sustain a working life at an old age and to perform at the requisite level. Healthy ageing (“healthspan”) will therefore become paramount: a quasi-obligation more than a personal choice. In addition, the skills that will matter the most in tomorrow’s increasingly automated world are those that are/should be at the forefront of the wellness professions: empathy, care and attention to others. New skills like social perceptiveness (being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do) will also play an increasing role in tomorrow’s service economy. Is the wellness industry properly prepared?