5 Future Ready Competencies for Your Teen

Updated: Mar 10

Future ready! Did that get your attention? Yes, you read it right. You can enrich your teens.



"Satish walked into the living room after a long day at work. Project management with millennials was not easy. “They are constantly distracted”. He spots his teenage son sitting at the dining table immersed in his phone, with the constant buzz from myriad apps running at the same time. Satish gets a quick & much-needed reminder. “My son would be joining the millennial workforce soon” he pauses, “He will form the newest generation of the workforce – Gen Z’ers”. His internal dialogues continue, “Will he be able to cope with work in the future? Can he plan his work and achieve goals considering how he struggles to make his study timetable? What if he gets into trouble with social media? Can he handle failure? What about money management, wait, we never taught him how to? Is it covered in his school syllabus? Will he be able to make his dreams come true? Is the future ready?” The endless list of questions causes him worry, “Amidst my schedule, I just manage to connect with him. He would dismiss anything further as gyaan.”


The Yellow Collar Club by I Love Mondays with more than 6 years of research on 250+ careers across 21 industries has identified that the following 5 competencies/ Intelligences that will dominate the future of work or Yellow Collar World.


1. General Competencies


Money management is no longer for those with commerce backgrounds. Money management (be it pocket money, household expenses while studying abroad or planning your educational investments) is a must-have skill.


Knowing how to use technology is no longer the niche of a techie/engineer. All of us will work alongside machines, almost like they are our new co-workers. Developing the RQ (Robotic Quotient) to work with new media and technology ain’t an option anymore.


Everything is connected faster and stronger than before. Not reading the news to be updated? Well, your child may be headed towards doomsday. Separating the MUST know with the NICE to know is an art in itself too. Be in politics, finance, sports, literature, entrepreneurship, acquisitions, investments, civil laws. Not-knowing ain’t an option. So maybe FOMO (Fear of Missing out)  is, after all, a good thing.


2. Personal Competencies


Is your son/daughter struggling to create his/her a study calendar and stick to it? Having a hard time to get things done? We are headed towards a world of ‘no- managers’. Self-management is now a basic skill. Smaller teams and higher accountability needs higher levels of organizing. With smartphones as their perennial companions, setting SMART goals in various areas of their lives will boost their success.


What we do more than once can easily become a habit. How do you break free from non-empowering habits and acquire empowering ones? Can your child identify and reflect on this and develop ways to form effective habits? Discipline will be a quintessential skill in the Future of Work. [ Read: Seven habits of highly effective teens by Sean Covey or attend our Parenting workshop on this ]


‘What’s in a name?’ is long gone. ‘What’s in your brand?’ ‘What’s in your social media feeds?’ Is all the way in. It is all about the image. Taking a thread from I Love Mondays’ philosophy – ‘We anyway have an image, why not make it a good one?’ Our teens need to understand Personal branding – online and offline as they will largely influence their lives. Yes, it is DO or DIE for them.


3. Entrepreneurial Competencies


Wait a minute. It is not about giving up a job and being an entrepreneur. It is about the entrepreneurial mindset – being your own boss. Knowing the economics of things, how does a business run, what factor affects which segment in the industry I am working in, how much can your teenagers quote as salaries when they begin work.?- All of this and more make one an entrepreneur.


Innovation has never been as much needed as it is in the years to come. Heard of machines taking over our world and lives? Well, the only thing that can’t yet take away is the ability to innovate, to feel.

How do humans survive artificial intelligence? By using actual intelligence. Solving problems is what makes us human. After all, we created the machine to save problems too. We are pretty much playing GOD.


4. Social Competencies


Teamwork will be super teamwork. Our teens will be working in teams either making them or breaking them. Two people and a computer will be the new team. And we are only as strong as the weakest link in the team.


With remote teams, gig economy (working for a project/gig and moving out), global collaboration, communication is not about seeking fluent English. At I Love Mondays, we say – Communication is not what we say, it is what the other person understands. The scope for miscommunication is getting higher, hence the skill of communication needs to get stronger. Speaking in public will confidence, clarity and poise will not be an option anymore for your teens entering the future of work. The power to influence with words is becoming more important.


With a degenerating and diversifying society, knowing our civil rights and duties will be essential for the teens. What laws apply to whom, how to be a good citizen, a corporate and a customer. With news, information and laws being created and shared on common man’s platforms like WhatsApp, knowing what is credible are becoming harder. Let our teens be equipped to know what is legitimate, rather than be at the mercy of gossip.


5. Wellness Competencies


Having a strong emotional quotient has always been important, even in the Millennial workforce era. Identifying one’s emotion, and managing them for self and people around is not an exam our teens can skip. Self-esteem and self-image are double and consistently important in the days to come. Reaching out for emotional support will be common. Psychology will no longer be for the mentally disabled.


Gen Z is already oriented into the world of being fit. Physical fitness, optimum nutrition, yoga, cross fit, fit-bits are what they have already donned on themselves. Knowing how to protect themselves with various forms of martial arts and hacks are handy tricks up their sleeve. The female gender will no longer be the only prey to the predators.


The master competence – Developing our Multiple intelligences [ founded by Howard Gardner ] Each human being has 8 intelligences. Some dominant and some dormant. Holistic development s developing a little bit of all and bring them together in hybrid careers, overlapping job profiles they will take up.


Satish is right is being worried about his teen son. The good news is that it isn’t late to take action. The teen years are the habit-forming years. Effective habits need time and effort. Let us give them the opportunity and the right ecosystem to help work the top Competencies required for them to thrive in the future of work. Sooner or later, they will thank you for it.


-Mala Mary Martina


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