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Skills You Need to Succeed: Youth on the future of work

Skills You Need to Succeed: Youth on the future of work


Najwa Zebian: Now, your phone knows more than you do. You know? I don’t need to memorize things to write them on a test. Lauren Howe: You don’t realize when you’re going through high school and you’re speaking to your guidance counsellor and what are your career options when you leave? And it’s always, it seems, black and white. You know? You hear doctor, lawyer- Ann Makosinski: Yeah. Lauren Howe: -engineer. Then there’s the intersections of where these different new jobs are finding its way. So for example, you know, I have a girlfriend who started a skincare company with a foundation in chemistry. Ann Makosinski: I definitely think the structure of university could definitely be changed and altered towards teaching people about, like, the gig economy and like how that works. Not every kid is gonna grow up and wanna be like, ” I want to get a job that’ll be the same for 40 years. ” I think a lot of people are more interested in moving around now and travelling and being wherever they want to be while working. Swish Goswami: As an individual, if you want to find the resources to learn about these new jobs, you definitely can. Lauren Howe: Well, you have to almost-
Ann Makosinski: Mm-hmm. Lauren Howe: -go out of your way to look for these new skills that you want to learn and build. And you might study something completely different in university, and down the line you might find that intersection- Ann Makosinski: Yeah.
Lauren Howe: -of where they actually collide with one another. But that’s not gonna be in a handbook somewhere. Ann Makosinski: Eighty percent of learning happens outside of the classroom. So like what are kids doing outside of school, after their, you know, their homework’s done, once they come back home. Kids really early on, like when they’re 12, 13, starting to think, like, what can I do that is a passion project or something entrepreneurial that can, like, further something that I’m really interested for the future. Najwa Zebian: Passion projects are amazing because they actually give the student a purpose other than I want to get a high grade on this.
I learned everything on my own. My community on social media began with 300 people, and now we’re at 1.5 million. No one taught me how to do that. I had to learn on my own. I see the initiatives that are being put in place to equip students with 21st-century skills-inquiry-based learning and-and innovation and focusing on engagement and all of that. And then I see the gap in what our policies say versus what we actually do to prepare our kids. And at the same time, I see a blessing in these gaps, because it pushes every person on their own to say, if I want to really follow my dreams or my passion, then I will have to learn these things on my own. And sometimes, the way that you learn it is what makes you who you are. Sam Effah: As an athlete, it’s very unique as well because, you know, I went to school. I got a-a commerce degree. And I was thinking, okay, I’m gonna be finished my school, but I’m also training for the Olympics. When am I gonna have the time to work? It’s-it’s really tough. And how I found it is-yeah-through YouTube videos, and-and I took marketing. So I was like, okay. I’m gonna have to jump out of my comfort zone and learn how to market myself. Swish Goswami: Mm-hmm.
Sam Effah: I have had major sponsors and it’s because of the hard skills I learned in university. But it’s also because of the skills that I kinda developed on my own as a result of being put in an uncomfortable situation. Najwa Zebian: So if we were to focus on giving them resilience skills, vulnerability. It’s not being afraid to actually try new things not knowing where it’s going to get. If we were to actually instill those values in our students, I feel that it would change what they do after they leave high school and after they leave university. Swish Goswami: The education path I had in Calgary was very inquiry-based learning-
Sam Effah: Mm-hmm. Swish Goswami: -where they never rank on the answer that you got but more on the work you produced to get to an answer.
Sam Effah: Oh, that’s cool! Swish Goswami: So the marks that we got was entirely based on our thought process, as opposed to did we actually get the answer right. That coupled, I think, with debate and public speaking and model United Nations that are offered in most schools, that definitely helped me with critical thinking. It helped me with active listening. It helped me, you know, figure out how to work with other people. I don’t think it’s something that-you can’t just be a kid that goes to school and expects to get it all. Ann Makosinski: Yeah.
Swish Goswami: I feel like you have to seek it out.
Sam Effah: Mm-hmm. Swish Goswami: But those opportunities, I feel, like in most schools are there.
Sam Effah: That’s awesome. It’s so incredibly important to find something that you’re passionate about so you can learn these skills. Lauren Howe: I completely agree. Like, find your passion and if you haven’t found it, that’s okay. Challenge yourself and do the things that make you afraid. Ann Makosinski: Mm-hmm.
Sam Effah: I like that. Sam Effah: Being well-rounded is that balancing the, uh, intellectual brain, the creative brain. You’re open to anything and you’re taking new things on. Ann Makosinski: Being well-rounded also means you have like a larger appreciation for like a wider scope of topics and their history behind it. So having a decent amount of skills, both technical and hands-on. Swish Goswami: I think being well-rounded is balancing professional development and personal development.
Sam Effah: Yeah. Swish Goswami: So sure. You can be very specialized towards what your career is, but learning to not only be a good human but learning how to take care of yourself, how to feel a sense of community. Sam Effah: Yeah.
Swish Goswami: And know that your position, uh, is something that other people might aspire towards and that you can teach them how to get to that position. Lauren Howe: Aim to break stereotypes. Don’t let yourself be defined by a single definition. And I feel when you do that, you automatically start to become well-rounded because you’re trying not to be labelled.

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