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A Sample Chapter of Stop Playing Safe by Margie Warrell

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Change before you have to

To succeed in today’s world, it’s vital for you to remain open- minded about what’s changing around you and how those changes, including the almost imperceptible ones, will reshape the world we live in five or 25 years from now. Don’t walk into the future blindfolded.The more attention you pay to what’s changing around you today, the better you’ll adapt to the challenges of tomorrow, find opportunities within them and capitalise on them.

My kids can’t comprehend how I ever organised a social life back in the ancient pre-Facebook era.Their digital brains boggle even further trying to imagine how anyone ever did their job without computers, email or mobile phones.

‘We used to send smoke signals,’ I chide them.

In their world, as they sit on the couch with their iPads skyping their friends on the far side of the globe, that may as well have been how we communicated.What they don’t realise is that by the time they become parents, their children will think the technology they use today is as antiquated as the pagers so many relied on to do their job just 20 years ago.

Adult education experts estimate that up to 40 per cent of what tertiary students are learning will be obsolete a decade from now when they will be working in jobs that have yet to be created. Indeed, the top 10 most in-demand jobs today didn’t even exist 10 years ago.To say that we live in a changing world understates its pace and its vast scope.

Of course it’s not just technology that’s changing the world. Profound changes in demography and longevity have experts predicting that by 2020 there will be more people aged over 65 than under 15 in the world’s developed countries.Add to this the social changes in family structure, the globalisation of talent and continued innovation in technology, and it’s hard to imagine just what the world and its increasingly mobile workforce will look like 20 years from now.You can’t do either by playing safe and avoiding change. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote,‘Standing still is deadly’.

Yes, the world is changing fast, and there is no sign of it slowing anytime soon. For the three-plus billion people in the workforce

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