Starting from the premise that it is in the “liminal moments” that the greatest revolutions take place, Maria Antónia Cadilhe draws attention to the fact that we are now experiencing one of these moments. Coming out of a pandemic and with a new global crisis underway, with regard to work we are also changing the paradigm from face-to-face work to teleworking or a hybrid model.
But more than the place from which we work, it is about the intergenerational clash and how we will all face the sharp technological development that has taken place.
In fact, as Maria Antónia Cadilhe stated, in 2018, the World Economic Forum already anticipated that 60% of professional occupations could be automated. With Chat GPT and beyond, it is undeniable that the artificial intelligence revolution is underway and will have an impact on our daily lives.
At the same time, in the social landscape, we are also at a defining moment. For the first time in human history, there are more people alive over the age of 65 than under the age of 5. And it is estimated that those born after the year 2000 will have an average life expectancy of around 100 years. All this means that work will become an increasingly important part of our lives and that the concept of “study, work and retire” will have to change. Thus, following a trend that has already been observed, education, professional activity and even retirement will be mixed realities, with different cycles than we know, essentially dynamic.
And, following this reasoning, Maria Antónia Cadilhe chooses “lifelong employability” as the true present competence to face the future. Basically, it is our ability to “react to changes in the world of work, with a sense of aspiration and hope, assuming the power to act throughout our career”.
This means that we will always have to go beyond short trainings and internalise that this is the new way of being in the labour market. We must also rethink the dynamics between work and personal life, questioning the status quo and taking risks to propose solutions that facilitate the interconnection between these two spheres. On the other hand, we should work our network of contacts in a continuous and conscious way, because learning new skills is not reduced to what we hear in a classroom, and we can learn important lessons also through what we see others do well.
Indeed, “interesting people are interesting and vice versa”. And, fears and doubts aside, there is one factor that needs to be emphasised at this turning point, and that is that “there are no white sheets” and we can all, without exception, draw on our history and experience to act for our own benefit and that of our career.