Courage is needed more than ever for work in the digital age

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Courage is needed more than ever for work in the digital age


It’s amazing no matter in which events I participate, which discussions I join, or which articles I read related to future of work, there is a call for courage everywhere: The courage to leave one’s fear of the unknown behind, the courage to stay flexible, the courage to keep learning and to continue to develop one’s skills and so on. I think that this is great and courage can really make a huge difference in times of transformation.

Work in the digital age is connected with a fundamental transformation in the way we work. As outlined by “The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs” report 2018 “ the Fourth Industrial Revolution is interacting with other socio-economic and demographic factors to create a perfect storm of business model change in all industries, resulting in major disruptions to labor markets. New categories of jobs will emerge, partly or wholly displacing others. The skill sets required in old and new occupations will change in most industries and transform how and where people work.”

A new economy, new business models, a new labour market, new jobs, new skill sets - a storm of “New” everything connected with digitalisation, automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and so on is coming towards us.  This “New” may be partly foreseen, but not fully. This “New” which to date is not tangible as many of the future jobs and skills are simply unknown, is a very challenging development for the majority of todays’ work force.

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Job report 2018 estimates that in the period up to 2022, 75 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines, while 133 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms. We are talking here about estimates, but nevertheless one thing is certain: The fourth industrial revolution has already brought and will continue to bring so many facets of newness into the world of work. Despite all the challenges we are heading towards a new world of work full of opportunities and new possibilities, with unknown shores to be discovered.

How should you prepare for your future work? Well, mastering transformation never happens when you are feeling afraid and uncertain. It is time to take the courage to act, to take responsibility and to prepare. Here is what I see as feasible from a courage mindset point of view:

Develop the mindset of courage, confidence and openness to embrace upcoming changes and transformation. In order to be able to do so, you will need to look your fears straight in the eye and understand and accept their existence.

Take and own responsibility for the future of your work; do not sit, wait and hope that your employers will include you in their future agenda. Besides you do not want others to shape the future of your work.

It is essential to be and get informed about the development of technological advances in your industry and your field. Zoom out and look at the big picture. How will technology shape your industry? What are the trends? How can you mobilise your resources to stay future proof.

On-going reflection, situation analyses and aligning your career objectives in line with what you want and the needs of the labour market are key to your employability.

Learning, unlearning and relearning are most essential for the ongoing upscaling of your skills. “Life Long Learning” is now more valid than ever. Go for it! My blog: "Learn to unlearn and relearn in order to move forward in the digital age" might give you some inspiration in this regard. 

Understand and define flexibility and agility in a healthy way. Get to know what the market’s expectations are towards these two buzz words and then focus on yourself. How do you define flexibility and agility for yourself? What could be your own framework towards them and how could you be and become more flexible and agile in order to move forward?

Creativity is more essential than ever. The belief that one is born creative or not, might provide an excuse to leave being creative and moving forward to others. The other way is to be open and try to learn to be creative. If you cannot do it alone, get the help and support needed. One way to learn how to design your professional future is by using the concept of “design thinking”. Our master class ‘shapencreate’ helps you to design your future of work creatively. For more information visit: (

The New Work is exciting and promising in many ways. We cannot and do not want to stop technological advancements, but we can draw from these new horizons, take the lead and create future proof careers for ourselves. It does indeed take courage, but it is worth it to ensure our forthcoming career future. Make it yours! If in doubt how to get started, let’s talk: (contact me)

Take the courage to move forward


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