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Learn to adapt or fail


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  • The pandemic has accelerated the need for professionals tocontinue learning. Emphasizing “lifelong learning” a new idea that defends continuous knowledge and rejects static learning 
  • According to the UK Learning and Work Institute, the data indicates that the desire to continue learning by adults has doubled in 2020 compared to 2019


We live in highly changing times, the society we knew a few years ago has been sharply modified by the arrival of the pandemic. What we previously defined as adaptation and improvement of society now seems to us an unexpected turning point that, linked to digitization, has caused enormous professional, social, aspirational and emotional changes. 

But beyond the catalytic effect of the pandemic, society is changing its needs, supplies and demand are also different, but above all because access to information and connectivity shapes us as a society. In addition, as we have witnessed in some fields, during the industrial revolution, some jobs or processes have been automated, causing an increased value to the humanisticmore creative, personal, and less replicable elements of labour. These carriers will emerge as the only great values capable of beating any robot or algorithm. 


Training, training and more training, throughout life 

As a consequence of all these changes we can also identify a great effect on education. In the current situation, learning should not be understood only as master class of compulsory or university education that we face in order to have assimilate knowledge and then forget when we reach a certain age, as if we no longer need to learn anything else. Precisely now, that we live in a continuously changing context, we face and learn about new needs, offers, or demands in a natural way to adapt and move forward, this is known as “lifelong learning”. Rod Menchaca, will explain more about this concept in our Voices this week. 

Basically, this idea defends that professionals of the present and future should no longer be people with static knowledge; at this point no one will be what their title represents, at the end of any higher education or university course, your title knowledge may well be obsoleteNowadays, change happens constantly, where permanent upheaval of dynamics affects technologies, and essentially businesses themselves. Companies and their purposes are mutating without losing their essence, forcing them to change their business sources, their targets and of course, the way they reach their publics in all aspects. This forces workers and managers to assume lifelong learning as part of their day to day throughout their lives. 

This new reality has led to the digitization of traditional sectors, as Bauman would say, now everything is liquid, and our skills are no different. Adaptation is necessary, it requires a new scenario, unfortunately in many cases the existing skills are not enough to implement the new business models. But this is not a bad thing, rather an opportunity to learn something new or discover skills that we did not know about ourselves. 


A changing market to adapt to 

It is interesting to contextualize that, according to the International Labour Organization, there has been an unprecedented loss of employment in the last year. An estimated 114 million jobs were lost worldwide during 2020, with a total of 600,000 people in Spain. Faced with this situation and other consequences of the pandemic, many professionals have decided to bet on their knowledge to explore new skills. 

In fact, only in the United Kingdom, the “UK Learning and Work Institute” has revealed that the data indicates that the desire to continue learning by adults has doubled in 2020 compared to 2019. Obviously, the possibility of doing it online during a time where citizens have more tools and free time, time that previously was dedicated to commuting time or other activities, has opened an accessible door for a great majority. 

Taking advantage of the thread of our last Mobile Talks session where we talked about the era of consumption where we had the possibility to talk about the new professional profiles. The future is drawn increasingly linked to the concept “Staff on demand” and that implies that each person must manage autonomously as if it were a company. In this way, without the support of a company or institution, will they be able to pay for their constant knowledge updates? Or are we talking about a privilege that only those who work full-time can afford?