Heading into a Tumultuous, High-risk Environment

Business Week’s chief economist Mike Mandel shares his insight into the future of work in an eleven-minute audiocast. When asked to give advice to listeners on how to prepare for the new world of work, he offers the following:

  • Assume that we are heading into a tumultuous, high-risk environment
  • Success has less to do with going into this field or that, because no one can say which field is going to be hot
  • Be able to change directions on a dime to take advantage of opportunities
  • Stay flexible

To get their attention, Cool Cat Teacher is requiring her ninth graders to listen to this podcast about the future of work. Here are the questions she’s asking them:

As we discuss how things are changing, Business Week has created an issue about the future of work. This is the world that you will be living in. Listen to this brief podcast and answer the following. (please number)

1) What is changing about the workplace in America?
2) What type of people will continue to be employed? (What characteristics will they have.)
3) What do you find most interesting that was discussed?
4) Are you personally optimistic or pessimistic about future employment opportunities for you and why.

Thanks for the heads-up, Cool Cat Teacher. Your invitation to students to join this conversation is precisely the “relevance” part of the equation we hear so much about in discussions of high school reform. Students respond well to relevance.

I’m adding the podcast to my 21C Back-to-School Kit (now linked on Haulin’ ‘Net header).

Readers: Do you agree with Mike Mandel’s advice? If so, how are we in our schools preparing students to be flexible in tumultuous, high-risk environments?


One Response to Heading into a Tumultuous, High-risk Environment

  1. Vicki Davis says:

    Thank you for bringing this issue to the attention of educators. We all need a bit of shaking up! I’m taking a look at your blog here, it looks like you have some great things!

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