Young at heart: employability at any age

David Reyero

What skills are essential for being more employable?  

This discussion was prompted by today’s job market double whammy (4th Industrial evolution and Covid-19) against a backdrop of high unemployment and many people who are pessimistic about their future employment.  

One item in the employability toolbox that I’d like to emphasise is an essential attitude to life: being young at heart.  

This mindset of permanent curiosity and willingness to change can boost your ability to learn and innovate. It differentiates the most competitive, future-ready employees and is a driving force that makes people more professional, maximizes their strengths, and increases their enthusiasm and commitment at work. 

Can only young people be young at heart? 

During my career in human resources, I have dealt with hundreds of people with completely different profiles. I have met seniors who are very young at heart and apathetic, conservative young people who lack the spark of youth. 

Reality shows that this predisposition is not due to a person’s age but their attitude. Its absence, on the other hand, is a huge handicap for a person’s performance at work, as Hermógenes del Real, co-founder of the e3 educational programme for developing an entrepreneurial attitude, explains so eloquently. 

Hence curiosity at work is not only an opportunity for young people but also for seniors who can become “super millennials” by combining their experience, maturity and fortitude with life-long learning and an appetite for the future and the excitement typical of someone on Day 1 of their career. 

According to “Estudio sobre la curiosidad en el trabajo”, a report by Infojobs and the Future for Work Institute, performance, capacity for work and relationships with others are influenced by curiosity. 

In today’s world, success is not so much about having all the answers but about querying the environment and asking pertinent questions that enable you and others to make progress. In other words, curiosity has evolved from being merely interesting to being a crucial factor against the current backdrop of on-going change. 

Amazon’s outstanding success is a reminder of the benefits of always managing companies and people with a Day 1 mindset, regardless of the time and challenges to be overcome every day. 

Today’s best companies know full well that talent, engagement and employability do not depend on a person’s biological age but their attitude, and this is a great opportunity for reinventing multi-generational management and building a better future for everyone. 

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