Extraordinary work across all corners of the globe

Absolute inspiration, incredible and goose bump inducing – it’s never too early and never too late – extraordinary work, across all corners of the globe.


I got so much out of our chat, with David and Troy from The InShow podcast, as it was mind opening, highlighted the importance of networking, having people around you that are backing you in and seeing the value of the work that you are creating, self-made and no one else does it quite like you.

Passion was developed from early career, knowing the importance of adult learning and education. Seeing people transforming their lives, changing their aspirations, goals and what they thought they could actually do.

From an Australian Apprenticeship, to Telstra then onto adult learning with a hobby of collecting jobs this took me across workforce related projects across many different industry sectors in IT, business, management, contact centres, schools-industry linkages, government and then entrepreneurship at 28 years.

Key to preparing for new and future jobs is looking out 3-5 years, maybe 10-20 years, having the conversation and putting people into the future scenario.  Ask what would the job roles be, what would you be doing day to day, what kind of technologies might you be using and what skills would you need?

There is a set of 9 common 21st Century Capabilities and if you have these then you can pick up any roles and your skills won’t be redundant.  For example intelligence and imagination where the human aspect of the job role is going to get ‘more human’.

Employers may need help with thinking out to the future, taking the strategic view of their business and asking what does this mean for your workforce specifically?  A mismatch in expectations, education and training, can occur where employers and industry will focus on 21st Century skills but younger people, those entering the workforce and job seekers think that the technical skills are important.  This can also play out at a system level if you don’t have intelligence on what industry and employers are looking for.  Being across new discovery technologies is really important to enhance your human skills with an open mind and global perspective with cultural and global capabilities.

Work overseas varies from doing a workforce plan for a country like Bhutan, to hosting delegations from Maldives on education, as well as capability and capacity development in entrepreneurship for scaleups from Indonesia, and from the Philippines on food, wine and tourism.  Passion to have a broader, global impact changing people’s lives and companies, was aided by people in my network like Nelson – thank you Nelson for those first projects in Bhutan and Maldives!  Put the global impact aim into your strategic plan and start communicating your goals and people will open up doors for you.  Coaching and mentoring on a workforce plan with people in country, will ensure that they produce a plan that they will be proud of for their whole country.

How do you start a workforce plan?  Well it’s like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, often there are existing pieces that people have already worked on but most people don’t have a systematised approach to workforce planning and development.  That is the key point of difference.

What does a workforce plan look like?  People make it more complex than it needs to be but it starts with the full picture and the implications for your workforce, then an analysis of your workforce at this time.  The hardest part is knowing what you want into the future and you need to be able to describe the work, critical job roles and capabilities.  Evaluate the gaps by looking at the workforce we have now, the workforce we need into the future – what are the differences?  The action plan is most important rather than a nice, pretty report.  Sometimes the deeper insight comes from what isn’t in the workforce plan but should be and the many common areas regardless of the country or industry.

Increasingly in Australia, more acute skills and labour shortages are being uncovered, especially in regions, from Kangaroo Island to the Sunraysia region.  Advice for people looking for jobs is to balance your passion with where job demand and growth is, seeking clues and hints from economic development strategies, industry priority areas for your city, state, region, country or globally.  You’ve got to give people an experience of the future job role but in there here and now and if you want resilience with your career what is the #1 job role?  The answer is entrepreneur – exploring your own business idea, as an intrapreneur being an entrepreneur for your employer, or pursuing social enterprise and outcomes.

There are many media headlines that are not helpful about future jobs and they freak people out.  So delete the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up” from our conversation with young people as it is never one destination.  Job roles are becoming more multi skilled with areas being put together that haven’t in the past that makes them more attractive and flexible.

If you’d like to know more please email Wendy via wendy@wendyperry.com.au, thank you.

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