Joining the rat race?

Chinese New Year begins on the 25th January, ushering in the Year of the Rat, which, as the first of all the 12 zodiac animals, represents the beginning of the day.

In case you are no expert, it’s worth saying that, according to the Chinese Zodiac, people share characteristics with the animal that symbolises their birth year.  As those born two zodiac cycles ago, in 1996, will be turning 24 this year, it’s a good time to consider how the Rat’s characteristics fit with what’s expected to be needed in for a successful career in the future.

People born in the year of the rat are said to be clever, optimistic, energetic, likeable, sensitive to others, quick to adapt, organised and careful with money. Meaning that overall, though not particularly ambitious, they are set to be successful and wealthy. But how would this benefit them in the future world of work?

There are a number of studies seeking to predict the types of skills that will be most needed in the future, and all of these studies are agreeing that people will need to be adept at the things that AI & machine learning can’t easily replicate, whilst able to operate in an increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. Attributes such as using creativity, critical thinking and complex problem-solving techniques to make good decisions, and interpersonal activities such as managing, negotiating, coordinating and customer service to implement the decisions effectively are emphasised by the likes of the World Economic Forum and National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) .

So comparing the Rat with this picture of the future, seems to me that their optimism, energy and speed of adaption will help them navigate the changes the future will bring and their likeability, organisation and sensitivity will help them get the most from their teams and co-workers and provide an excellent service to their customers. 

That said, they do have some areas that they are naturally less proficient in. However it’s predicted that there will be ever increasing occurrences collaboration and team working in the future.  That means that the strengths of colleagues born in years of other animals can balance them out, and a couple of zodiac animals that may especially compliment those born in the year of the Rat are those born in the years of the Pig who can bring the logical problem-solving skills, and those from the years of the Rooster who will provide the creativity. Together they’ll form a formidable team, able to handle all that the uncertain future throws at them.

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