According to the latest Infoempleo Adecco Report, recently published, almost 14% of last year’s job openings sought to fill positions that were non-existent 15 years ago, and were primarily oriented to fields related to new technologies.                                          

These data confirm the projections made some time ago by experts, entities and institutions about the future of the labour market, which suggest an increasingly higher presence of artificial intelligence in productive tasks. Even though this development will make millions of jobs obsolete and lead to their extinction eventually, they will be replaced by new ones. And many will be developed within the “industry” of knowledge.                                       

Due to the unstoppable process of digital transformation, this new, ever-changing reality has triggered the irruption of a new paradigm: the profiles known as “Knowmad”, which are being increasingly demanded by companies focused on innovation.

This neologism is the result of merging the terms know and nomad and was created by John W. Moravec, a prestigious international expert and researcher on the future of work and education. In his book Knowmad Society, Moravec defines Knowmad as an “a creative, imaginative, and innovative person who can work with almost anybody, anytime, and anywhere”. He considers that its emergence “is a product of the changes in a world driven by exponential accelerating technological and social change, globalization, and a push for more creative and context-driven innovations”.                                                     

Another economist, José Moisés Carretero, describes Knowmads as “highly-qualified professionals in the field of economy of knowledge and creativity, who develop their occupational career leaping from one project to another, creating added value and living a life full of enriching working experiences”.                                                                  

One of the individuals that has shed more light upon this revolutionary job profile is the journalist and expert in talent Raquel Roca, who published in 2018 the book Knowmads, Los Trabajadores del Futuro (Knowmads, The Workers of the Future), in which she anticipates that by 2020, 45% of labour force “is going to be nomadic” and professionals who don’t want to miss the boat of that immediate future will have to adapt to changes and challenges brought along by new technologies.                                                        

Which are the characteristics of this profile?

Based on the writings by Roca and on some other experts’ knowledge, it’s possible to develop a model of this rising profile:   

-They’re not restricted to a specific age, although they’re mainly between 27 and 35.

-They network; this enables them to interact professionally with anybody, anywhere in the world.

-The ability to transform information into knowledge and perform creative tasks related to innovation or problem solving is among their differentiating values.

-For them, their work is their job: they like it and they fell accomplished. They don’t require any extra motivation.

-They generate ideas and act imaginatively all the time, even when facing unexpected issues.  

-They don’t feel attached to any organization in particular and they tend to work autonomously.

-They have great command of new technologies.

-They make a smart use of social media, in order to learn and gather information.

-They show great adaptive capacity. They’re flexible.

-They advocate for continuous training throughout their professional career.

-They’re not afraid of failure: making mistakes is seen as a learning process.

-They can unlearn as quickly and easily as they learn.

-They’re apostles of knowledge.

In summary, Raquel Roca argues that being a Knowmad is “an attitude” and draws the attention on how companies should embrace this new labour situation: “We’re not talking about the transformation of people as much as we do of organizations”, which are interested in recruiting these professionals for economic reasons, since they provide “a higher degree of productivity”.                                  

Companies willing to have the best Knowmad talent on board will be forced, sooner or later, to deal with organisational change, betting on flexible structures, participatory leaderships and working models that rely heavily on new technologies.           

Sources: Education Futures, Randstad, 20 Minutos, GQ and Territorio Knowmad.

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