Behaviour / neuroscience Strategy


Amy Daroukakis applies her trends analysis to a transformed post-pandemic world, exploring how we bring our full selves to work, levelling up and making better use of our unique set of skills.

20 February 2023 • 4 min read | Freepik


The post-pandemic working environment has highlighted that nimbleness and resilience have never been more important core skills. The balance between employer and the workforce has changed and we are now all bringing more of ourselves to our work. Trends show that traditional backgrounds are losing their holding, with the big brands like Google pivoting their stance on degrees, and instead being open to those who develop their work experience outside standard education, picking up a broader range of skills along the way. Ultimately, we no longer hide what makes us who we are. Career breaks or caring for a relative are all part of our story and what makes us unique. I have a very traditional CV that has a lot of brand names on it, but I also have a “Resilience Resume” that showcases who I am – I waitressed for a decade. That’s the reason I can talk to anybody. I’ve renovated an apartment for four years in Athens, Greece, where my cultural communication was challenged way more than having to do projects abroad for clients.

So as we step into the future we find ourselves in this interesting vortex of questioning how work is evolving, and we haven’t figured it out completely. Take hybrid working for example; we’re still trying to figure out what hybrid working looks like. The future of skills and the future of what we need in the creative industries respond to both new and persisting problems, like ageism or the cost of living crisis. How do we move forward?


When it comes to remaining competitive besides emotional intelligence, everything else is about nimbleness and upskilling. If you want to remain competitive, you have to learn how to captivate somebody’s attention, either through marketing or creating a product. You have to understand human behaviour, and human behaviour is shifting really fast as we navigate transforming expectations. We work with people with ever shifting needs, and we’re going to need to know how to respond to those needs immediately and authentically.


We’re at a point of having to make do with less. We have less resources, we have less money, less time, and less people’s attention. I’ve worked with a lot of startups and startup incubators. They call it a runway when they have funding. The more runway you have the more stupid decisions you make: you hire the Chief Marketing Officer and you’re a company of three people. You don’t need that. Instead, you must become much more nimble with what you have – you work outside your roles, you share responsibility – because you have less. Those are much more successful companies and more successful people.

Learn to quickly read a room, understand human behaviour, but also adopt technology. Then again, understand the limitations of what technology can do. When I worked for a fast food company, we were tasked with finding new salad recommendations, and they insisted we use social listening tools. The “trending” results we received were chicken and lettuce. But that’s not new nor bold, they did not hire me to tell them their biggest future ingredient for a fast food chicken restaurant, is chicken and salad, I’d look like an idiot.

That’s why the right tools matter. Understanding where data fits within the picture is really important. So technology is important, but utilising it in the right way is priceless, so that we don’t get lazy.


We’re an industry obsessed with the “newest” generation. Millennials were the Gen Z of five years ago, right? So we get hyper-focused on generations, particularly Gen Z, because they have the most attention and power, but less money. This is such a problematic thing within any sector. Sometimes I wonder whether defining generations is even useful. Often you’ll meet a 20-year-old that has just as much in common with a 60-year-old. I think we should move away from generations because they’re very narrowly defined. Gen Z gets a lot more attention because they are the youth market, and in our industry, we are like vampires of youth.

But who has the money to pay for your newest product or service? We completely disregard the over 45s. They have huge pockets of money, but as an industry, rightly or wrongly, we don’t believe they will be interested in the latest tool or service. At the same time, Gen Z’s are undervalued in terms of contribution. They’re incredibly sharp. They research more than anybody else. They hold people accountable. They’re redefining families and success. I think they’re a really fascinating generation that I think will continue to make change. Gen Alpha is just as interesting for different reasons. This next wave will set boundaries when it comes to work, we’re seeing this even now with “quiet quitting” also known as boundaries. That’s a strong tension point.

Here’s the generation that’s saying, ‘my rent costs astronomically more than it ever did. I don’t necessarily want to work for a job in order to pay this astronomical rent for a home I may never own to entertain friends I may never see.’ What does that mean in the future? It means talent might not look like the way it does now. There’s a lot of brains that we’re losing by following traditional preferences. We’re starting to come up with other ideas and people are exploring entrepreneurialism and part-time side hustles are becoming real forms of work.

We are not just this one thing, and this is where Gen Z is really fascinating. Fluidity is the biggest word you could use for that generation. If you’re a generation that continues to learn, then you’re going to change, and not just your hair colour, but your sexual preference, where you want to live, the job you want to do, and so on. Fluidity is therefore a key skill set that we need to adapt in life as well as within work.


We do play a part in what that future looks like. And it makes it less scary. It makes it less daunting. And we can realise that we play a part in shaping rather than just being shaped by it.

Life becomes a bit more exciting when we don’t just accept what we’re told. We need to raise the standard as to who we accept as a client, just like who we marry, and so on. We’re seeing change in real time. And the people who are willing to adapt opinions, ways of working, living, ways of communicating, economics, all of those pieces, will be far more successful.

Behaviour / neuroscience Strategy

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