Fostering dispositions in occupational capacity building can be enhanced by reconceptualizing the nature of work across the lifespan. New conceptions of lifelong learning emphasize moving job, training away from exclusively inculcating narrow skills for a specific role, as if that would be one's occupation over decades and as if skills are the sole predictor of professional success. Instead, in the next half-century, workforce capacity building should center on developing suites of skills— and dispositions that encourage using these skills under conditions of uncertainty and rapid change—to enable high performance in rapidly changing jobs, shifts in roles, and preparation for careers that do not yet exist. This second brief contributes to our broadened conception of a Next Level Learner by focusing on these important tendencies or dispositions and their role in success in the workplace.
Though a focus on disposition training has already begun, the shift is still nascent. In recent years, workforce development has begun to include dispositions like growth mindset (a belief that anyone can change and grow through application and experience), and mindfulness (paying particular attention to the present experience in order to deeply understand its uniqueness). Dispositional framing of concepts explored in later briefs, such as transfer and adaptive expertise, has yet to be thoroughly addressed on a grander scale.