Over 50? Hate keeping up with technology? Here's some help.
Are you tired of trying to keep up with social media? Hate having to learn yet another new software? Sorry to break it to you sport, but you've gotta embrace it or you may find yourself sitting with your Palm Pilot in the lobby of the unemployment office.
It's no secret technology is moving at the speed of light and keeping up with it may seem overwhelming. But it's an integral part of our lives and businesses today. Take for example, the recent Wall Street Journal profile of 50-year-old advertising executive Doug Gould and his goal to avoid becoming the "Office Tech Dinosaur." Although he is an advertising veteran with an impressive list of accomplishments, he was a little uneasy when his younger colleagues starting calling him "Uncle Doug" and "Coach". Gould learned, and you may have also found, that competing with younger colleagues requires constant work to stay-up-to date because most of them grew up texting, tweeting, using Facebook and playing videogames.
How to stay ahead? Here are a few easy ways:
1. Start with education.
- Classroom or online - There are plenty of online and classroom courses available at community colleges or through professional organizations. If you're uneasy about learning a new skill, start with one short class and build from there
- Social media sites - Most sites have FAQs, mini-training modules, and "How-To" videos to help users understand the basics. Click around, read up, and determine if they are a good fit for you, your career or your business.
- LinkedIn discussion groups - LinkedIn is known for its professional networking power, but there are also countless discussion groups to join. Choose a couple topics of interest, join a group and learn by asking questions & following the discussions.
2. Consider how technology can help you or your clients. In the WSJ story, Gould first resisted Twitter because of its limit of 140 characters. But once he recognized its power and efficient way to share information, he made Twitter the basis of a campaign for a non-profit. It paid off - more than 20,000 tweets from volunteers telling upbeat stories spurred a 37% jump in web traffic for the client.
3. Share your business savvy. Although younger colleagues may be at a higher level tech-wise, they may not have the interpersonal or communications skills you've acquired through working with clients or staying calm in high stress situations. Be willing to share your expertise (in a non-condescending way, of course) to help younger colleagues learn these low-tech, but essential career skills.