Is technology a barrier for seasoned professionals?
YES! The answer is yes.
I don’t want it to be so, because I am a seasoned professional. I want to be able to say that tech isn’t a problem – just get trained on it. But that’s the trouble… no one’s going to train you any more… you have to do that for yourself. No one owes you that anymore. “Come on board and we’ll train you” doesn’t exist anymore. Get over it!
If I’m interviewing someone, I’m looking for aptitude. I don’t need to build a program to train someone, I need to walk them through a few screens and have them producing. I don’t really like this position because the tables are easily turned on me. But it’s where I find myself.
So, how does this happen – the turning of the tables? It’s when I find myself across the table from an interviewer… and the skin crawls on my neck when I sense they will take one look at me and assume I can’t deal with tech. They are incorrect, but that doesn’t matter. It’s on me to cleverly prove otherwise. Is it right? I don’t think so. But do a few interviews or talk to a few recruiters when in midlife and you’ll figure it out quickly. Get ready for those canned automated rejection letters.
There are solutions for this issue, but they are not easy. It takes a continual openness to redefining what work looks like. Need a shortcut? Good luck. Need a quick list so you can get back to the way things “used to be?” I don’t think you’ll find it. Want to know the best tech to get educated on? As long you are buying, you can learn a lot of different tech packages. Everyone and their uncles and aunts have websites, books, and seminars on such for purchase. But which one? You won’t know till you apply for a Job! And then it’s too late. Oh by the way, the best tech list changes all the time.
Aspiring professionals were reared with technology at their fingertips – it’s woven into who they are. Will they someday become seasoned professionals about whom these types of conversations are had? Most likely – so if you find yourself with the upper hand in quickly integrating tech into your life, be KIND, you will probably reach a point in your life when the tables will get turned on you.
Does that mean seasoned professionals can’t be in the tech game? Absolutely NOT! Here are a few suggestions I think are helpful.
Change your mindset. Dump the criticizing of other generations. Dump the dream of having “earned the right” not to be in learning mode. Be open minded. Be in learner mode. The best teachers are those who continue to also be a student.
Find a Mentor – swallow your pride and get one younger than yourself – maybe considerably younger. You can help them gain Training Experience by allowing them to train YOU. It’s a win-win. Is it going to work for everyone? No, but look for opportunities… you’ll find them.
Use LinkedIn Jobs whether or not you are looking for a job. Set searches for Jobs you might be interested in and note the technology that is noted in most of the descriptions. Make a to-do list accordingly.
Subscribe to a Course Offering. Turn off the news – it’s not hard to catch up on and you probably won’t really miss anything you can do anything about anyway. Spend that time auditing online course offerings. I maintain a subscription to CareerAcademy.com. Very reasonable in cost and rich in content.
Network. This is not just talking with people like yourself, but connect with people of all ages. You’ll learn stuff and you may encounter your next opportunity.
I’m a strong believer in connecting generations to create value. I’d love to have your thoughts.