When Dealing With Technology and People Over 50

teaching technology to people over fifty

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Here are five things we can do about this difficult situation:

One:

Get with the program. 

Technology is not avoidable in the long term.  You can’t keep your head in the analog sand for long.  You will have no choice.  Enduring the tech world won’t be enough.

You have to embrace it.   The world isn’t going back to the abacus. 

You have to accept the world as it is and as it will be, even if it hurts a bit.

Two:

Carefully check out any new software package that you are thinking of buying for your business. 

Try it out to make sure it is clear and relatively easy to use.  Check out online reviews.  Ask about training programs, support and documentation. 

Don’t be shy.

And remember, it is on the software developer to make their product work right.  It is NOT your fault if their stuff is confusing. 

It is their job to make their products usable.  So if their products don’t work, send it back and try another vendor.  You wouldn’t wear shoes that don’t fit. 

Don’t let the geeks intimidate you.

Three:

If you have an IT person, you have help.  But if you don’t, having young people around can make your life easier. 

It seems almost like a joke, and it is a bit of a cliché, but sometimes you need to have a “Millennial Consultation.”  This can be a son or a niece, an employee or just a consultant who is on call. 

They don’t have to be there in person since you can share screens and they can guide you through something you don’t get.  Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. 

Just do it.

Four:

Educate yourself. 

There are classes at most community colleges on tech issues.  How “remedial” they are will depend on the college and who they think they are serving. 

There are also online classes for just about everything.  Plus there are instructional videos on absolutely everything on YouTube.   The online classes might be paid, but the community colleges are very low cost and most YouTube material is free. 

You can do this. 

Five:

As you gain competence in this arena, reach out to help others. 

Teaching is how you go beyond competence all the way to mastery.  Other employees and business owners around your place of business might benefit from your experience. 

You can do this.

Related articles:

Learning for Work? If So, What Type of Work?

Intentional Learning: Make a Difference in the World

Foster a Culture of Learning, Your Employees Will Love You

The Keys to Deliberate Learning for Business Agility

Be Bold…Learning Courage At Any Age

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About the author

Carlos E. Garcia

Carlos E. Garcia, born to Mexican immigrant parents, grew up in East Los Angeles and attended Pomona College, UC Berkeley and National University (BA, MA and MBA respectively).  He has over thirty years of experience in the field of US Hispanic consumer research, twenty one years at the helm of his own company, Garcia Research.  Most recently  SVP at GfK: Knowledge Networks, where he headed up their Hispanic research efforts. He's gone full circle and now back at the helm of Garcia Research, a Hispanic market and Multicultural-focused research firm.

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