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Essential computer skills for older people

Just because you’ve gotten on a little in your years, there’s no reason you can’t return to work after a brief stint of retirement, and for those of us looking to get back into the game after something of an off-season, so to speak, doing so can seem like a daunting and intimidating challenge. The job landscape is a lot different now than it was even just a few decades ago, and with the recent rise in technological capabilities and the ubiquity of more advanced gadgets, gizmos, and technology, more and more businesses are relying on new tech to do the same things they’ve always needed to do, only more efficiently. The problem with this, however, is that many older job seekers haven’t acquainted themselves with some of these newer technology, and this skill gap has led to a pretty significant amount of frustration among those looking to reinvigorate their working lives. We’ll talk about some of the skills upon which you might want to brush up if you’re looking to get back into the working world.

The Internet is the portal through which a lot of business is done these days, and even if this weren’t true it’s still pretty much where you have to go if you want to apply for just about any job. Hiring rarely happens in person these days; almost every single company you could possibly want to work for has their hiring done online. This isn’t to say that you won’t have an interview — but the process of submitting your information and actually applying for the job to begin with typically happens on the Internet these days.

Another one of the main problems that older job seekers find themselves facing is something of a language barrier. With all of the recent developments, inventions, and innovations in technology and gadgetry that have happened over the last couple of decades, there have been a ton of new words added to the current lexicon. Between Gmail, Twitter, and Chrome, it can be a little tough to keep everything straight. If you can spend some time beefing up on the names and principles behind everyday computer usage you’ll give yourself a strong advantage when you go to look for your newest job. Perhaps you can invest in a computer, or maybe you can find a cyber cafe or library that will let you hang out on a desktop computer for a few hours each week while you familiarize yourself with the workings of the Windows and Mac operating systems.

It’s not too terribly hard (or expensive, for that matter) to learn the skills you’ll need to compete in the current job market, and there are plenty of simple products like a screen protector or foot rest that can help you do your job a little easier. In fact, a lot of the work you’ll need to do to learn some of this stuff will familiarize you more with it as you’re doing so — the Internet is the main source of free information, so you’re going to use it either way. With the right technical knowledge you can jump back into the job market and compete with the best of them.

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Jenni Proctor

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