Over 33% of todayâ€™s workforce are classified as â€œboomers (born between 1946 and 1964). Unlike years past, there are endless opportunities for boomers in the workforce, so different than not too many years ago. If this is you, it is very important that you perform a â€œcheck-upâ€ of your skills and tools you need to compete in todayâ€™s workforce:
1. Check-up and assess skills Keep your skills current – and brush-up on those you feel you need to acquire. Make a list of your skills you can contribute – as well as those personal attributes – drive, focus, etc. Make a list of the skills you feel you need to learn or further develop – then take action to acquire.
2. Embrace Technology – be tech â€œsavvyâ€
Nothing will â€œdateâ€ you more than a lack of technology skills. You can have the best experience, personality and shine in the interview but without, you will find it difficult to beat any other candidate to a new opportunity. Get a good command of the Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, PowerPoint at the minimum.
If you find you are in need of training or tuning-up on one or more of these programs you can consider online tutorials, classroom training (usually one to two days) or a computer skills coach.
What should you never say that is a clear give away that you have not embraced technology?
Can you fax that to me — it is easier than email… I have an email address – but never check it… Whatâ€™s Windows…
3. Look in the mirror
Your appearance makes your first impression and formulates a personâ€™s opinion before you open your mouth. Now is the time to update your wardrobe and look the part. Beyond your wardrobe, be mindful of your hair and personal grooming. Think sharp always – and look sharp always.
4. Make your best impression – on paper
You have likely amassed a number of experiences and skills that are transferable to a new career or job. Many make the mistake of presenting an older format chronological resume (in the â€œbizâ€ we refer to as tombstones) rather that a document that â€œsellsâ€ your skills, qualifications and experience. Remember, you have 5 to 15 seconds to grab the readerâ€™s attention – do so with your best impression. If you have difficulty writing about yourself, seek a professional to help – it make the world of difference.
5. Be seen – and network, network, network…
Developing and maintaining a deep network of contacts is an excellent resource at any stage in oneâ€™s career. One tip: Have a profile on the business-to-business social networking site http://www.linkedin.com (it is free – and essential!)
6. Understand generational differences – and embrace change.
Understanding the generational differences as a boomer, and knowing how to work with those of different generations is important to your success and is a critical skill to master. Many companies are asking boomer employees to mentor younger staff members, which has been very successful as well. In other words, try to fit in, adapt to change, listen and learn.
â€œIt is never too late to be what you want to beâ€ – this hangs in my office.
Dan Moran is President & Founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. He specializes in helping people make career choices, and seek new jobs. He is also a Certified Facilitator for Get Hired Now! and Get Clients Now! programs which helps those in career transition and companies get results. You can reach Dan at 641.8968 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On the Web: http://www.next-act.com