With a recent survey conducted by CW and featured in the Telegraph highlighting that in the technology sector, employees start feeling a victim of ageism from the age of 29, whether through recruitment process, being considered for promotion, or exclusion from socialising. The technology sector is extremely fast paced in terms of change- just look at how the tools of everyday life and work have been transformed just in the past decade – facebook has become mainstream for all ages, mobile phones impact every aspect of our lives – and are no longer used just for making calls, video communication via apps at work and home, entertainment is streamed on demand – none of this could have been envisaged 10 or 15 years ago – yet we have embraced it.
When it comes to the workplace we have to demonstrate that we are able to maximise the benefit of technology introduced – and that we are open to further change and development.
Older employees adapt best to change
In fact research has shown that it is the over 50s who are least stressed when new technology is introduced in the workplace, and the first to fully integrate into their role as opposed to their younger counterparts. The reasoning behind this is that ‘older workers’ have experienced so much change in their working lives to date that they are able to see the bigger picture and just integrate it and get on with the job. We have come a long way since the manual typewriters, carbon paper and tippex bottles of my early days at work !
We each have to take individual responsibility to ensure that our skills are up to date. Keep abreast of what tools and technologies are considered to be ‘best practice’ in your role or industry. Put yourself forward as the innovator in the workplace to identify and implement technologies that could make a difference. Be a leader or an early adopter and not a follower. Show that you are still moving forward and not treading water until retirement. At 50 you may have another 20 working ahead of you . Don’t coast. Have a plan to ensure that you remain relevant and your skills and experience remain marketable.
With the workplace demographic changing ‘older’ workers will be the cornerstone of the longevity economy. Embrace new technologies, be visible and future proof your career