On December 01, 2013 I’ll be celebrating my one-year anniversary at Grio as their HR Administrator. I’d like to share some of my story with you. It’s a tale of a technology trailer turned technical achiever; that’s me!
Perspective: I’m 58 years young, my most recent experience prior to Grio was in the non-profit sector where the PC is king and paper pushing is commonplace.
Contrast: Grio is a software consultancy firm catering to a wide spectrum of clients spanning across industries. Grio is a gun for hire with respect to mobile apps and web development.
When I first interviewed at the Grio office, it was immediately apparent where the real challenge would be for me: Overcoming the huge technology gap.
Plainly put for the less nerdy: It’s ground zero for the Mac, Wi-Fi and pretty near a paperless exchange of information internally as well as most correspondence to and from the office. Where cloud computing, working remotely and social media reign while online chat-hubs and an ever-evolving number of apps services are consistently flowing across virtual space and digital workstations.
At that time nearly a year ago, I didn’t own a smart phone and only recently learned how to use an ATM machine. I was, however, HR experienced, motivated and available. A co-owner had referred me and the need to fill the position was keen.
I began the following Monday as a contractor and the need to learn their technology tools of the trade was on.
Grio supplied the necessary office hardware but I immediately went out and bought my own Mac laptop, upgraded to an iPhone (that I still can’t use very well) and began my learning quest. This would be no easy task for me. I’m not particularly fond of current communication technology or at least having it rule so much of my life. However, once you begin the digital lifestyle of cell phone, emails, Facebook, Twitter, Google and the like there’s no going back. You’re in it for the long haul. Which is why I think most baby-boomers and older often get left behind. In today’s labor market if your not technology savvy you’re not very valuable. As the cliché goes: “If you want to stay youthful stay useful”
Here are a few tips I learned along the way that I’m happy to share.
- Dive in – It’s scary, confusing, frustrating and chaotic. Yup!
- Stick with it – Take some breaks but don’t give-up.
- Ask – Everybody is dealing with technology in some form or another. Folks are generally and genuinely interested in learning themselves and teaching others. Seek professional help where needed. The Genius Bar at Apple is a great resource.
- Online – The Internet is a vast library of endless information at your fingertips. Use it.
- Use the tools – A big conflict for me is security, not just privacy issues but remembering the different login and password codes. Managing password codes is a topic unto itself. I started an important contacts file and spreadsheet that I keep close and refer to it daily. A real lifesaver.
- Embrace it – Technology is here to stay. Make a part of your life as it fits to you?
So my message is: Truly, if I can venture outside of my comfort zone and prosper as a baby-boomer in the digital age, then hopefully this story will be an inspiration for others to do the same.