Lately, I have been reading more and more articles about boomers returning to the work force, either due to job layoffs and downsizing or because they became bored after retiring. However, many felt like a fish out of water when it came to social media and today’s technology. Many thought that employers would be bias towards them because of their age and lack of technical know how.
As a Social Media Manager and a boomer who blogs, oh and who by the way, will be celebrating her 57th birthday in September; understands the importance of social media which is why I have such a passion of teaching and educating others.
Many Boomers feel overwhelmed at the mere thought of being on social media, the overwhelming noise coming from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Linkedin, not to mention YouTube, Facebook Live, Anchor FM and IGTV, all of which can blow your mind…I sense fear from a few of you now reading this post.
You may have read about the importance of branding and developing an online profile or having a digital footprint and then thought, “I can’t do this,” closed up your flip phone and walked away discouraged.
However, if you have been out of work for more than a year or are just getting back into the job market after an extended period of time, there are some basic social media skills that will be necessary.
Don’t feel discouraged, keep a positive outlook and tell yourself, “I’ve overcome many other obstacles in my life, and I can overcome this one as well.” Make the effort because if you are in your fifties, or in your sixties, you still have a full third of your life left to live, and if you’re fortunate and healthy enough maybe even more.
So once you decide to start, determine how you want to learn social media:
Do you like taking classes? Or learning in a small group?
Do you like reading a book and following steps on your own?
Do you work better sitting down with a friend who explains and answers your questions?
Do you like to learn hands-on? You like to practice, practice, practice, learning from your mistakes.
Once you decide, do a little research, talk with your friends, and search online to find your best choices. As you know, I currently teach classes at Delaware Technical Community College and workshops for the YWCA, however, I also offer a 30-minute consultation for free, so send me an email if you are interested in one-on-one training. Below are some additional suggestions to get you started.
Local universities and community colleges – Classes at community colleges are less expensive, but many universities offer free and discounted classes if you are above a certain age.
Study online – Local colleges and universities also offer online courses, do a Google search on any social media platform and you are sure to find one to fit your needs and skill level.
Job training programs – If you live in the USA, find out what’s available in your area from your local CareerOneStop Center, part of the CareerOneStop system from the US Department of Labor, or call the U.S. Department of Labor’s toll-free help line (877) US2-JOBS.
Local libraries now offer free computer classes, check out yours.
YouTube offers a wide variety of great instructional videos to help you learn specific skills and social media programs, including several on my own channel www.youtube.com
Reading books and articles – the local library is a terrific resource. If your library has a small collection and you can’t find what you need, ask the librarians to order it for you from another branch.
Buy books online new or used as there are many used books on Amazon.com which are sold for pennies on a dollar and most if not all can be downloaded onto any eReader like a Kindle.
Learning one-on-one – if no one you know is willing to teach you, hire a tutor from a local high school or college. Students are always looking for part-time work.
I hope by now you’re getting excited and are ready to get started. Stay focused to keep up your motivation level and just think of the great rewards when you land that next exciting job.
Think of it as being a great first step in beating the boomer bias!
Let’s Chat > What social media platforms are you most looking forward to learning?
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