Nothing seems to categorise a person as ‘old-school’ more than an inability to keep abreast of technology. As a recruiter I see this at both ends of the age spectrum:
- 20-somethings who have not kept up with their learning re technology since completing formal study just a few years ago. Their regular use of technology becomes very routine and (besides email, SMS and surfing) is often limited to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.
- Mature age people with many deriding technological changes. They limit their online activity to email, some web surfing and their skills don’t go much beyond using MS Word or some basic Excel spreadsheets.
So what do the experts tell us is expected of people in 2018 in relation to technology skills? Mary Creighton had an interesting article on academy cube last year where she addressed the following aspects:
It is strongly recommended that you establish an on-line presence, with Twitter and LinkedIn the most recommended business-related platforms. I’m a user of both, although my personal view is that LinkedIn has dropped in importance whereas Twitter has become more important year on year. I find many leaders are ‘Twitter lurkers’ – they only occasionally contribute to conversations (although they should do more) but use it to follow a range of topics and as an invaluable learning tool.
Content Management System
Have you explored the use of a CMS? WordPress is a very common CMS and so very easy to use. It is surprising how many people have started their own blog using the free version of WordPress and then build their online presence by promoting and sharing their posts via the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Can you imagine how powerful a blog can be to showcase your skills while engaging with a whole range of people outside your usual networks?
We all know this is a hot topic as far as school curriculum is concerned, but what have we adults done? I’ve recently seen articles promoting the benefits of learning Java or PHP (supposedly one of the easier languages) however a treehouse post by Wade Christensen provides a good starting place – click here
How good are your online research skills? Are you limited to a basic Google search? A good place to start is to learn a little about Boolean operators. You’ll quickly improve your online research skills by combining your keywords and the 3 main Boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT) to produce more accurate and more relevant results. Boolean Blackbelt has a handy guide – click here
Project Management Tools
Collaboration is such a vital part of us delivering successful outcomes that it is difficult, if not impossible, to do so without using project management tools.
At Trak Search we ditched the use of Excel spreadsheets many years ago and trialled a number of PM tools. Unfortunately, we took the long & painful way to find our current software. We started by using some ‘free’ solutions. However, we soon found that none provided the functionality we needed without upgrading to their paid versions….and if we were going to pay for a solution their software is not the one we’d have chosen. We wasted time and effort learning to use software that wasn’t relevant to our context.
A better path to follow would have been as outlined in a recent post by Laura Sima – click here to learn more.
If you have PM software, get your hands dirty and learn how it works. If you don’t use any PM tool, then it might be time to start.
Analytics and Data
We all know how vital data analysis is to our work…..but how many of us totally rely on others to synthesise and provide meaning to the data. Most organisations now have people who focus on data and the advice given by experts is to proactively seek an opportunity to spend time with these experts to learn some of their basics.
Risk management experts regularly advise that a key exposure for most organisations is data security. Whether you are a team of one; manage a team; or lead an organisation; it is important to get some understanding of the bigger picture: a University of Melbourne article by Andy Walsh is excellent in this regard and can be accessed by clicking here.
Don’t get left behind! Invest time now in your technology capabilities. You can access Mary Creighton’s article on ‘Essential Digital Skills for 2018’ by clicking here