For many people 40-years-old and over, the digital revolution has been a hard transition. Many of us came of age and experienced early adulthood before there were even words for things like the Internet, social media, video streaming, virtual content, and smartphones.
Most of us have forced ourselves to adapt to the new landscape for personal and professional reasons, but the scenery keeps shifting and it’s hard to keep up. While Gen Z and millennials were raised understanding the language of digital technology, the rest of us often find ourselves googling how-to videos for tasks that others can complete instinctually in minutes.
This can be a huge drain emotionally, financially, and professionally. Being out of touch with the digital zeitgeist can affect your career prospects and the success of any business you run.
With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at a few different strategies, tools, and ideas for how to keep yourself up to speed with the unstoppable, high-speed train that is the digital revolution:
Understand and accept the dominance of digital products and eCommerce
Most jobs these days require some kind of working knowledge of digital tools or gadgets. Even hosts at restaurants often use apps on tablets to keep track of reservations and table seating. Secretaries and assistants are expected to be proficient with a wide range of software skills.
If you run a business, it’s even more important that you understand digital tools and online sales. Whether you offer products or services, you need to double or even triple-down on eCommerce. If you’re launching a startup with an ambitious idea, you need to workshop it and engage in rigorous digital product development so that you can ensure your investors and end-users will be happy.
If you’re selling a service, you need to have a killer website with a top-notch user interface that sells your brand and cleanly explains your company to clients.
There’s virtually no business that does not need to be proficient with digital pipelines and online tools.
Don’t hide from social media – use it!
It’s common now to hear people bragging about how they don’t use social media anymore. It’s one thing if you’re talking about refraining from arguing with people on Facebook or posting dog pictures on Instagram, but if you’re a professional or a business owner social media illiteracy is nothing to be proud of.
Not all social media is arbitrary and pointless. People looking to up-level their career trajectories can use LinkedIn to network with the top minds in their field of choice. Business owners looking to expand their brand reach can use targeted marketing on a variety of social media platforms to exponentially increase their popularity or promote social causes and lifestyle adjustments.
You may not like using social media for yourself personally, but there’s virtually no business owner or career professional who won’t benefit from understanding social media and finding the right platform for their specific purposes.
Learn how to use a content management system (CMS)
You’ve probably heard of WordPress. It’s used for website development and blogging. What you may not know is that it is user-friendly and extremely varied in its functionality. As the most popular content management system (CMS), there are thousands of widgets you can use to beef up your website or strengthen your eCommerce portal.
This isn’t necessarily the same as website development. Usually, you will want to hire a developer or programmer to design and code your company’s site. But once your website is finalized and live, you can use a CMS like WordPress to manage and tweak your site on a day-to-day basis.
Hiring developers is expensive. You don’t want to have to hire one every time you need to make a tiny copy change on your site. This is why learning WordPress is so valuable – you can effectively control your website without having to know complex programming languages.
These are just a few examples of the importance of getting up to speed with the digital revolution. There are thousands of online strategies, gadgets, and platforms involved in this process. Find a good starting point and jump in – there’s no reason to be afraid!