How Tech Savvy Are You?

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It's quite naive to believe that the technology advances all around us, are for individuals other than you. Too many middle-aged people are sitting on the sidelines while technological breakthroughs are happening all around them. Today it's becoming rare that your job-position doesn't require some interaction with computers or some form of technology. Whether you work in factories, offices, or as a cashier or clerk in a retail chain, you will probably have to learn how to interact with your company's computer system. Even the task of clocking in and out of work is probably done on a company computer. However if you have aspirations to advance your position at your company, you will probably be required to learn more about computer systems and relevant software programs, in order to stay productive and competitive in today's marketplace.

If you are a small business owner today, it's just as important for your company to embrace the latest technologies available. Being technologically efficient is no longer a luxury for a small business. It's necessary for survival in the future. If you're in retail, the days of the cigar box for a cash register is ancient history. Take a stroll through your competitor's store and they probably use hardware and software that enables their business to stock the proper inventories and service THEIR clients as well as YOUR customers much better.

If you are in the service business and still hand write every invoice and mail out handwritten statements each month, it's definitely time to upgrade your systems. There are so many ways to operate more efficiently today and the market will eventually punish you for clinging to what worked since the fifties.

As you know, individuals are not born with the knowledge of a technological genius; or with the knowledge and skills of a medical, law or engineering genius. It takes time, energy and resources to obtain knowledge and skills for professions, hobbies or just keeping track of your personal activities. Being first to learn and implement the latest technologies, can often propel you to the top of the class in any career, business or industry. You can become proficient in any field, if you're willing to invest the time, effort and resources necessary to do so.

If you're interested in a couple examples of how the market rewards companies that excel in the use of the latest technologies, you don't have to look much further than Google or Walmart. The two founders of Google went from being broke a few years ago to being worth 11 billion dollars each today. That's one heck of a payoff for being tech savvy. And Walmart bowls over their competition in almost every product category they sell, by being one of the most tech savvy corporations in the world. Their computer system ranks second in power worldwide, with only the US Department of Defense ahead of them. Even mighty Walmart will have a tough time outspending the DOD, which has an annual spending budget of 419 Billion Dollars!

My question to you in this lesson is how tech savvy do you need to be in today's world? Will you enjoy a better lifestyle by investing more time and resources by learning how to use the latest technology for your business and personal life? If you happen to watch "Live with Regis and Kelly" during weekday mornings, you'll find the co-hosts bragging about their technological deficiencies. They're proud of their ignorance toward the Internet, e-mail or and PC's. I guess it's OK for Regis Philbin to be free from using computers, cell phones, and DVD's. He's made his fortune and doesn't have to work another day in his life. However, if he were fifty five years younger, I would pity him if he had the same negative attitude about technology.

Today's teens and twenty-year-olds are very tech savvy. They have grown up in the computer age. If you take a trip to any college campus, you will find most kids walking around the campus with their cell phones or I Pods glued to their ears. Their lives are full of downloads, e-mails, text messaging, instant messaging, and depending on college websites to obtain information regarding their classes and activities. Most campuses have high speed internet in every dorm room and wireless internet in most public areas. Regis Philbin wouldn't last one week in college today! And if he had to compete against these young adults in the job market, he would be doomed.

Thus, if you are middle-aged or older and are still afraid of technology, it's time to remedy that situation. Tech is speeding up and it's never going back to the good old days. Take classes, network with your kids or grand-kids, and get going. If your company offers classes, sign up. Take night classes, read magazines and have fun getting familiar with the latest gadgets. Don't view new technology as a fad that will pass. It's just not going to happen!

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