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Are you employable over 50 or is your fear of technology holding you back in the workplace?

fear of technology over 50 imageArticle by Fi Ivin

Prime Ministers are getting younger. Had you noticed? It used to be a sign of getting older when policemen looked too young for the job but PMs are definitely  no  longer elder statesmen. In his mid forties David Cameron is our youngest ever PM. It would appear that youth not experience is valued – and not just in politics. You and I are part of an ever increasing age-ing population. With many people having to work almost until they are seventy, what do you see your value as being now that you are over fifty? There are three questions for you at the end around this and the theme of technology.

With the focus on youth and “improving” (I have views on that too!) its  education, it seems to me that digital Britain is in danger of a) losing a great swathe of a potentially useful and experienced work force  b) be left with a large population of dependents, if it fails to educate its  post war generation into the dark skills of technology. I say “dark skills” slightly tongue  in cheek because I recently heard about automatic authoring programmes being used to “write” books. That’s dark to me.

Are you disadvantaged if you are not on top of technology?

Whether or not you are one of those for whom retirement at 60/65 no longer an option, these days many people are not ready to take up their slippers and retreat to hearth and home.There are women who have really useful skills but are disadvantaged because they are not comfortable with this constantly changing  medium of communication which is very much a part of today’s work place. Over the  last year as part of the programme which enabled me to write my book “Women On A Wobble”, I have been working alongside people who are younger than me and highly successful. A large part of their success is their ability to engage with technology both in their businesses and socially so creating vast numbers of contacts. Frequently I have felt overwhelmed by talk of API, CRM,  SEO, managing auto responders, bulk scheduling etc etc. However for someone who wasn’t even on Facebook eighteen months ago I have been pushed into a place of being more techo capable than I would have ever imagined – though it’s fair to say I have a long way to go. Whether you need/want to work or not, being capable of using technology is now part  of the fabric of society. It is a means of often dispersed families staying connected and of keeping up to date and integrated into the wider world – almost a necessity as one ages to avoid isolation and depression.

Three questions for technophobes over 50

If you are reading this and over 50 I have three questions for you:

  1. What do you believe is the most valuable contribution you can make to society at this stage of your life?
  2. What resources do you know of that would help us technophobes get started and become more integrated with technology?
  3. I got pushed into something out of necessity. Carrot and stick are something to which I respond well! What encourages you to respond  to something in which you might not have a great deal of interest but is essentially good for you?


I’m an author, speaker and independent consultant in personal development working with women aged between 40 -60 who have lost their sense of value and purpose because of changes to their personal lives or careers. I engage with them to re-launch their lives. I work with them to develop and grow their confidence by working with them to update their image and use psychological and coaching tools to get them to a point of “Wow this is ME! This who I am and what I can achieve.”

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    December 10, 2012

    I have heard the saying ‘Age before beauty’ a few times, but in this day and age it would appear that beauty is more important. If all the over 50s became techno wizz fabs, wonder whether it would make a difference? Many, many employers still have a problem with ageism, but there is no way to prove it. Many over 50s have set up there own businesses which I think is great, but what if you don;t want to? Everyone of us has lots to offer. Look at parenting skills… that says it all. We are often told when job hunting that we have to sell ourselves and many of us do, successfully, but that does not always guarantee us the job because again beauty and youth come into play when grown men sit on the panel to interview and choose looks over experience. I got pushed into the Security Industry because MORE women were needed!! We now have many women driving buses now too. I really cant ever see myself retiring the way things are going. I am computer literate, and love computers and learning new things. I am lazy though when it comes to the thought of going back to full time or even part-time education. I say don’t give up on your personal development. Get coaching if you need it. Be an inspiration. We are all in this together. Don’t give up the fight for women over 50!!

  2. diane thomas

    April 12, 2013

    I am trying to break back into the workforce after 20 years of raising a family, and technological savvy is a must for me! I graduated with a degree in Broadcasting and Film and a concentration in English, and everything has changed with computer technology! I recently took a chance on applying for an internship with the website, studentadvisor.com, and I got the position! I haven’t been an intern since I was 18 years old , but I’m happy to be gaining valuable experience in social networking and search engine optimization – two skills that were never taught in my college days. .
    My employer suggested that I blog about my experience returning to work, and so I have begun a blog entitled “Adventures of a 50 Year Old Intern” at Student Advisor which you and your readers may be interested in checking out. My last post touches on using LinkedIn to advance our careers and whether or not we should include our profile photos if we’re concerned about issues of age-ism. Here’s a link, I would welcome comments. Thanks!


  3. facebook_anne.arnott.16

    September 30, 2013

    Well mine is due to lack of confidence ,, been out of work now for two years, broke my ankle and then suffered another illness,, doing voluntary work , which actually makes me even more down trodden , though it is good for my CV ,,

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