get-technicalNot all of us are technology wizards, we get that. And some of us still struggle with tasks deemed ‘simple’ such as performing a Windows Update. *

Yet it is clear that technology is here to stay, and the more we embrace it, the better our career outlook will be. Most people can perform simple e-tasks: resume editing, emailing, online applications, even social media – but these are no longer exceptional skills, they have become expected technical skills. In a matter of just a few years nearly everything we touch has some technological component.

Staying on top of technology is, therefore, an absolute must – for almost all levels of workers from CEO down to part time staff. Nearly everyone interacts with a computer at work, practically daily.

Nurses, for example, are no longer caregivers working with patients, they are also required to log data, use portable and complex mechanical and electronic devices, understand how to troubleshoot equipment, and are tied to demanding electronic scheduling systems. Their lives are now built around billing codes, diagnoses, and endless medical graphs, charts, and data as a periphery of their primary duty as caregivers. Manufacturing and construction are also no exception. Industry has evolved from static machinery to computer driven machine shops, CAD drawings, and electronic data monitoring and collection.

We are not saying everyone needs to be able to be a computer programmer, but a basic understanding of how software programs work, computer logic, and what is going on when we press the buttons on our screen matters. The more technology we can learn, the better.

Being able to understand technical complexities of your job will put you at an advantage over your peers and set you apart as a leader in your field of interest. Becoming a go-to resource will put you on the fast track to promotion and growth opportunities. Learning more about technology will permit you to acquire new skills and exercise new mental challenges, which will make you a more educated, well-rounded individual. These skills will also make you more self-sufficient – if you can alleviate a technical issue yourself, as opposed to calling a helpdesk and waiting two days for a resolution – you can get your work done, on time. It will also enhance your collaboration and communication skills – knowing how a program works will help you better understand its limitations and its benefits, making your knowledge more valuable on your current or future teams and allowing you to maximize your on-the-job potential.

So we suggest starting small. Go to a website builder site like wordpress.com, blogger.com or a site builder service like Wix or Squarespace and build a small website for yourself, your hobbies, or as a portfolio to supplement your resume. The internet is rich with incredibly detailed video tutorials that you can leverage at your own pace. Already excited to learn more? Check out some in-depth tutorials on sites like Lynda.com, Coursera, or Udemy.com, or take a class at your local Community College or technical school. Learn some basics on your own, then enter an online class environment to collaborate with an instructor or mentor. There are also countless free resources available for potential coders online.

So ride the technological wave! Don’t let your next job opportunity become thwarted by a lack of technical knowledge. Technology is everywhere, and you have two choices, jump on board and learn new things and make more money as your skill demands increase, or wait on the periphery as the demand for your outdated technical skills soften as the job market progresses. The choice is yours!

(*Editor’s note – Updates are never simple!)