Staying Competitive

Tips for Staying Relevant in 2017


You’ve worked for the last 20 or more years and built a solid career. You remember when it wasn’t appropriate for a woman to wear a pants suit and the unspoken business code of “mommy tracking.” You’ve had to fight hard for where you are today and by golly, you deserve the merit you’ve fought tooth and nail to earn; so why should you have to worry about staying relevant? By now you’ve noticed a large number of cubicles being filled with 20- and 30- somethings that possess something you don’t— Sure, you have your own style. You speak with authority. You have the institutional knowledge and experience, along with the scars to prove it. But you are competing with a generation that isn’t just tech savvy, they’re creating the technology and its changing fast. By the time you’ve mastered the new “it thing,” something else is already the new phenom. What’s a gal to do? If you want to maintain your competitive edge in 2017 you need to embrace technology right now.

No matter what you think about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any of the other social-media platforms, they mean money big money. Employers like yours utilize social media for brand exposure and it generates billions of revenue dollars every day. Here’s the hard part: You know that “millennial” who was so eager to talk to you at the last FWA event, she is probably well versed in what’s trending on twitter and knows what a #hashtag means. This could be incredibly useful to you, be sure to set clear boundaries, but ask a few questions and trade wisdom. Contrary to what a lot of people think, not all young people feel entitled and although we are stereotyped as “the Me Me Me Generation,” we do have something to offer, we are just still learning how to be part of the workforce. If you don’t feel comfortable going that route, try talking to a young family member and while you are at it make yourself familiar with the site/app. There are tons of TED Talks and YouTube tutorials that will get you up to speed on social media in no time. The key here is to be aware and to stay informed.