Our society has always held firm to the belief that education for the young is extremely important. Parents work themselves to the bones to ensure that their children receive the best possible education. It wouldn’t be uncommon to hear an older person say “I’m too old to learn new things.” Well, tough economic times are demanding a change in that attitude and employers want old dogs that can still learn new tricks.
There is a fear among older workers of returning to a learning environment. Learning should not be feared but embraced because with each new piece of information you are making yourself indispensable to your employer and creating more career options for yourself.
Start small. No one expects you to go out and enroll in college tomorrow. However, consider borrowing or buying a book on a subject that can enhance your skills at work. Read it from cover to cover and write down 3 things you will do different as a result of this newfound information. Also do research on the internet as well.
Look at the people in your department. Does someone possess information that you can benefit from? Get to know that person first, then propose a trade; maybe you have a skill they want to learn. Look especially at the young people; while they may have technical skills, many lack the human touch and professionalism that most older people possess. Make it worthwhile for them and soak up the information like a sponge.
Once you begin to develop your confidence and your thirst for information, take it a step further and enroll in a formal class, whether they are offered through your job or publicly. Consider getting a friend to take the class with you for moral support.
The choice is yours. Learn and stay ahead of the curve or be a stubborn old dog and suffer the consequences.