Lack of Social Networking Skills Impede Some Older Worker’s Careers
In a recent study, younger workers said the one thing they dislike most about many older workers is their inability to respect change. Basically, as we get older, we have a harder time breaking out of our daily routines. As the saying goes, it is impossible to teach an old dog new tricks. With aging workers, the refusal to social network online as well as stay up to date on technological changes works against us, often alienating us from both co-workers and managers alike.
While it is understandable that many people would like to maintain separate personal and professional lives, the evolution of social media makes that prospect much more difficult with each passing year. Workers now more than ever before are expected to stay connected with one another through sites such as Facebook and Twitter, so that information about projects and the company can better be exchanged.
For those who stubbornly refuse to either sign up at these sites or connect with co-workers through them, there are many possible problems which can develop. First of all, workers that connect through social networking sites have been shown to have a greater investment in each other. This increased camaraderie makes it easier for co-workers to get along with one another and get projects done more quickly As someone who refuses to engage, you end up sticking out like a sore thumb. And when it comes time to reducing the workforce, you’ll certainly be the first head on the chopping block.
Instead of simply refusing for whatever reason to take part in social networking, it may be best to have a more rational response. Setting up accounts that are used specifically for your co-workers, for example, may be a good compromise. In this situation, you can simply set aside a few minutes each week to engage those around you in conversation online. Sharing something such as a favorite movie or song is often enough to prompt a surprisingly enjoyable conversation. Of course, one should be mindful to use these networks appropriately. Sharing information about sex or politics, for example, can lead to serious problems if misconstrued as being harassment.
Unfortunately, the corporate world is rife with political undertones which must be appreciated by all workers who wish to advance within their careers. The growth of social networking is one example of this, as workers are expected to be friendly enough with one another yet only discuss superficial topics that are free of controversy. While it can be frustrating at times, remaining connected with co-workers provides certain social advantages which can be beneficial to maintaining employment and advancing through the organization. For older workers especially, staying connected and up to date helps for you to maintain healthy work relationships with those younger than you.