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Written by Brent Knight, President of ISS

I am a Gen X-er and therefore, over 50 years old. Many stereotype me as the generation that is more of a technology immigrant than a native. Today, kids see technology change at an ever-increasing rate, and they quickly adapt. My generation, not so much. We do our best to keep up, but it does not come as naturally or as easily as say, my teenage kids.

For many years, heck, even generations, much could be accomplished by meeting in person and keeping notes on a legal pad and important documents in file cabinets. Those days have passed, and we live in a different world. Today, notes are recorded in robust operating systems, files are stored in the cloud, and we meet via email or video more than we sit down at a table and talk face-to-face.

This presents a significant challenge for many people. Those who are not strong in learning new technology and adapting to the constant changes are getting left in the dust. At first, it is an inconvenience, but it is becoming both a barrier for entry into the best jobs and a reason that people are losing their jobs.

I understand that it can be overwhelming to learn new software and change how things are done on a regular basis, but it is the world that we live in, therefore, you either adapt and grow or you reduce your employment options.

I have had the unfortunate displeasure of watching many people struggle and fail because they lacked technical acuity. The important point to make is that there is a difference between lacking the skills and taking the initiative to learn. The latter seems to be the big issue; resisting and failing by choice.

My recommendation is to embrace the fact that change is the rule and take the initiative to learn. If you struggle with MS Office programs such as Word or Excel, take the free tutorials that Microsoft offers and learn how to use them. If you struggle with spelling, grammar, and punctuation, download Grammarly for free on your computer and learn how to write and punctuate sentences. These two recommendations will take you a long way.

The reality is that you must adapt and change. If you choose not to, you will get passed up on jobs that you apply for and lose jobs to which you are hired. Weigh the options and I think that you will see that resisting this change will get you nowhere.