One of the first things I want to write about is the desire I have to stay relevant in the work force. I don’t know where this ambition comes from. I have my suspicions but it is too early in this series of blog posts to discuss that. I was never a good student unless I had an excellent teacher who inspired me.
The workplace was a whole different story. I was 18 when I got a job as a copy girl (messenger) at WWD in Greenwich Village on September 9, 1966. The minute I entered that copy room I felt a rush of excitement that has stayed with me for 45 years. Being a part of a content engine that produces editorial has been totally exhilarating. Without it, I am not sure what would happen to me.
I have had friends who felt the same as I do about their fields of work. Months after they retired or got fired, they got debilitating or terminal illnesses. Some say I am exaggerating. Maybe those folks love their retirement so that they don’t understand those of us who identify ourselves by our work. That may be a sad statement to some but not to those who love the rewards of their careers.
There are very few of me. Most women my age are either retired or work in fields where seniors are more populous. I work in the digital world where 20- and 30- year-olds rule. I spend my day talking to kids who have no idea who Truman Capote is and that Sonny was the other half of Cher. They do know things that no one my age, male or female, will ever know or care about. Their conversations revolve around Crowd Sourcing, Ambient Technology, Hyperlinks, Flash and Lead Harvesting. There are more millionaire entrepreneurs before the age of 30 than ever before and that number has reached epidemic proportions. My staff, my clients are more than 30 years my junior. Every year they get younger and younger, every year I have to become more relevant, productive and creative.
I decided to start this blog because I think it is important to track my success (or lack of it) in a world that is ever changing. What is new one day in the world of the Internet is old the next. Keeping up with innovation is like being Lucy packing chocolates from that runaway conveyer belt . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NPzLBSBzPI&feature=fvwrel While my friends are downsizing and playing golf or spending more time with their grandkids, I am trying to become knowledgeable about Instagram, Highlight and Pinterest. The real challenge is just not understanding what these technologies do, but how to use them. If I don’t use them all the time, then I forget where, how and when to click. I drive everyone crazy asking for help. Our company technology expert constantly says to me “How many times did I tell you…………”
The good news for people my age is that once we become proficient with all of these digital gizmos and applications, we have a deeper understanding of their potential and practicality. Most younger people want instant gratification and take things at face value. Their intuition is all about using the mechanics. Ours is all about applying them to life experiences.
Yes, there is a tremendous value in being older in the digital community. You just have to be strong enough to get through a few embarrassing moments then be ready to claim the territory that we handed to them.