Don’t Let Your Age Hold You Back on Technology


You are seasoned, talented, and have impeccable references. But as an accountant in your 50s, or older, you can’t find a job. It’s easy to blame your age. But what might be holding you back could be as simple as your resistance to change — especially with new technology.

Walking into an interview with an outdated flip phone or blanking when a recruiter asks you about the latest app could raise red flags that you are behind the times. And if one thing is certain, when it comes to accounting careers, those who can’t change and adapt to new technology don’t stand a chance.

So what can you do?

Here are three things you can do today to increase your tech IQ and wow a recruiter during your next interview:

    1. Beef up your resume to show you are not scared of using Outlook or other popular programs and software brands. One thing that can mess you up in an interview is to look unprepared or uneducated about the latest software trends. And if you act like Outlook is too difficult or frustrating to use, potential employers will wonder what other corners you intend to cut.  Increase your knowledge of the latest websites, software products, search engines, new software, CRMs — in other words, speak the language. If you don’t know the lingo, you are going to look like a dinosaur when interviewing.
    2. Take a class or pick up a trade journal or magazine. Learn what those young pups in college or business school are talking about and make these tech trends part of your life.  Remember, there are plenty of accessible and free or low-cost training options, such as watching YouTube videos or taking lessons at the Apple store.
    3. Get a smart phone. Maybe you are happy using an outdated cell phone to call or text, but if you don’t know how to harness the power of a smart phone, it puts you at an immediate disadvantage. People in their 20s and 30s know how to use smart phones to get ahead. If you aren’t on the same page, you won’t have an edge when interviewing for accountant jobs. Visit the Apple store or a cell phone store that sells Android phones. Ask questions. Read a blog or two on the best apps. Upgrade your phone … and consider buying a tablet as well.

When it comes to careers in accounting, the best way to stop looking like you are out of the loop is to get in the loop.

Ren Carlton is president of Dynamic Advisory Solutions in Troy.