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How Tech Savvy
Are You?
Written Sunday 07/31/05 by Joseph Rossini

Itís quite naÔve to believe that the technology advances all around us are for individuals other than you. Too many middle-aged people are sitting on the sidelines while technological breakthroughs are happening all around them. Today itís becoming rare that your job-position doesnít require some interaction with computers or some form of technology. Whether you work in factories, offices, or as a cashier or clerk in a retail chain, you will probably have to learn how to interact with your companyís computer system. Even the task of clocking in and out of work is probably done on a company computer. However if you have aspirations to advance your position at your company, you will probably be required to learn more about computer systems and relevant software programs, in order to stay productive and competitive in todayís marketplace.

If you are a small business owner today, it's just as important for your company to embrace the latest technologies available. Being technologically efficient is no longer a luxury for a small business. Itís necessary for survival in the future. If youíre in retail, the days of the cigar box for a cash register is ancient history. Take a stroll through your competitorís store and they probably use hardware and software that enables their business to stock the proper inventories and service THEIR clients as well as YOUR customers much better.

If you are in the service business and still hand write every invoice and mail out handwritten statements each month, itís definitely time to upgrade your systems. There are so many ways to operate more efficiently today and the market will eventually punish you for clinging to what worked since the fifties.

As you know, individuals are not born with the knowledge of a technological genius; or with the knowledge and skills of a medical, law or engineering genius. It takes time, energy and resources to obtain knowledge and skills for professions, hobbies or just keeping track of your personal activities. Being first to learn and implement the latest technologies, can often propel you to the top of the class in any career, business or industry. You can become proficient in any field, if youíre willing to invest the time, effort and resources necessary to do so.

If youíre interested in a couple examples of how the market rewards companies that excel in the use of the latest technologies, you donít have to look much further than Google or Wal-Mart. The two founders of Google went from being broke a few years ago to being worth 11 billion dollars each today. Thatís one heck of a payoff for being tech savvy. And Wal-Mart bowls over their competition in almost every product category they sell, by being one of the most tech savvy corporations in the world. Their computer system ranks second in power worldwide, with only the US Department of Defense ahead of them. Even mighty Wal-Mart will have a tough time outspending the DOD, which has an annual spending budget of 419 Billion Dollars!

My question to you in this lesson is how tech savvy do you need to be in todayís world? Will you enjoy a better lifestyle by investing more time and resources by learning how to use the latest technology for your business and personal life? If you happen to watch ďLive with Regis and KellyĒ during weekday mornings, youíll find the co-hosts bragging about their technological deficiencies. Theyíre proud of their ignorance toward the Internet, e-mail or and PCís. I guess itís OK for Regis Philbin to be free from using computers, cell phones, and DVDís. Heís made his fortune and doesnít have to work another day in his life. However, if he were fifty five years younger, I would pity him if he had the same negative attitude about technology.

Todayís teens and twenty year olds are very tech savvy. They have grown up in the computer age. If you take a trip to any college campus, you will find most kids walking around the campus with their cell phones or I Pods glued to their ears. Their lives are full of downloads, e-mails, text messaging, instant messaging, and depending on college websites to obtain information regarding their classes and activities. Most campuses have high speed internet in every dorm room and wireless internet in most public areas. Regis Philbin wouldnít last one week in college today! And if he had to compete against these young adults in the job market, he would be doomed.

Thus, if you are middle-aged or older and are still afraid of technology, itís time to remedy that situation. Tech is speeding up and itís never going back to the good old days. Take classes, network with your kids or grandkids, and get going. If your company offers classes, sign up. Take night classes, read magazines and have fun getting familiar with the latest gadgets. Donít view new technology as a fad that will pass. Itís just not going to happen!

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