As we get older, we need to adapt to new technologies and acquire new skills to stay competitive in the workplace. It’s no longer enough to keep pace with changes in your organization. A new generation of workers is entering the workforce, and to ensure that you don’t become obsolete, you need to stay up to date with technology and acquire new skills with additional career training.
As baby boomers age, the hiring dynamics in the workplace are changing. As reported by The Balance, more than 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age each day. As older workers move out of the workforce, younger workers with more technological skills are entering. However, fewer replacement workers are coming up through the ranks, so there promises to be a labor shortage. Employers also are concerned with the impending knowledge gap as more experienced employees retire.
However, many boomers are electing to delay retirement into their 70s, which means older workers are competing with younger workers—and with one another—for the same jobs. To stay competitive, older workers are becoming more flexible about how they approach employment. Rather than putting in long hours at the office, many are opting for part-time work or telecommuting. And although baby boomers are becoming more technically savvy, they still need to stay current with the latest techniques and best practices, which is why more older workers are seeking project management training.
Identify Your Marketable Skills
To maintain a competitive edge, baby boomers need to turn the knowledge and experience they have acquired over their careers into marketable skills that businesses are seeking from today’s workforce. The field of project management is one area that requires many of the skills that someone has picked up over a career. As noted by The Balance, “Candidates with strong soft skills are in high demand for many different types of jobs.” Soft skills are perfected over the years, and they are one of the advantages that come with your years of work experience. Be sure to focus on communication, leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking, and use examples where you can. These are the skills employers value in a project manager.
Once you have an inventory of your marketable skills, think about where you want to apply those talents. Where are there growth opportunities, and what kind of project management training can help you compete?
Project management is a growing field that spans all industries. As a project manager, you would be responsible for planning and executing a project from beginning to end. That requires both broad-based technical expertise as well as soft skills. With the right credentials, such as a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, you can step into a project management job.
Project managers rely on technology, so it may also help to hone that competitive edge, by updating your technical skills as well. For example, if you are in an administrative position, do you have the right computing skills? Have you mastered Microsoft Office? Do you need to refresh your CRM software skills? If your expertise is in IT networking, have you kept up with the latest best practices, including cloud computing and data security? Do you need to update your database skills? These technical skills, coupled with career training in project management, make you a more attractive candidate to a hiring manager.
The Possibilities of Project Management
Most baby boomers can qualify for some type of project manager position. If you have ever managed any type of project, from a new product rollout to a church bake sale, then you understand the basic principles of project management. You just need the right project management training to put that knowledge to work and the certification to prove you are qualified.
Project management certifications are issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI). To earn your certificate, you need to pass a PMI qualifying exam and log a number of hours doing project management work. The effort is worth it, however. Salary.com shows that the starting salary for a project manager is $120,000. Once you earn your PMP certification, there is plenty of room for additional Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma IT training, which will make your skills even more valuable.
If a job as a project manager looks appealing, the right training and certifications can help you stay current and remain relevant in a changing job market. As a baby boomer, it is especially important that you keep your technical skills up to date to compete with younger workers. It’s the training and certifications that will help you stand out from the rest.
If you are interested in a career in project management, or any IT profession, New Horizons Career Development Solutions can help. Our skilled counselors can help you determine your next career move and show you the best way to get there. Contact us for a free consultation.