I have been in my industry for 27 years. I am a media buyer, mostly cable and infomercials. My occupation is changing and when my previous employer was bought by a large international company, I was downsized. The problem is that companies are using more sophisticated specialized software and reporting systems. In the past, I had information fed to me. In new roles, they are asking for more advanced software and analytical skills. At this stage in my career, I am not about to learn new programs or software. I can open and use Excel sheet and can create simple Word documents.
I am feeling really desperate as a single woman with a child in college. I can’t afford to retire and am not equipped to become a computer expert. How can I explain to the hiring companies that my 27 years in the media buying business for top name brands (infomercials anyone would recognize!) that I am of value without computer skills?
I understand your frustration. Perhaps you could approach this as a time to reinvent yourself. I am not suggesting that you do something that you dislike. However, I am suggesting that you expand your horizon a bit so that you have the basic skills that are expected of any professional. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Take courses (one at a time) to update your basic computer skills so that you are proficient and comfortable using MS Word and Excel.
- Explore other career options within your industry. Perhaps you can move into a client relations role that does not require the analytical expertise. While exploring those options, identify the “must have” software skills in each of the roles that you are targeting. Be open to building those skills.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed with your career planning, try working with a career coach.
Don’t allow the changes in the business world to be an excuse for you to become irrelevant in today’s market. There are plenty of resources to help you build new skills and also many options for a new career path should you decide to make a change.
Wishing you all the best!
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.