Career, Counselor, Seattle, Bellevue, WA 98005
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Internships Even Benefit Older Workers - Tips from a Seattle, Bellevue, WA Career Counselor

As I mentioned in a previous article, Internships often lead to Jobs, internships not only can provide entry into the job market but can also offer skill development. In the March 15, 2009 issue of the Seattle Times Job Market section, the article, Getting Inventive in Tough Job Market, describes how an older worker is retooling for the new job market by participating in an internship. 


I can relate with the older worker, Ms. Draegin, who is using an internship to learn new skills such as writing blogs, tags and URLs that are new vocabulary to many of us older workers.  Also, like her I have learned to use the new social working sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to promote my business and to teach my clients new avenues for finding jobs.  And yes, we may have to reverse our situation and request help from young adults who have grown up with technology so they can readily accept all of the new techniques and innovations.  Unfortunately many of us learned only the rudimentary basic computer skills and so adding more sophisticated techniques can be frustrating.  The learning curve is steep but in our Global Economy, updating our skills and knowledge becomes necessary to survive in today’s job market. 


To prevent feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, I have found that it is important to learn one skill set at a time.  It takes courage to confront this new frontier so do not let shame or fear hold you back.  Many of our largest population group, baby boomers, are in the same boat. Perhaps you have a son or daughter like me who is willing to train you. Or barter with a younger friend or check around for classes and resources to learn these skills. In confronting this challenge, I have learned a valuable lesson that I am never too old to learn.  Like Ms. Draegin we can share our skills and knowledge with younger workers and develop a more collaborative relationship rather than one up, one down relationships of the past workplace.  Through this challenge, we keep our mental processes active and functioning as well as gain self confidence.  Welcome to the 21st Century.

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"I frequently tell my clients and students to keep opening up doors--you never know what may be on the other side. Below is my personal story, which illustrates how the doors I opened in my life led to a satisfying and successful career." - Janice E. Reha

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