Most adults between 35-and 55 have a routine in their lives, their careers, family, hobbies, social life and more. They have a good sense of what they need to do, but not the time to do it all. Fortunately, modern technology can make it easy to move forward in important ways, like continuing education, advancing a career, and staying on track toward goals.
Today, more and more adults choose to return to school to advance their education. Online education is a flexible and convenient choice for working adults who have full time jobs, families, travel often, and have other commitments (Smith, 2013). Today, there is the option to take classes online to achieve a graduate degree in areas like business, management, arts, or technology. There are schools that are just online, and schools with classes online, offline, or a mixture of both (a hybrid program). Many new students in the online classroom are 25 years of age and over. Organizations want their employees to have diverse skills- skills that are current and in demand in today’s market. An individual that chooses to achieve an advanced degree might be promoted or find a new career they like better. I have graduated from three online schools, and this experience has allowed me to do much more with my life than I could imagine, like making time to travel, pursue hobbies, and develop skills in new areas. And, I just started a free online Physics course with Coursera and provided by Georgia Tech. MOOC are another great option for continuing education.
Another reason for adults to go online is all of the career-related resources, whether they want to pursue their dream job, advance in their current job, or start a side business. Considered the top professional social media network, LinkedIn can also serve as a virtual resume. Jones (2014) writes that “There is a good possibility that the paper résumé as we know it will be extinct by 2020, if not before. Social network sites are taking professional schmoozing online like never before and giving job seekers access to people, jobs and opportunities much more effectively.” Websites like Career Builder provide resources for resume writing, while websites like Flex Jobs let users search specifically for jobs that are online- a great option for busy moms and other people that want to telecommute all of the time or part of the time. Plus, on the web, there are a variety of resources to develop job-related skills in different ways. For a list of the top resources, check out the annual Forbes article, The Top 100 Websites For Your Career.
The way to move forward in life is to continually set and achieve goals. Fortunately, we have tools to help us every step of the way, and modern technology makes it even easier to get where we want to go. There are a variety of web-based desktop and mobile tools to keep a person motivated, on schedule, and committed toward goals, whether the goal is to lose weight, balance a budget, or something else. The more goals a person achieves, the higher-level goals they will set, and achieve success as an adult; technology can be that intervening factor that helps people stay on track when they are most likely to slip (Hruska, 2013; Bandura, 1993). Besides use of websites and apps to support goal attainment, these tools can be helpful on smaller scale, like scheduling, navigating, managing health and finances, and checking the weather. I would be lost without my Google Calendar to schedule work, personal, and study time. This website lists the top tools to stay organized. And this is just the beginning! On the horizon are advances that make our whole living environment ‘Smarter’ – devices that practically do the cooking for you, maintain your important possessions, like your car, help you drive more safely, and even make sure you have the best service at restaurants and hospitals (Tobek, 2014).
Today, we might have more access to technology than we can grasp. The best course of action might be to ask others- what do they use to stay on track? Search the top ten lists- what are the best calendars or grocery apps? A little research makes the process of picking and choosing the right technology easier. Remember, technology should make your life easier, not more complicated!
Natalie Hruska has a Ph.D. in Management, a M.S. in IT, and a B.A. in Psychology. Find out more about her here: http://research.nataliehruska.com/
Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Education Psychologist, 28(2), 117-148. doi: 10.1207/s15326985Sep2802_3
Hruska, N. (2013). Self-Efficacy, Self-Regulation, and Technology. Research Website for Natalie Hruska. Retrieved February 8, 2014 from http://research.nataliehruska.com/se_sr_tech.html
Jones, L. (2014). Lenroy Jones: Serious about finding a job? Create a LinkedIn Profile. Kentucky.com. Retrieved February 8, 2014 from http://www.kentucky.com/2014/02/03/3066429/lenroy-jones-serious-about-finding.html
Smith, J. (2013). 12 Tips for Professionals Who Want to Go Back to School. Forbes. Retrieved February 8, 2014 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/08/14/tips-for-professionals-who-want-to-go-back-to-school/
Tobek, S. (2014). How the Internet of Things Will Change Your Life. Tech Connect. Retrieved February 8, 2014 from http://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/2014/01/10/how-internet-things-will-change-your-life/