If you've been out of the job market for a while, you might be able to relate to Rainbow's 1979 classic, "Since You've Been Gone," even more than you know.
And, one thing's for sure, it's going to take you about 5 nanoseconds to realize that big-big changes have taken place...since you've been gone.
According to Marshall Loeb (MarketWatch.com) we're currently staring at a low 4.6 unemployment rate and a robust demand for labor in a persistently expanding economy where more and more Americans will be entering the job market in the months ahead. They emphatically include millions of mature people who had dropped out of the labor force for several years -- perhaps to raise their children -- and have chosen this inviting time to bounce back in.
Many of these job-seekers will need to make substantial adjustments to their skill sets in order to survive and succeed.
But Loeb believes that many of these returning job-seekers are beginning to conquer their fear of technology and references a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project concluding that,
54% of adults over 50 use the Internet, way up from 38% five years ago.
And it's a good thing - because Loeb's top three "must have" abilities for those that are bouncing back in to the job market focus on the computer:
- The ability to operate a basic computer, by typing on a keyboard; manipulating a small device, known far and wide as the mouse, that controls the movement of the cursor on the computer monitor; and navigating the files and menu systems on a Mac or PC.
- The ability to operate Microsoft Office programs, especially Word (a word-processing program which enables you to create and edit basic documents), Excel (which enables you to create and edit spreadsheets) and PowerPoint (which enables you to create presentations).
- The ability to use essential Internet skills such as employing e-mail (which enables you to send and receive messages around the world in an instant), Web browsing (which enables you to navigate Web pages on the Internet) and searching for information on the Web.