Barry Armstrong
Founder and President, Armstrong Advisory Group

As our world becomes more globalized and obsessed with technology with each passing year, many Americans find themselves in a precarious situation when it comes to their careers. News articles are published with great frequency about the continuing emergence of new technologies which are quickly taking the place of human beings in the workplace. In fact, a report1 prepared by McKinsey & Company in November of 2015 indicated that nearly half of the job functions that workers currently perform in the workplace can be automated in some fashion. The McKinsey report also noted that these activities represent $2 trillion in annual wages in the United States alone. However, there are ways for working men and women to get ahead of the curve and avoid losing their livelihoods to robots and other forms of automated technology.

Although it may seem like an inconvenience or unwelcome expense for some, many Americans are taking advantage of opportunities to reinvent their careers by investing in job training programs. Many of these programs are offered locally by community colleges, adult education centers, and nonprofit organizations. The programs can provide older workers with the training required to meet the needs of today’s employers. According to a Pew Research Center report2 released in October of 2016, 45% of adults in the workforce have decided to obtain additional training to improve their current skillset or future employment prospects. These individuals clearly understand the urgency of confronting the challenges associated with our changing economy head-on.

What types of skills do modern employers look for in potential hires and how do job seekers learn about employment opportunities? Computer skills, for example, are crucial to an individual’s ability to obtain employment at a later age. It is also important to search for programs that offer industry-specific training opportunities and apprenticeships. In addition, social media networks such as LinkedIn allow users to share information about their education and work experience with prospective employers. From obtaining new job skills to learning how to utilize online professional networks, opportunities abound for workers over the age of 50 to maintain their hard-earned place in the workforce.

The Pew report indicated that older Americans are remaining in the workforce longer than they ever have before with 19% of adults over the age of 65 still working in some capacity. This represents a 7% increase when compared with statistics recorded in 1980. This reality has increased the incentive for older folks to adapt their careers to our world’s constantly changing economy. It is important to remember that career reinvention is key to the success of both employees and employers alike. Companies are always trying to keep up with the latest trends. Why shouldn’t you?

Barry Armstrong has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry. He founded the Armstrong Advisory Group in 2004 and has been sharing his financial knowledge with New Englanders on a daily basis during his Boston-based radio broadcast for nearly 20 years. Learn more about Barry and the Armstrong Advisory Group at Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC and Advisory Services offered through Securities America Advisors. Barry Armstrong, Representative. Armstrong Advisory Group and Securities America are unaffiliated. November 2016 – AT 1643452.1