So I've had an idea in my head for a while now and the only way I feel I can get it out of my head is to write a blog post. So some context; I'm sitting in my office completing my appraisal, reflecting both on what I've done in the past year and what I'd like to do going forward and it strikes me that I cant see myself sitting here when I'm 50. Now before anyone accuses me of being ageist I believe I could do the job perfectly well when I'm 50* and that someone else with the required skills and experience could do the job perfectly well when they're 50.
So my question for this community is "Does age matter when it comes to managing an intranet" Here are my thoughts on the matter.
Yes it does matter...you need to be young
- Intranet management poses unique challenges and requires an individual to have a mix of skills, including but not limited to technical, creative, analytical, negotiation and presentation skills
- Technical skills and in particular understanding and having an appreciation of new technologies and how these can be applied in your organisation are essential. Younger candidates might be more in the know in relation to these technologies
- "Being down with the kids" and understanding how they use new technologies and that you use the same can be a boon. For example describing something as similar to Facebook or Twitter only makes sense if you actually use the tools yourself. On a related note I don't think you can encourage people to use Twitter if you're not using it!
- Being creative is another key skill, as intranet managers are likely to be creating content that needs to be engaging. Are younger people more creative? I'd love to roll out a report that says they are, sadly I cant!
Yes it does matter...you need to be older
- They say that with youth comes enthusiasm and with age comes experience. Experience can be no bad thing when managing an intranet, especially where the intranet needs work around its aims, objectives and the overall intranet strategy
- Being older can also be a boon when talking to more senior individuals within an organisation. As they will respect the fact that you're experienced
- You will have an understanding of technologies, but you will have seen it all before so are more likely to appreciate when something is going to pass by quickly and when something is going to stick around and be important
Having actually now sat down and written this blog post it doesn't seem as long as I thought it would be also apologies to anyone who thinks any of my comments are patronising, they're certainly not intended to be. So what do people think of my not very well thought about points! Just me and my role or does age really matter?
*There is no particular reason I chose 50 it just happened to be the age I thought of at the time of writing this blog post.