The Tech Times
It’s the sign of the times! We are in the era scientists, futurists, and sci-fi movies warned us about –technology is everywhere we go. I find it fascinating how it is constantly helping us with our daily lives, but I will admit technology is not what it once was which can often throw us into a storm of confusion.
Long-past are the days wherein the tech giants developed and rolled out a system that consumers had many YEARS to learn and adapt before any new changes occurred. Fast-forward to today’s age and it seems you don’t get the same chance to play catch-up with new computer software or a technological device before… BOOM! Companies decide to roll out the newest “next big thing!” Speaking as a millennial – whose strong suit is technology – I cannot seem to keep up myself!
Many of our jobs are becoming more reliant on technology, so it seems we have no choice but to get with the times. So how can we compete in today’s job market if we are too concerned with mastering the ever-changing struggles of technology? Well, I’ll tell you just how: by taking advantage of the most underutilized free resource that could be just minutes away from your doorstep. That’s right, your local Houston Public Library (HPL). Currently, there are 44 libraries scattered throughout the greater Houston area, each with their own varying resources and open hours all available at your convenience for FREE!
First, create a free account either on the website or by visiting your nearest library. All you need is a state identification card and your current address to register. Once this process is completed you will get the full experience of all the resources the HPL has available for you to sharpen your career skills to stay relevant in your industry.
After you’ve created your account you will find that each library has many informative physical and digital resources (e.g. books, e-books, audiobooks) on professionalism in the workplace, hard skills and soft skills (e.g. lean six sigma, Microsoft products, Lynda.com) and many more. The even better part is that HPL is an interconnected national system so if you can’t find a resource at your nearest library, they can locate it for you throughout the State of Texas or the United States and get it to you for your use!
Now if you find yourself to be an observational learner like myself, then you may prefer to take advantage of their many in-person classes held at their centers. All their computer courses help you sharpen your hard and soft skills ranging from Microsoft (Excel, PowerPoint, Word) classes, Open Job Labs where you can complete job applications, work on resumes, prepare for an interview, and also general computer help sessions where you can get assistance regarding your daily technology usage (e.g. emails). The best part is that their sessions range from basic to more advanced so you can choose the pace you are most comfortable with.
Lastly, the HPL collaborates with other great organizations such as Workforce Solutions where we can help you find a job, keep a job or get a better job. At least two library locations, including the central location downtown, have Workforce Solutions office staff that visit your libraries often to help you: stay updated on labor market trends, fill applications, create and edit resumes, prepare for job interviews, get job referrals, and anything else in between to help you land your dream job. So, get with the tech times by visiting your nearest HPL to help you stay marketable in today’s workforce!
Omar Martinez is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston Region. Prior to joining the team, Omar served as a resource specialist helping customers get back into the workforce by reviewing current labor market information, job-readiness skills, and community resources. Omar’s continued driving force is to help customers get a job, keep a job, or get a better job by conducting job skills seminars throughout the 13 counties of the Gulf Coast region. He holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Minor in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Houston.