What happened to the Grey Men?

Updated: Aug 24, 2021


When I started my career as a late Baby Boomer, it was “the men in grey” who were aspired to, respected and the people we turned to for mentorship and support to “climb the ladder” even if you were a shoulder padded woman attempting to “break the glass ceiling”.


The men in grey, had grey hair, grey suits and mostly a great deal of experience, dignity, and power within the workplace. They had the assurance of a lifetimes experience, the quiet knowledge that they could retire having devoted their life to their work.


And then the digital revolution took hold. You see I am old enough to remember the first fax machines, mobile phones as big a brick, blackberries, the first personal computers and then the tremendous excitement of the first computer design programs, oh my goodness they were eye wateringly expensive!


Fast forward to today and the speed and development of the digital revolution, if you have lived through the changes are quite extraordinary.


My personal digital journey began with the clumsy, large, (as in almost as big as a room!) design programs and fortunately for me continued from there as I become a relatively early adopter of trading entirely online when I became an entrepreneur and opened my own business in 2004.


I continued with my digital education out of necessity, rather than choice, updating continuously to even keep up, let alone stay ahead of the latest developments and skills required to operate effectively and commercially online.

If you were not thrown into the digital ring, and escaped this stage, and find yourself a late arrival at the digital party, it can be a scary place.


Do you ever feel like a digital dinosaur when you see two three- and four-year-olds happily manipulate their parents’ mobile phones and confidently operate their own bounce proof tablets? Then you have anyone over the age of ten who will grab any piece of digital equipment from you, swipe it about aggressively and hand it back to you with contempt if you dare to ask them for help.


Catching up on a digital education if you missed out on the early stages and have never quite reached a stage you are confident and comfortable, coupled with a seismic shift in digital led changes in workplace culture has created an entire generation of “Grey people” in a state of uncertainty, and certainly not in the assured and respected place they expected to be.

( I’m not sure if there is a politically correct expression for people who are not digitally up to date…..answers on a postcard / DM / email please! Digital Luddite sounds derogatory and mean.)


If you do not have sufficient digital skills and are struggling or unable to catch up today you might find the digital restrictions increase and in turn your value reduces, almost by the minute.

Walking into a class on “Facebook advertising for beginners” or “SEO for beginners “can feel like landing in the jungle of Borneo without an interpreter!


There is such a lot to learn if you have gaps in your digital development, and often its hard to find a reliable start point, or even to recognise what stage you have already managed to achieve. I am constantly surprised by people who claim to have no digital confidence but are perfectly able to book a holiday online!


When I started Your Simple Digital as a service to support people taking their businesses online, I decided to focus on anyone who has digital gaps, remembering how challenging it was when I started out.

If you are looking for a digital developer to help you take your business online for the first time who is willing to recognise your stage of digital development and work at an appropriate pace, then maybe #thenonscarytechylady will be a suitable match for you.


Digital disruption has shattered the “glass ceiling” and along with it the “grey people” ( we can’t say men anymore) leaving a generation of Baby Boomers with unexpected challenges. If this all makes sense to you and you are ready to take up the challenge, remember its not too late, you are not too old, you just need to find the right person who has experienced some of the same challenges to help you out!






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