Stay Tech-Savvy to Stay Employable
Exotic, fast and life changing are just a few of the words we might use to describe technology. What those words don’t imply is that technology waits for no one. Unless you’re an early adopter to new technologies, there’s a good chance of being left behind if you don’t keep up-to-date with the evolutions.
Narrowing the Pool
Like it or not, the range of tech skills considered necessary continues to grow. What was once considered a nice-to-have skill is now mandatory. The implication of this is a skills gap, something that can make one job candidate infinitely more attractive when it comes to hiring and can make a complacent employee less desirable. Thankfully, many skills can be learned and refreshed through online programs and free classes at community centers and public libraries.
- Microsoft Suite – Microsoft programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel are a necessary element of every business. Word is a basic word processing program used for writing and recording written information. PowerPoint is a presentation format tool using slides to tell a story or explain a concept. Excel is a database program that can be used for mathematical calculations and the storage of information. These three programs are basic tools in the modern workplace and are necessary for creating, populating and saving documents. Free tools such as Google Gmail, Google docs and Google sheets are also used in the workplace. These collaborative tools are available to anyone using Google’s Gmail email account. In most cases, these programs are best learned through trial and error and can be accessed through a mobile phone, desktop computer, laptop or tablet.
- Get Social – Social media is a prevalent part of our culture so it’s important to have a basic knowledge of how they work, even if you do not have your own account. Some of the most common social media sites to know include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. In addition to using these sites for personal use, many businesses employ them to showcase products and services for worldwide distribution.
- Keyboard Skills and Shortcuts – Technology means everything happens quicker, including the recording of information. This makes good keyboard skills imperative. Another timesaver worth cultivating is learning shortcut keys to perform tasks such as copy/paste, underlining, bolding, switching between windows and printing. Cheat sheets for these keyboard short cuts are available online. Print one out and post it by your desk for a quick reference.
- Using Email and Text – Technology and global economies mean work often continues before and after the workday. Email and text help businesses remain in contact with clients, customers and co-workers. Caution, as this technology should not replace face-to-face communication.
Open to Learning
One of the biggest caveats related to technology is there will always be something new to learn and skills must evolve as new technology arises. Staying up-to-date is critical to remain employable. Those who lack these skills will have fewer job opportunities and less room for advancement in the long-term. The positive aspect of this is there are lots of people learning new things all the time, making everyone involved a little more knowledgeable and flexible than before.