Almost every workplace today requires employees to have some level of computer knowledge—from basic word processing on a PC to point-of-sale systems at retail stores and fast-food restaurants. Even warehouse workers and grocery store stockers use portable computer devices to check inventory.
If you lack computer experience or think you don’t have the right skill set to land your dream job, you’re not alone. It’s not a generational thing, either. People of all ages have varying comfort levels with computers.
The important thing is to find out what you already know and what you still need to learn. Start by taking a test of your basic computer skills.
Think about your skills in the following areas—skills that TechRepublic.com has identified as important for workers in today’s technology-driven workplace:
- Search engines
- Word processing
- Browser basics
- Virus/malware scanning
- Common keyboard commands
- Basic hardware terminology
- Simple networking diagnosis
- How to hook technology up
This is also a handy check-list to keep with you when you seek out courses or workshops on basic computer skills. Your local Goodwill® is the best place to start. In some towns, the local library or senior citizens center also offer classes in a low-stress environment, supportive environment.
- Don’t be discouraged—Computer skills are some of the easiest to learn, and there are numerous training programs available at low or no cost.
- Don’t be ashamed—While computer skills are sought after by employers, you have a number of other talents and life experiences that another job candidate may not have.
- Don’t downplay what you may already know—If you’ve used a smartphone, the self-check-out lane at the grocery store or an ATM, you use computers.
- Don’t wait—Seeking support to learn new skills is one of the first steps you should take when assessing a job change or career move. Put it at the top of your to-do list.