Using Technology to Thrive in Today’s Workforce By: Brittany Brolley
any hail the internet as the greatest invention of all time. With its endless information and methods of communication, it isn’t difficult to understand why. However, if you do not take full advantage of this invention, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Modern technology, including the internet, is vital for success in the workplace. Develop Basic Computer Skills You may not consider yourself computer savvy if you entered the workforce in the pre-internet days. This may have been a valid excuse in the ‘90s, but if you’re still clinging onto this reasoning, it’s time to let it go. The internet doesn’t appear to be disappearing anytime soon and the need for basic computer skills is imperative. Thankfully, most local colleges offer very affordable classes, including keyboard skills. This is a good place to start if typing a letter feels like an all-day chore. Learn How to Navigate Microsoft As of 2016, there were 1.2 billion people using Microsoft Word. In addition, there were 60 million commercial customers. There is a high likelihood that your workplace not only has Microsoft software but expects you to use it. Do you? And if you do, can you use the programs effectively? While it may seem like a daunting task at first, learning your way around Microsoft programs is a highly beneficial, even marketable, skill. Just as community colleges teach typing, they also offer classes on most, if not all, Microsoft software. If you don’t think a class is right for you, visit Microsoft’s website for comprehensive tutorials. Once you’ve learned how to use Microsoft Word, you can feel confident creating resumes and drafting memos. Harness The Power of LinkedIn Once you’ve learned the necessary basics of typing and using software programs, you can begin to tackle the internet. One of Most Beautiful Issue • November • 30
the most powerful tools at your disposal is LinkedIn, the largest professional social network in the world. What do the 467 million users gain from using this tool? For one, exposure. With so many employers on the site at any given time, there is quite a good chance of being seen. A writer for Forbes elaborates on other uses, “Professionals at all levels - entry-level, middle management and executives - use it for networking, keeping in touch with current and former colleagues, and engaging with others in their industry. And those more established in their careers also use it to promote their businesses.” If you are in charge of hiring at your company, LinkedIn will be of even greater value to you. Understanding the Wonder of Webinars Webinars which are online seminars, were once used mainly for training purposes within the workplace. Recently, however, many have found webinars to be a very valuable marketing tool, especially to those in business-to-business marketing. According to contentmarketinginstitute.com, over 60% of marketers are now utilizing webinars. Whether you are in the field of marketing or not, learning how to use webinars effectively is still important. Even just attending webinars will greatly benefit your career. How? Simply put, webinars teach valuable skills. Plus, if you attend ones hosted by your competition, this allows you a peek into their business strategies. Embrace technology and you will thrive in today’s workforce.