Are you Actually Prepared For The Job You are Looking For?
It’s often said that success is when preparation meets opportunity. But what does this preparation actually look like and how does it even align with a particular opportunity?
In Job prospects context, the preparation i am looking at here is technical skillset shortages that were not part of your degree course, but are expected by potential employers. And the way 2020 has unfolded, we cant really skip this one. No, we cant pray our way out of this one either!. Okay….. maybe that was a dry church joke but you get my point.
In my previous blog post i posted an Excel Vlookup Tutorial following a twitter thread of employers showing their disappointment with new graduates’ technical skills (or lack of). I shared this in response to one of the questions on the twitter thread, as one way of gaining technical skills to get ahead professionally.
But who Needs to Learn it Anyway?
The Vlookup tutorial blog post was a response to one of the questions on the twitter thread , therefore i created it to solve a problem. So firstly i would say , anyone who needs to solve a problem that involves collecting and tracking data needs to learn Excel.
I didn’t know much about Excel when i entered the job market either. A combination of developing a budget for myself because of ‘black tax’ payments , and trying to solve a problem at work, lead me to learn Excel. I had to find ways to produce results faster , which meant my boss could easily pick up the figures whenever they were needed. I used video tutorials to learn because, i grasp things quicker that way. That made me stand out in my work, but also gave me confidence about my ability to learn other skills. So anyone who wants to create a unique selling point for themselves should do it.
You don’t have to be a new graduate entering an office job market to learn this. you can be an experienced employee, learning to ‘up your game’ to demonstrate achievements. you can be in the process of changing jobs, and your new employer will want to know what you have achieved above what you are expected to do.
Even if you are a small business owner selling a few fashion items or even tomatoes (no hustle too small). A few basics in Excel can help you follow the paper trail.
Now, the Vlookup in my last blog post maybe too much of a deep dive for those who are completely new to Excel. So , i have included an Excel basics Tutorial in this post.
Where i am currently based, the assumption is that every new graduate should have access to learning such IT skills while completing their academic assessments or managing day to day activities, which by the way, are increasingly essential in 2020. However , in some parts of the world , i know access to computers is a luxury to the average person and this might not be included in the study plan. But i know that if anything ,2020 is teaching us to look at life on a global scale. Countries where unemployment is high, every one wants to find ways to stand out or do things differently. If you cant find the job in the country , you can work remotely for someone else anywhere in the world. Therefore , standing out is not just for the graduates.
The Excel Basics
This tutorial is for anyone who wants to start learning the basics of excel.
It is about getting familiar with the terminologies used to reference things on an Excel page. There are just one or two basic formulas included in this tutorial.
The increasing importance of digital intelligence in modern work environment, requires us all to be able to operate applications such as Microsoft office, zoom etc. This was the trajectory but i think 2020 has pushed the importance of learning technology even further and quicker than we all anticipated.
While learning Excel basics might seem redundant for some, I know through first hand observation that there are people who have suddenly found themselves unprepared for the changing job market .
In countries where unemployment is too high , digital age has presented an opportunity to not limit our prospects in the same geographical location, this skill should be embraced. I have used services on websites such as Fivver an peopleperhour by hiring freelancers who are located in different parts of the world.
The good thing with learning Excel is that you get to practice it without ‘breaking’ anything. I created my first website by following video tutorials too. I didn’t do the best job on it but the point was, i learnt things that i use now. So learn! Learn! Learn! . A 2019 report by Prospectus mentioned that there are skills shortages in Africa’s main industrial areas due to lack of technical knowledge. Of course, there maybe a host of reasons. I am just trying to address one, that is also not limited to Africa but as said earlier the twitter thread that sparked this for me was relating to an African country where i was brought up.
I would like to know what digital skills you would like to learn and why?