Vincy Workplace
October 1, 2004
Computer Savvy

If all you do with your computer is write documents and play solitaire, your computer skills are limited and your lack of knowledge could be hindering your success. The computer has been around long enough that it is no longer a privilege to know how to use it, but a critical skill for the 21st century worker. {{more}}Employers are more apt to hire and keep employees with a wider range of computer skills.

Lose the fear of breaking the computer. Each software application has a tutorial section that goes through step by step how to use the programme.

Take a few minutes to navigate the simple guide and begin to practice. If you are not a self-starter and find the tutorials difficult to follow, find a friend who knows the programmes, or attend a computer class.

There are a few programmes that you should become competent at using.

Microsoft Word. This is the most commonly used computer software available.

Although it’s a well-known word processing programme, Microsoft Word has the capability to do much more – tables, simple newsletters, charts, posters with pictures, etc.

Excel. This is a programme that can help you create tables, charts, graphs but it can also perform an array of math functions to enhance your work. Great software for doing budgets, etc.

PowerPoint. Every aspiring professional will make a presentation at one point in his or her work life. This is an excellent programme for presentations to large audiences; you can basically transform your presentation into a slideshow right on your computer and project on a large screen. Although it sounds complicated, it is very simple and fun to use.

E-mail Programmes. Whether you use Microsoft Outlook, MSN, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL or any other e-mail programme, learn how to compose an e-mail, send it and use attachments. Take the time also to learn the blind-copy function when sending a single e-mail to multiple recipients and preserve the privacy of all the e-mail addresses.

Anti-Virus Software. Computer viruses are prevalent on the Internet and if you own a computer you must install virus protection. Anti-virus programmes protect your computer from malicious computer viruses that can erase your hard drive in some cases or replicate itself and infect those on your e-mail list. Your company is responsible for installing the software but you can be cautious and avoid opening attachments from unknown sources, or unannounced attachments, as viruses are usually launched when attachments are opened.