How good are you with spreadsheets? If you’re not comfortable using spreadsheets, or you didn’t even understand that question, you need to get with the program right away. Spreadsheets are used in almost every business you can imagine, for almost every reason you can imagine.
Given the widespread use of spreadsheets in the American workplace, it’s no surprise that employees who can use them effectively are going to see some long-term rewards. Unfortunately, most spreadsheet programs are not exactly intuitive in their design. That means anyone who thinks they’re going to sit down and just, “figure out,” Microsoft Excel or any other spreadsheet program is in for a big, and highly unpleasant, surprise.
The good news is that, with the right kind of guidance, learning to use spreadsheet is actually not all that tough. (Mastering the more complicated formulas and macros is another matter entirely.) If you’re looking to learn incorporate spreadsheet skills into your professional life, you’ll want to keep reading.
Why Learn Excel?
Learning to use spreadsheet programs like Excel used to be something that was nice, but not necessary. In fact, it used to be that most businesses only had one or two employees who knew how to use spreadsheets and those folks would wind up carrying everyone else. For better or worse, that’s not how it works anymore.
These days, employees at all levels are expected to have some command of spreadsheets and almost any dataset their bosses request is going to have to be presented in that format. At the very least, employees should know how to build a spreadsheet and use it include charts and graphs into various presentations and reports.
How to Learn Excel
We’ve already mentioned that spreadsheet programs are not the kind of programs you’ll be able to figure out on your own. What we didn’t mention is that there are tons and tons of great, free self-guided programs available on the World Wide Web that can teach everything you need to know in just a couple days.
If you’re not feeling like doing a lot of work searching for a program, just head over to YouTube and search the term, “Microsoft Excel Tutorials for beginners.” You’ll be amazed at how many fantastic lessons you’ll dig up that way.
We highly recommend that you watch a few of these basic videos to find an instructor whose style you really like. Once you’ve narrowed in an instructional series, just dig in.
If you’re more into book-based learning, your local library should have dozens of Microsoft Excel for Dummies-style books on their shelves. Use the same comparison method you used for videos to find the book that’s right for you.
It’s Not That Hard (Really)
The real secret about spreadsheets is that once you learn what they are, and how they’re used, you’ll find all kinds of great ways to use them. In fact, you might find yourself wondering how you went all these years without ever knowing how to spreadsheets in the first place.