I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Because I wonder how many job seekers want to apply for a job, but tragically –
YOU DON’T HAVE THE SOFTWARE SKILLS REQUIRED.
You know that sentence is like farting in an elevator. It can just ruin a hopeful feeling you have about a job.
The thing is how exactly do you gain software skills? Sure, I know, go take a class. But the truth is, in my particular area I’m living there isn’t a lot of opportunities to take classes. There is a community college nearby, but here are the two options I have found:
- Take a class that is a “noncredit” option (YAY) that only has class times in the middle of the day (BOO!) and I work for an employer who has low patience for me taking time off (BOO!)
- Take a credit class (BOO!) that costs way too much (BOO! And yes, right now, $300 for a software class is a lot for me). I also don’t learn software well when it’s an online format. If I’m taking an online class on how to use a software, I may as well learn from a book which would cost less, but I don’t learn software from just a book.
My mom, who is looking for work right now, is coming across the same thing. Jobs that require software skills and those software skills aren’t easy to come by. I also have some trepidation about taking a class in general, because unless it is something I will use regularly, how will I come to feel like I really know it?
Take excel for example. I don’t have any reason to use it at my current job. Sure, I open excel files during the day, but I don’t create charts and use the formulas in excel. I have no reason for that. So if I take a class on excel, when will I use it during the day? If you don’t use it, don’t you lose it?
I’d love to know Adobe Photoshop. Yet, unless I’m using it at work, or have it at home, how much of that class will I retain? Not to mention how expensive it actually is to buy that software (again, the no extra money thing is holding me back lately).
Anyways, ranting aside, how do you increase your software skills to be eligible for more opportunities? Is it as simple as taking a class? How have you gained those skills?