DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a new job, but I am worried that I am in over my head because of the technology. I don’t really know how to use the different programs that we have been asked to use on a daily basis. I didn’t lie about it when I took the job. Nobody asked me. I think they assumed that everybody knows how to use things like Microsoft Office and Excel. I hardly know how to use the computer. I’m not so old; it’s just that in my previous jobs I mainly worked with my hands. I wasn’t in an office, and I never learned this stuff. I need this job and need to figure out how to do these basic things before I get fired. I’m afraid to talk to my boss about it. What should I do? -- Luddite
DEAR LUDDITE: Technology has moved at such a rapid pace that it is easy to be left behind. And that’s for people who are relatively tech-savvy. For someone who hasn’t had the need to engage with technology on a daily basis, it makes sense that your job seems daunting. The good news is that there’s tons of help out there. Look in your office manual, if you have one, to see if your company offers any technical support. There’s a good chance that some basic training is offered for certain programs that your company regularly uses. Beyond that, go online and look for courses -- some free, others at a nominal charge -- that will teach you how to operate specific programs, including how to use shortcuts when possible.
I found one source that offers training across many platforms that may help you: support.office.com/en-us/office-training-center. Don’t give up. Just get the tutoring you need. Spend a few hours each night after work studying and practicing, and you will be proficient in no time!