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Career Scoop: Conquering Computers

By Tom Lee, Career Solutions Trainer

Whether we intend to or not, we all make assumptions. A chef assumes anyone could scramble an egg. A mechanic assumes anyone should be able to change a flat tire, and a computer instructor might assume anyone, in today’s world, can use a mouse and access the Internet. I plead guilty to the latter and confess that’s exactly how I felt three years ago.

Teaching Intro to Computer courses at Goodwill has been a real eye opener… fortunately, in a positive way! In the three years I have been training clients at Goodwill, I have come to the realization that not everyone has access to a computer and may never have had access to a computer until coming to Career Solutions. But having access to the equipment doesn’t mean one knows how to use it. Just like having all the ingredients readily available to bake a cake doesn’t mean someone can bake a cake!

I have met a variety of individuals all over the middle Tennessee area who are computer deficient, if not illiterate. Many cannot use a mouse; many don’t know what a desktop is; some don’t have e-mail and have no idea what an attachment is; and an alarmingly large percentage have never heard of Google!

But despite all this, these individuals share one commonality. They recognize their deficiency and have a desire and thirst to learn! They want to absorb as much as they can in the given time period to make them more marketable, and especially, more computer proficient. It is this drive and determination that I so frequently experience and witness and that makes what I do so rewarding.

We all have weaknesses. Recognizing those weaknesses is important. Setting a plan or goal to address that weakness and improve it is even more vital. It might be as simple as taking an Intro to Computer course at Goodwill. And as I tell my students, don’t worry about breaking the computer. You won’t… and even if you do, life will go on!

What are your improvement goals? How are you growing your skills?

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