Obviously, everywhere you look this week, you find advice on how to do better this year.
Well, you don’t have to wait for a new year to become awesome at your work, any day is new year for the rest of your life.
So, today I want to share 12 steps to learn Excel and becoming awesome. But first I have a secret to confess…,
I think becoming awesome in Excel useless.
What we really want is, to become awesome in our work. Since we spend a lot of time using Excel (and other office software), knowing how to use these better can have a huge impact on how we do our work.
In that spirit, lets look at 12 steps to learn Excel so you become awesome in your work.
1. Learn everyday
Curiosity, humbleness & open mind can go a long way in making you awesome. So in order to become awesome in our work, we need to learn everyday. There is a wealth of free, useful & well designed information on net on almost any topic. For Excel, I suggest going thru our archives, category pages on Excel, Charting, Quick Tips, or the Learn any area of Excel page.
2. Volunteer & Improve something at your work
No matter how good something is, there is always scope for improvement. I am sure you have similar situation at your work. So pick up any single process, report, model or procedure & improve it using readily available tools like Excel. It is one of the easiest ways to learn Excel. For example, you could improve the financial dashboard that gets emailed every month or track your training (L&D) better.
3. Help a colleague
The funny thing with knowledge is that, the more you share it, the more you gain. No wonder, when we think of very knowledgeable persons, we imagine teachers & authors. And in any workplace, your knowledge determines how awesome you can be.
So go ahead and help a colleague in need. Share what you know and see the magic.
4. Join a forum & solve a problem
Forums are a great place to find new problems & challenge yourself. Go ahead and contribute in a forum that focuses on your area of work. For Excel, I suggest checking out our Forums.
You will learn new things & the best part is, you are going to help a total stranger. The sense of satisfaction you get is unmatched.
5. Get a book
Despite the amount of information & variety available online, books continue to have a sense of magic. The moment you open a book, your mind opens a new world. So go ahead and indulge in a book or two this year. Learn something & then apply it to your work. See how far you can go.
For Excel & related books, check out my recommendations.
6. Participate in a Contest
Contests are a great way to learn new things, experiment & win something cool. While finding a contest for your exact work area might be difficult, you can find several contests on Excel & other common office software. I am planning to run a few contests this year and I encourage you to participate in at least one of them.
7. Play with an unknown feature
Many of us continue to use software, tools without questioning our practices. For example, despite using Excel quite a bit, I rarely use Review Ribbon. I don’t know many of the things in there. I am sure you too have such gaps. This year, pick one such thing and play with it. Learn what you can do with that feature, do a bit of research, and if possible share your knowledge with people in your work life. If you are not sure what to pick, may I suggest Power Query? It is an incredible tool packed right inside Excel. Check out this intro and get started.
8. Replicate an idea from other industry to your work
Despite all the negativity in the world, we continue to see shining examples of innovation, hope & prosperity. Often, these are simple ideas implemented with finesse. You too can watch elsewhere for inspiration & copy the ideas to your work. For example, you can watch New York Times for interesting visualizations and copy the ideas for your weekly report. Or you can subscribe to blogs in a different industry so that you can get fresh ideas.
Related: Visualization projects.
9. Join a Newsletter or Subscribe to a Blog
While learning from other industries can give you new ideas, learning about your own industry increases your knowledge. So go ahead and join a newsletter or subscribe to a blog. Consume their content regularly and apply these ideas to your work.
10. Jump to YouTube
YouTube continues to be a great way to learn new things. You can find instructional videos on any topic & learn from bite-sized clips.
11. Join a Training Program
One of the best ways to learn & become awesome is to join a class. So this year, invest in a training program that helps you in your work.
12. Believe that you are Awesome
One of my favorite quotes is,
Whatever human mind can conceive, it can achieve.
Napoleon Hill (in his book Think & Grow Rich)
So the most important aspect of becoming awesome is to believe you are awesome. No books, videos, blogs or contests can make you awesome if you don’t believe that you can be awesome.
Those are my 12 steps to learn Excel & become awesome, what about yours?
So those are my 12 ways to become awesome. What about yours? How are you planning to be awesome this year? Please share using comments.
More Resources to learn
If you want to learn Excel, Dashboards etc., check out these articles too.