nothing will happen. But, isn’t that the problem?
Nothing will happen! You might have the same job, drive the same car, maybe have similar pay, working for a similar manager. Nothing will happen, nothing will improve, and you certainly won’t improve yourself.
Thats the short version of this post 🙂
What you will learn
- How not learning excel can actually help save your employer money
- Why your coworkers hate you for not knowing excel
- 3 simple functions you can learn that will instantly put you above most people
The reasons for learning excel are obvious (otherwise you probably wouldn’t be spending your time researching this topic) but people often times underestimate the consequences of not improving their skills in excel. They say things like “one day I’ll take the plunge” or “right now, at this stage in my career it isn’t the right time” all while some of the best opportunities to show their worth are passing them by, day by day.
According to Chandoo, one of the internet’s leading excel experts:
“Due to its universal nature, Excel has allowed me to proverbially raise my hand and say ‘I can help with that’. And I did help, helping peers alerted senior colleagues to my abilities and when the senior/Execs started reaching out to me for my help, it opened up a whole new set of doors for me which meant good things for my career.”
Solve problems, don’t create them.
I second that. It wasn’t necessarily how much Excel I knew, it was how I could leverage the software application to solve some pretty unique problems for people. Problems that others either couldn’t solve or weren’t willing to solve.
I wrote all about it in a recent blog post; How to prove to interviewers and upper management that you’re strong at excel?
What I didn’t mention in that post was how a big piece of the professional advancement I experienced by leveraging Excel included money. Thats right, I was compensated more each year because of the opportunities I created for myself by leveraging my excel skills. I’m not the only one though.
Are you throwing money away?
According to a Wall Street Journal Article people who can demonstrate proficiency in office applications, including Microsoft Excel, command on average 13% more money than people who don’t. For the average professional in the U.S. that’s well over $6K/year left on the table if you don’t get serious about learning Excel.
What would it mean if I handed you a check for $6k, right now? What if I gave you $6k, every year, for as long as you’re working in a professional setting or on your own business?
Would you do a happy dance?
It would make sense that you’re losing out on some monetary benefit, since Excel is a versatile tool that can help solve many problems and, typically, employers compensate those who help solve those problems (not those who know the most or have the most experience).
By not learning it, you are helping to save them a bit of payroll, but it’s far less costly to them than it is to you.
But hey, if you still don’t want to invest the time to improve your Excel skills, no worries at least you have your co workers that can help you solve the most common Excel problems. They’ve helped you in the past so they probably won’t mind stopping in the middle of their day, interrupting their time sensitive tasks to come on over to your desk and help you figure out why your sheet is filled with #REF errors (shameless plug time, I have a blog post coming up about how to decode excel errors, stay tuned :D).
The truth is that many people are usually so focused on their own deadlines and getting out of the office before dinner that they dislike being interrupted.
It isn’t harsh nor is it overly pessimistic, it just is. Although they are well intentioned by assisting, they have their own weight to carry already.
Quite possibly the best benefit of learning Excel is that not only will you no longer be dependant upon coworkers for help, but you will be enabling yourself the opportunity to help make everyone else’s life easier by possessing the ability to help them become more efficient and better at their jobs.
You can use these opportunities to help catapult yourself forward at your company; you will most likely create a buzz as the go-to person in your office for Excel matters and people will likely begin to notice.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts; if you feel discouraged by your company’s inability to appreciate the talent you have you can leverage those skills and experience to impress interviewers and recruiters and negotiate a better opportunity for yourself elsewhere.
Don’t sell yourself short, we can all be doing more to build the life we want.
How to become a pro in the least time possible?
So, if you’ve read this far then hopefully I’ve convinced you. But where do you begin? There is so much Excel to learn?
In order to effectively learn Excel you must have the right mindset. Start with a few functions or features, practice those with enough detail, then move on to the next. Before you know it you will have the skills necessary to be an effective Excel user.
I’ll emphasize that it takes practice. The one thing I ask of you is to put in the time practicing the examples. The most effective way of mastering excel is to get in and get your hands dirty.
Before you know it, co-workers will be coming to you for excel help and your boss will be impressed with your newfound skills.
Here are a few Excel lessons to get you started, If you were to only learn these you will instantly be worlds above most of your peers.
Whether you’re an excel rookie or a black belt, keyboard shortcuts are one of the fundamental things you should learn. If you can master just a few of the excel keyboard shortcuts in this post, you will immediately notice a difference in the speed and efficiency you use excel.
Why is VLOOKUP so awesome? The purpose for VLOOKUP is to help you find a single piece of information in a table based on a single criterion.
Here’s a video tutorial to help you get started!
The great thing about SUMIFS (and why I never use its inferior sibling, SUMIF) is that you can use multiple criterions in your function, providing great flexibility when you are building reports and dashboards. Need sales numbers for individual employees broken down by region and by month? Need a dashboard that tells you which collectors are making the most calls? Or, Maybe you are building a P&L for your cousin’s wedding stationery business? SUMIFS has you covered for that and more!
Here’s another video tutorial to help you get started!
The IF statement is one of the most important, versatile, and powerful tools excel has to offer and a must have for anyone becoming an excel pro. This function allows you to build decisions and logic into your sheets, which you can leverage in tons of ways.
Imagine yourself one day being the go to person in your office for special projects, not depending on others to help you with common Excel problems but being the leader of important initiatives as a result of the opportunities you’ve earned.
If you’re ok with the level you’re in professionally, then don’t download my book or consume my content. Keep doing what you’ve been doing; at the end of the day being content is whats most important. But…
If you’re interested in taking your career to the next level, don’t waste anymore time and download my free book Master Excel, Surpass your Coworkers, and Impress Your Boss.