Five tips for learning new software at work.

Many of us have found ourselves trying to learn and adapt to the newest technology while on the job. Across all industries, it seems like there are new innovations every single day.  

In this issue of the Pulse, we share advice for learning new software programs you may come across in the workplace.  

1. Have a manageable goal.

When learning a new program, your first goal shouldn’t be to become an overnight expert. Create a practical, achievable goal that helps you implement the software into your work routine and focus on accomplishing that.  

2. Immerse yourself.

While it’s great to watch videos, read articles, and ask coworkers questions – and we suggest you do all these things – it’s even more critical to get your hands on the program you’re trying to learn. Your memory retention improves with hands on learning, so it’s important to physically go through the motions of using the software.

3. Don’t be click-shy.

Oftentimes, when opening up a new program, it can be intimidating, and users are nervous to click around and make mistakes. Meanwhile, software engineers have been paid a lot of money to try to break this program and find its flaws before it landed on your PC. Click things, learn how they work, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  

4. Go on ‘do not disturb’ mode to practice. 

Sometimes when we are learning new or additional skills, we don’t feel we can prioritize them over our traditional work duties. However, if this is contributing to your work, then it should be a priority. 

Take some time to yourself, turn on ‘do not disturb,’ and focus all your attention on learning the new program. Don’t let emails, chats, or other tasks distract you.  

5. Utilize built-in tutorials. 

Most software programs have built-in tools or tutorials designed to assist new users. Whether it’s a specific tutorial walkthrough or a feature where hovering your mouse over a tool gives you an explanation of how to use it, there is almost always an aid at your disposal. Don’t rush through these tidbits; reading through them will help you learn.  

In conclusion… 

Learning goes better when you take the pressure off yourself and make it fun. Give yourself the space and mindset to put your best foot forward when acquiring new skills.