Our own Sarah Mills, iRelaunch's Director of Events, casts away her fears and jumps into new technology!
I was technologically obsolete before I relaunched my career. So, I know for sure that it’s a temporary condition -- one every relauncher needs to get beyond. And can.
It’s natural to put off updating your tech skills. Many relaunchers I meet are afraid of technology. But, as with virtually every fear we face, getting started is the hardest step in the process.
Many options for coming up to speed
There are multiple ways to scale the technology learning curve, to become competent in standard business tech, such as spreadsheets, social media, PowerPoint presentations, video conferencing and collaboration tools.
Consider taking courses online (Udemy, Coursera, Lynda.com…); check out your town’s adult education offerings; post a message on your Facebook page, spread the word to your email contacts, or in the local high school newsletter to find a student who would like a part time job helping you get up to speed on basic technologies.
"You don't have to know everything, but you can't be afraid."
-- Janet Kraus, CEO, peach; [former] Entrepreneur-in residence, Harvard Business School
Janet’s comment reflects what we hear from employers – they want potential employees to be reasonably up to date on basic technologies and office management software. But more importantly, they want you to be fearless when it comes to technology. They want you to be willing to dive in and acquire new skills.
Fearless means you are not reticent to learn a new technology that’s central to your job function. When iRelaunch decided to make our small group coaching Boot Camp program available nationally, the job to produce the coaching sessions using the WebEx video conferencing platform fell to Sarah Mills, our Director of Events. Sarah took a fearless approach to mastering new tech skills.
“Video tutorials and tech support are my best friends.”
What did Sarah do first to face her challenge? “I set low expectations for myself. I just logged myself in on the WebEx platform and started trying things. And, I called WebEx Tech Support a lot. I realized their goal is for me to succeed, so I wasn’t afraid to ask any question,” explains Sarah.
Sarah expected bumps along the road…and she had them. Once, in the middle of trying to figure something out through the WebEx University self-service training, it shut down and Sarah got stuck. “That’s when I realized ‘I can Google anything!’ So I googled ‘How do I share a screen on WebEx?’ Video tutorials became my new best friend.”
Sarah admits to being terrified when she ran the very first iRelaunch Webinar -- a live, presentation on resumes by iRelaunch CEO Carol Fishman Cohen and IRelaunch coach and Virtual Boot Camp developer, Suzanne Coonan.
“We had an audience of 100 relaunchers tuned in and it was my very first time managing a WebEx session. Fortunately, everything went smoothly. I took one step at a time and convinced myself not to get overwhelmed,” explains Sarah.
“Practice builds my confidence.”
Since that first session, Sarah continues to dig deeper into the videoconferencing platform and gain confidence. “I realized if I couldn’t easily explain something to a conference participant, then I didn’t understand it well enough.”
Remember, business tech tools and software are designed for use by non-techies. So, jump in and join all the other relaunchers learning the standard business tools. Demonstrate to a potential employer that you are willing to take on a challenge. That you’re fearless.