I don’t know about you guys, but if for some reason I HAD to go out and get a job, I’d rather work indoors in a cozy office than anything involving manual labor. Yes, some of the stuff they’ll ask you to do is absolutely mind-numbing, but it’s better than lifting that barge or toting that bale.
(Can’t remember where that is from… is it a song? Anyway…)
The big question, is where can I get office training for free? There are three places I’d fall back on if I was looking for a job today, and, no, they aren’t just online.
The first place is temp agencies. Top temporary agencies now have not just office training, but office program testing. Not only will they use your good scores to get you hired, but you can re-take the tests as often as you like – keep going until you get a perfect score and you may get bounced to the top of the list for consideration.
Not to mention that being handy and ready to go to a one-day assignment can get you on the short list for the juicer long-term or temp to perm gigs.
It’s worth signing up to a temp agency, even if they never get you a single assignment, if it gets you free training that helps you land a job elsewhere.
The second place I’d go is wherever I can find free office software, or the software you have installed on your computer. If you already have Microsoft Office, go into the help files and start reading the stuff you don’t know how to do.
If you can’t afford Microsoft Office, you can either go to the library or a place like Kinkos that will let you pay to use computers, or you can download free office software like Open Office onto your computer. Most of the skills translate.
The third place I go to learn free office skills has actual courseware on many popular computer programs on their site completely free. You need the discipline to make yourself learn at your own pace, but for detailed training on Office software especially, for free, you can’t beat it.
The site is called CCT Global, and the courses are on their site for free because they sell pre-made courseware to companies that need to have courses. They’re meant to be samples, but you don’t even have to sign-up to download. It’s been up for years, and their courseware just gets better and better.
From them you can get training on the 07 version of Windows, Word, Access, Excel, Outlook, you can even learn basic HTML, all for free. They have both manuals and workbooks, in PDF format.
I listed more basic resources in the second part of my Killer Resume series too, so you may want to have a look at those as well, especially if you’re looking for stuff you may be able to get college credit for.
Don’t forget to add all of the skills you learn to your resume, especially the Monster.com version.