8 Things Your Boss Expects You Know About Computers

As good as every desk job demands you to work with computers and your boss expects you to know how they work, without giving you any extra training or support. To meet these expectations I have summed up a list of what is expected you know about computers.

As an above average computer user I know my way around numerous Windows, Linux and OS X programs. It’s a continuous race to keep up with the latest software and to familiarize myself with new features. However, over the years I have developed a general idea of what a boss, manager or supervisor will expect you to know at any given moment in time.

Making a report

Making reports or documents is as basic as it gets when it comes to computer skills that are expected from you. On as good as every desk job it is expected you know how to type, create and edit text documents. This is generally done in Microsoft Word, but alternatives like LibreOffice Writer and Pages are popular as well.

For most this will seem a second nature, but for those people that rarely write a document this can be a daunting task. Especially learning where to find what keys can take time and simply requires regular practice. As I experienced myself one time, moving from a Qwerty to an Azerty keyboard can be a big challenge too, relearning every key position from scratch.

Making a presentation

Closely related to making text documents is making presentations. Although it is related, I have noticed that a large number of people think a presentation can be just the same as showing a text document. But there really is a big difference.

A good presentation sums up the most important details about a specific subject and acts as a red line during a story that’s presented by the speaker. Programs that you are expected to know are in this case mainly Microsoft PowerPoint.

Making a contact list

The very reason most of us are using a desktop in stead of pen and paper is because it speeds up communication. In larger corporations it is of essential importance that communication is streamlined, requiring up-to-date contact lists. This makes the importance of knowing how to create a clear and easy to adjust contact list essential.

Creating tables, editing rows and adding simple formula’s in Excel documents are therefore expected from you to be basic knowledge. If you know how to create a list with the headers name, address, email, telephone number and how many each contact costs then I think you can say you already know your basics. Probably no one will expect you to be an Excel rocket scientist for no reason, but these basics would be expected.

Installing a new printer

The paperless office buzz has been going around ever since the introduction of personal computers in the 1970s, yet printers are still widespread and required to present physical proof of countless documents. However, in order to print you would be required to know how to install a printer.

Since generally no employee is required to install a PC from the bottom up, few steps would be required. But it will be required to find and install a printer in order to allow you to use it. In Windows 10 this can for instance be done by going to the Settings section, clicking on Devices and going to Add a printer or scanner.

Changing the language of your PC

Especially if you are working abroad you might stumble across the problem of needing to change the language of your PC. If you are new to this it can catch you by surprise and give your boss a bad impression if you do not know how to do this.

Luckily, most operating systems allow you to change the language through the settings. To give an example how to change the language, in Windows 10 this can be done by going to Settings and by clicking on Time & Language, here you can choose Add a language and select the one you need.

Adding a signature to your email

Even with the arrival of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, most corporations will communicate via email. You will be required to know the ins and outs of Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird. Since most email applications are easy it gets challenging when you need to do something new.

For instance, adding a sign or signature to your email with your credentials does look more professional than just a greetings and your name. Luckily most email programs have options for this. As an example, in Outlook this can be be done by opening a new message, going to the e-mail signature tab, creating a new signature and saving it.

Knowing what a spam or phishing email looks like

Even the most heavily secured companies get hacked and this is frequently caused by email messages with fraudulent links. For this reason, it’s an unwritten rule that you know what spam or a phishing email with a fraudulent link looks like.

The poor spelled messaged with strange requests of old are nowadays replaced by sophisticated newsletters with hard to spot links. None the less, there are frequently still signs that show an email is fraudulent. For example when hovering over a link the URL might refer to a strange page or the email might be send from a strange email address. It’s therefore always advised to double check the authenticity of messages you receive.

Logging errors

The nightmare of every work day is that you experience an error, that something happens that makes your system crash completely and stops you from doing your job. After the panic eases away, it is expected that you know what to look for to solve the issue.

The most important to solve an error is to log it in the right way. To do this you will generally want to look for the following: the program version you are using, any error code or message that appeared, a screenshot of the issue and a description of when and how it occurred. This might not allow you to find a solution yourself, but any available tech specialists will find this information of great importance.