When I first started working in ministry as a church secretary, I knew little to nothing about the computers and software I was working with. In college I had scratched out my papers on an OLD Macintosh computer (mini) and left it at that. Now I was presented with a Dell desktop full of foreign programs and Microsoft Office (I had only used Word Perfect previously). I was a bit overwhelmed and full of anxiety as to how I was going to be able to accomplish my tasks and assist my boss, the church admin, in her tasks as well.
Then I discovered the Help buttons.
Whenever I couldn’t figure something out, I would press HELP. It was abounding with answers to all of my questions. Sometimes they were a little cryptic and I had to dig a little deeper to figure things out, but I learned all about Word and Excel with my liberal use of that little paper clip guy (I’m showing my age here) that would answer my questions and give me a smile.
I was able to quickly assimilate the knowledge I gained and in the years I worked there I soon became not just the secretary, but also the I.T. go to person for the staff and many of the church members who needed help. People would come to me with their questions and I would help them out with various small issues. If I didn’t know the answer I could quickly find a way to solve their problems by heading to Help myself. I would tell them, “I can take a look and if I don’t have the answer I know I can find one.”
“How did you learn so much?” people would ask me.
I would reply, “I love the Help button!”
In the years since I have watched people sit and fiddle and fiddle and fiddle until they were ready to toss their laptop out the window. I ask them, did you try Help? The lights come on and a big “Oh, no I didn’t think of that.” is the response. Each program has it’s own help section where you can type a subject, ask a question, and scroll through to find the answers you need.
Disclaimer: Not every help section of a program is always that helpful. When working with Office or any other major program though you can usually find a good answer to the problem you are trying to solve.
Nowadays, the answers are even more plenteous with the expansion and world take-over of Google. If I can’t find the answer in Help, I just google the question and usually I get pages of answers.
The bottom line is – never be afraid to ask for help. If you can’t figure something out, ASK! Don’t be ashamed to admit defeat. I can’t count the number of times I watched the staff I worked for try and try to solve a problem and then they would finally come and ask me for help and I usually could provide a good answer (and if not, I googled it and then answered the problem, wink-wink).
Asking for help is the first step in learning to be a good designer, a good assistant, a good finisher. When you are in Ministry, asking the Lord for help each day is always key to staying in his will and spirit while you work. Why not ask for help in your projects as well.
Thanks for the reminder Tami. I often wait WAY to long to ask for help. By the time I finally break down and ask for help, I have wasted hours of time, and then someone can usually help me in a matter of minutes.
How much easier would life be if I just asked for help in the beginning, instead of waiting so long.