‘The joy of having great Excel skills is it makes for more interesting problem solving’.
That’s what people obsessed with becoming Excel experts will say.
Well, I used to think like that and it got me stuck as an ‘Excel Guru’, which is okay for a while, but then you get typecast and stigmatised.
I’m going to share why I decided to be MORE than an Excel guru and what happened as a result.
First of all it comes down to ambition.
I am deeply deeply ambitious; I have very high expectations of myself.
Beyond that it comes down to this… and perk your little ears open my curious colleague…
Senior people appreciate Excel Gurus or most other techies, they really do.
They DON’T respect them.
An Excel Guru will never solve a company’s deep and major problems.
The reason being, most Excel Gurus are obsessed with perfect formulas, VBA code, formatting etc.
That is minutiae. People think its details but it’s not.
Details are good, like a management accountant who knows her forecast numbers inside out or a project manager who intimately knows the riskiest project milestones.
But minutiae is bad.
So very bad.
Being obsessed with minutiae in front senior execs is like a guy who’s trying to impress the pretty lady from HR with his Star Wars figures collection. He won’t get her number but he will get a restraining order.
And that’s what happens to minutiae obsessed types, like Excel Gurus they are figuratively strapped with career restraining orders.
They don’t climb the ladders in their organisations and they spend their days wondering what went wrong because they got straight A’s at school, a first class degree, perfect Excel skills but a mediocre career.
Now, I’m not saying don’t get Excel skills, or don’t become a guru.
Because Excel Skills are invaluable.
Just don’t ACT like a guru.
And this is huuuuge, so pry your reading ears more open than they already were…
Only a handful of the best analytical professionals…and as ever I mean analysts, accountants, controllers, PMOs etc
Use Excel to DO their work
They use Excel to save time through clever trickery including automation.
Then, they use that time to solve problems and develop the non- Excel aspects like when Financial Controllers help non finance stakeholders manage their budgets or when a Project Manager does a milestone analysis to see how interdependent departments pose risks to one another.
This is real problem resolution; this is stuff that makes senior executives want you to help them, then promote you.
This is like approaching the pretty girl in the compliance department with a six pack whilst driving a Lambo.
The role of Excel is to support your professional brilliance in a very very powerful way.
If you use Excel properly it will help your day job AND your career. Most don’t understand how important Excel skills are for your career progression, but it’s all to do with the time saving aspect.
If you want to learn more about saving time and speeding up your work with Excel, sign up here and I’ll give you access to some pretty cool lessons on doing so…
And as for me, well, I got the promotions from senior execs and married the pretty girl from finance.