Upskilling for Administrative Professionals

In today's competitive job market, it is important to continuously improve and expand your skillset to not only keep up with current technologies, but to set yourself apart from the pack as well. But what skill do you choose to learn? What training is right for you? When building a professional development path for yourself, consider this:

multiple blue toned gears with various icons in them

Microsoft technologies still reign supreme.

With more than 1.2 billion people using Microsoft Office worldwide[1], Microsoft technologies aren't going anywhere any time soon. Improving your Microsoft Office skills can increase the value you bring to your organization. And keyboard shortcuts can help you work much more efficiently. Just search for Microsoft Office keyboard shortcuts and learn one new one each day and before long you use tools like Word and Excel faster than you can imagine.

Expand your breadth of skills with Adobe or web development knowledge.

As technology advances, the role of the Administrative Professional evolves too. Many top-tier Administrative Professionals are learning how to use design and layout tools like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.[2] Web development skills, particularly HTML, can help you with tasks related to updating websites, using content management platforms like Wordpress, or creating customized email templates. And many web hosting platforms like Wordpress can be used for free without ever learning how to code in HTML while still creating powerful and easy to use websites for your colleagues and customers. Give it a try. You'll be amazed how easy it is to create a modern looking website.

Project management skills are versatile and in high demand.

With project management set to be one of the most in-demand jobs in Canada for 2018,[3] Canada is primed for a project management talent shortage. When you take the time to invest in your project management skills, you can increase productivity and transparency, as well as the overall value of your skillset. There are many low cost project management tools available as well that can help you hone your skills. One of my favorite brainstorming and project management tools is Freemind. They have many ready to use project management templates to help get you started on your next project quickly. And it's free!

Prove your expertise with certifications.

According to Microsoft, 91% of hiring managers consider certification as part of their hiring criteria.[4] The right certification validates your expertise and can help you demonstrate new-found skills. Earning a certification in topics like project management and leadership, as well as in technologies like Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud, can complement the traditional administrative skillset.

A blended learning approach is best - don't rely solely on self-paced learning.

From in class to on demand, there are a lot of training options out there. While self-paced options like Lynda.com and even YouTube videos can get you started with learning new skills, research has shown that combining self-paced training with the structure and reinforcement of live training methods (classroom training, coaching, etc.) can improve the learning outcomes for someone trying to learn a new skill.[5] Then Practice, Practice, Practice makes Perfect. There is no substitute for practicing what you have learned.

In a competitive job market, it's important to find ways to differentiate your skillset, and there's no shortage of topic areas to choose from. No matter which new skill you choose to add to your resume, remember that branching out into areas where your interests intersect with market needs maximizes the ROI you'll get on your investment in yourself.

Learn more at: www.LearningTree.ca

PS: One of my favorite success books is titled "Tactics - The Five Keys to Success" by Edward de Bono. You may have heard of him as he also wrote the great team brain storming book "Six Thinking Hats"!

[1] https://news.microsoft.com/bythenumbers/planet-office

[2] https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/evaluating-job-candidates/how-administrative-assistant-jobs-and-skills-have-changed

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/02/05/these-are-the-most-in-demand-jobs-in-canada-in-2018-according-to-randstad_a_23353385/

[4] https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/certification-benefits.aspx

[5] https://issuu.com/learningtreeintl/docs/ca_blended_learning_research_report?e=20913079/57244712

AUTHOR: Arnold Villeneuve

Learning Tree Training

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