We are soldiers for the office. We fight in the battlefield we call the 'office.' We as office professionals need to arm ourselves with the tools to combat the day. Here are 6 skills you need to acquire to protect yourself against the office warfare.
1. Computer Software Technology
Having the basic knowledge of the today's computer technology is essential to being a top ranking soldier in any company. You have to be able to create a PowerPoint presentation, merge a document in Word, or create a report in Excel. Get the knowledge you need. Take a course, if you already know the basics, go to the next tier and learn at the intermediate and expert levels. Enhance your resume and get the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification or Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS). For more information on these certifications, click the link http://www.certiport.com/Portal/desktopdefault.aspx?tabid=228
2. Soft Skills
Soft skills include being able to handle customer service issues and basic, appropriate, and effective interaction with co-workers, clients and customers, and management. A good office professional must be able to greet clients, answer phones, and interact pleasantly, politely, and cordially.
3. Good Communication Skills
This goes without saying. You must be able to communicate effectively with your colleagues, boss, and customers. That means getting your point across without sounding pushy or aggressive. Along with good communication comes listening skills. You have to hear and understand people. Get this month's book choice, Messages by Drs. McKay and Davis to find out the different listening barriers and how to overcome them.
4. Effective Business Writing Skills
Who wants to read a three page email? Who will take a letter seriously if there are grammatical or spelling errors? Always proofread a document prior to sending it, good proofreading includes printing the document for review. Utilize spell check and review the document for grammar errors. Your writing speaks about you as a professional, don't give the wrong impression. Take a business writing class or ask a colleague to review your writing before you make it public.
5. Join Professional Development Organizations
Joining professional organizations will give you the opportunity to network with individuals in your field. This will provide a wonderful support system, you will learn and improve skills, and have opportunities for leadership roles. Get involved. Try the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP); this organization also has certification opportunities that are great resume enhancements. http://www.iaap-hq.org/http://www.iaap-hq.org/
6. Organization Skills
Filing correspondence, organizing a meeting, keeping your bosses calendar, and maintaining your office area are viable skills that all office professionals need to master. I once heard that if something is misfiled; it is lost! This doesn't look good to your superiors. Need a filing system? OfficeArrow.com has a great article discussing the "43 folder filing system." http://www.officearrow.com/home/articles/productivity/organization_and_workflow/p2_articleid/457/p142_id/457/p142_dis/3
As office professionals we take the hits, bombs, and various attacks that come with the office. We need to arm ourselves with the appropriate skills to fight and win the war! Get the knowledge and tools you need to go to combat.