So you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to go back to school” or “I won’t feel right being in a room filled with people who could be my kids or at least a very young sister or brother”. The fact of the matter is that in today’s economy, acquiring additional education and training is becoming a requirement from the employer and for your professional development. So if you don’t have time for a degree or traditional classroom setting, then seek knowledge in one of the following 6 ways. Getting educated can be as easy as 1-2-3-4-5-6!
1. Take an online course
There are a host of online courses available for the adult learner. Do your homework. You may want to make sure the course is a credit course so that in the future the credit(s) may be transferable. Check with your local educational institution for scheduling and times. Be ware online learning takes a lot of discipline and responsibility. You have the luxury of attending class whenever and wherever you like as long as you have access to a computer. Just think all from the comfort of your home in your jammies. You will definitely enhance writing, teambuilding, communication, and computer skills in the process.
2. Register for a professional development workshop or seminar.
I am sure you have received a brochure advertising a workshop in your area and you filed it in the “rectangular file.” The next time you receive one take a moment to read through the content. There are many topics offered in the realm of professional development. Topics include: communicating effectively, tips/tricks for MS Office software programs, business writing, etc.
Visit Skillpath Seminars and National Seminars Training are two companies that offer affordable seminars. These seminars may enlist 1-2 day training. In some cases, you can pay for one registration and bring a colleague for free! Also, if the program proves to be beneficial to you in the workplace, your employer may pay the registration fee. It doesn’t hurt to ask and this could be included in your performance review.
3. Join a professional development organization.
Professional development organizations will provide opportunities for networking with other like-minded professionals, receive publications and newsletters to keep you up-to-date with today’s office professional, yield leadership opportunities , and offer education programs that will give you the necessary tools for being a superstar professional.
The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)
American Society of Administrative Professionals
These are just to name a few. These sites offer templates, tips, advice, webinars and allow you to connect with other members to get questions answered. Some will require a yearly membership fee; this is a small investment into your career, and the return on investment (ROI) is endless.
4. Check out Free training online.
Microsoft Office is great for providing FREE tutorials online such as in computer software programs Excel, Word, and Powerpoint. Another site that offers free tutorials and courses is HP. All you have to do is sign up and you can complete them at your leisure.
5. Get certified.
Getting a certification is another way to prove your skills in training. Microsoft Office offers various business certification programs, such as Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS). Visit http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mbc.aspx
The IAAP offers the Certified Administrative Professional and the Certified Professional Secretary certifications. Each shows off your expertise in the field and both certifications are recognized as official designations and serves as an added skillset to employers.
6. Join a Blog Community.
If you have gotten this far in this post, you are on the road to success. Subscribing to a blog will give you inside information on various topics. There are so many blog communities on the internet that inform their readers of a variety of subject areas. Here is a small list of blogs I have come across that give insightful information:
Laughing all the Way to Work by Patricia Robb
This blog discusses humorous office antics during a “not so typical” workday. Watch out! You may learn something.
Joan Burge’s Administrative Blog
Joan Burge, the CEO/Founder of Office Dynamics created this blog for the Star Assistant. She has written two books, is a professional speaker, and has hosted numerous seminars and workshops. This blog discusses many different topics relating to the office professional.
As busy, working professionals our lives are filled with deadlines, schedules, and unexpected surprises, we owe it to ourselves to remain competitive in today’s market. Staying connected is a part of our jobs, how will you?