‘One of my bosses did not see the value of sending staffs to professional seminars and conferences. I did not stop asking him every year – and finally he gave in. Later on, I found out what I should have replied to his frequent question: ‘What if I train you and you leave?’ Of course I should have said: ‘What if you don’t train me and I stay!’
Heli Puputti, European Chairperson for
European Management Assistants (2003–07)
Each and every one of us needs to continually learn and develop if we want to be at the top of our game, lead fulfilling exciting lives, have the knowledge to teach our children, be successful and reach our goals. If we don’t learn something new then: ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got’ (WL Batemen). There is also a saying: ‘you learn something new every day’.
This is especially true if you open yourself up to opportunities such as project work. Imagine what you can achieve by actively seeking out your own learning and development. Wanting to continually self-develop says something about your personality, professionalism, self-worth and drive. For all of us it means we become more effective and more interesting as we learn.
What is most evident is that people who are willing to learn are the most successful. When secretarial award competitions are being judged, being proactive in continual self-development is one of the criteria.
‘Attending courses for executive assistants, managing time and
so on is a good idea. Sometimes, it’s just good to hear the same
thing again. Computing and soft skills are also important. Keeping
up to date with new packages is critical and I would suggest a
strong familiarity with Microsoft Outlook.’
Lisa Rodgers, Times Crème/Hays PA of the Year 2007
Assistants need to keep up with the latest technology, computer programs, and electronic gadgets that affect our daily living. Some bosses may need dragging and kicking into using them but they’ll thank you in the end. Learning is a necessary work and life skill!
Continual development is about feeling the fear and facing it anyway, taking yourself out of your comfort zone, learning new skills and behaviors, and gaining knowledge. Do something you haven’t done before that will stretch you and increase your skills and abilities and leave you feeling exhilarated. It could be organizing a secretarial communication meeting, chairing it and possibly presenting at it. It could be taking on a project for your boss or your organisation. It could be attending networking events and meeting new people.
‘To become a successful assistant(In your career) you need to be interested in everything that is going on around you, and to constantly try to learn and understand what the other responsibilities are. Continuous development/learning is the best way to be successful and you should not be afraid to get involved with project work even if it is outside your remit.’
If you want to shine in your role, take a look at the training courses we offer at Bingo Traders. Designed specifically for EAs, PAs, Admins, Office Managers,… , these learning opportunities provide the skills and knowledge you’ll need to excel.
Sue France / Photo on Unsplash