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  • feedwordpress 17:30:24 on 2018/03/07 Permalink
    Tags: Career Management, , , ,   

    What Assistant Certification Courses Are Best For You? 

    assistant_certification

    Are assistant certification courses necessary?

    At Office Dynamics, we are noticing a tremendous amount of interest in executive assistant certification or administrative assistant certification courses or programs. We regularly see interest in our certificate-based designation programs, World Class Assistant™ Certification program or our Star Achievement Series® Certification and Designation curriculum. This proves assistants are getting serious about their career and training and HR departments are valuing continued education for this role.

    More and more, administrative professionals are asking my opinion on having a certification. I hear questions like, “Will this give me an advantage in the workplace?” “Will I get more money with a certification?” “Is certification for the administrative profession becoming a requirement in the business world?”

    I am pleased that there is an interest in this topic because I am working with some top-notch organizations who are thinking the same thing – as they look to the future and what they will require of individuals coming into their organization and want to make a career in the administrative field. The good news for you is I have a lot of opinions and facts to share with you. So let’s just begin; my ideas are in no particular order, except for the first one.

    Assistant_CertificationFirst and foremost, it is not a document, paper, degree, certification or designation that makes a world class or star assistant. I have seen many assistants who have a designation from a well-known association and are not star performers in their job. I have observed on the job, at their workstation (for 2 days), executive assistants who have been in the field for 20+ years and are not stars or have ‘prima donna’ attitudes; feeling they have no more to learn or they arealready at the top of their game. I have seen young people in the profession who are smart, bright and great administrative or personal executive assistants who are very successful. In fact, in the past week, I was surrounded by 4 young, bright administrative professionals who are truly going to be successful as they continue to mature in the profession and as individuals.

    Second, I believe in all training, learning, and education. It will not hurt you to have a certification and to a potential employer, demonstrates you take your profession seriously and like to learn. When I interview people for any type of administrative position within Office Dynamics, I always look to see if they have any kind of continued learning or education on their resume. Then I focus in on whether the interviewee has taken workshops or classes in the administrative profession.

    Related Posts:

    Ok, now that I have that off my mind…

    What is going on out there with assistant certification and career paths?

          1. I am working with a few very large organizations that are going to require an administrative certification or 2-year college degree in business administrative coupled along with administrative-specific training such as our Star Achievement Series®.
          2. Understand the difference between Certificate of Completion, Certification, and a professional designation. Normally, attendees receive a Certificate of Completion for attending a seminar, workshop, online course, even webinars and more. In most cases, Certifications are obtained through associations and meeting specific requirements. There are some special situations, though, as with our Star Achievement Series® course and World Class Assistant course. We offer a Curriculum-Based Certification and Designation. Both of these programs are a series or have multiple parts. Our clients “begged” me to figure out how this could be offered as more of their administrative employees attended either program. After a tremendous amount of research and discussions with the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) (Update: now known as Association for Talent Development-ATD), I learned how Office Dynamics could offer this. In addition to attendance, there is a list of objectives students have to meet; students have to demonstrate newly-learned skilled in the class; obtain a letter from their leader stating the behavior changes observed in the workplace and more. These are “no fluff” classes, although we have great fun while learning.
          3. Be prepared for big changes in the future as employers realize their baby boomer executive assistants will be leaving the workforce in about 5 years; the administrative role has shifted tremendously in the past 10 years, and managers are technically savvy and become more independent. You will have to support leaders in a new way and the bar has definitely been raised.
          4. The need for interpersonal skills is at an all-time high and its prominence will grow. When you look for administrative classes, be sure to seek out these competencies. This role is not just about technical skill. Yes, you need to be tech savvy and learn the numerous programs. Just remember, behind the technology is a person. When you send an email, a person is opening that email. When you leave a voicemail, a person is listening to your message. Even when you IM, a person is reading it.
          5. Certification seems to have more prominence today as we daily see the interest in Office Dynamics classes that provide a certification.

          Bottom line… if I were interviewing you today, I would not require a certification or even initials after your name. It’s who you are and how you perform on the job. But since the world is now saying this is important, then a professional certification in the administrative profession could serve you well.

          What are your thoughts? Do you have an administrative designation or some special type of certification? If so, has it helped you in the workplace? Any suggestions for our readers?

    The post What Assistant Certification Courses Are Best For You? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:30:58 on 2018/02/28 Permalink
    Tags: , Career Management,   

    What is Holding Your Brand Back? PART 3 

    By Anel Martin

    Well, that is a big question!

    Personally, I think what is holding us back from powerful, successful and valuable brands is the same thing that holds us back from fulfilling careers and happy lives. That is a big statement but here goes! I think it is the inability to speak up, trying to fit in, not being able to decide and FOCUS, believing we don’t deserve it (whatever “IT” is for you), lack of self-discipline and confidence.

    So let’s run the list down:

    1. Speaking up

    The old saying goes “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no” so many things in the world just get swept under the carpet, so many opportunities go to waste because we are unable to speak truth to power or make ourselves heard. How many times have you sat in a management meeting and had the most phenomenal idea (but you said nothing)? Well, I rest my case. If you want a strong brand you will need to find your voice. Start small, but start now!

    1. Fitting in

    The Industrial Age wanted us to fit in and be interchangeable because our offices were a factory, a big machine and if you were too special or different you were not replaceable. Remember that in the 4th Industrial Age people will pay more for special, unique and different. The artists and problem solvers will thrive (the people who do “human work” and creative work) they will pay for art but not for painting. So the challenge is to let go of this old wiring of being the same and fitting in. It will not serve you in the future.

     

    One of the most tragic things people say to me once I start working with them on brand is that if they make these radical changes/improvements their team members (most specifically other PAs) will notice and be judgemental (thinking they are trying to suck up to or impress the boss). To me, this speaks to a lack of team cohesion, insecurity (on their part) and a low-performance culture. Remember that it is your career and they don’t pay your bills. So do what you need to do to create the life you really deserve. Don’t let the critics slow you down. Cream floats to the top, always and without exception!

     

    1. Indecision and lack of focus and action

    What do you really want? It is a big question, and for most of us, an open-ended one because we don’t want to commit and make a decision. We happily float along in the grey area which has become our comfort zone. I could change things, improve things but that would require hard work, dealing with resistance and challenge.  So instead of doing what is important, we stay in the “urgent and too busy zone” when it comes to focus areas and priorities. Is it any wonder that so many of us feel stuck and uninspired? Are you living the same day, every day?

     

    1. Not feeling deserving

    I am not special, why should this happen or work out for me? Why should I get the promotion or the praise? Well, if you don’t believe you are good enough, no one else will either. This is an inside job and REAL work needs to be done on correcting and improving our inner dialogues. No one can fix this except you.

     

     

    1. No self-discipline

    Doing the work requires discipline. Standing out from the crowd and excelling requires you to do things, create habits and keep hours that few others would agree to or be able to maintain. This is what separates the good from the GREAT! What is YOUR STANDARD? What do you require from yourself? I am not asking you to strive for perfection but to focus on excellence, quality, and good value for money. I am asking you to do the hard work because the results are worth it! Self-discipline is not for reward or recognition, it is about YOU, your goals and ambitions!

     

    1. Low or no confidence

    Your brand cannot thrive until you can cure yourself from imposter syndrome and from that voice in your head that mistakes assertiveness and confidence for rudeness and arrogance.

    • Learn to say no.
    • Learn to respect yourself.
    • You are a LIMITED EDITION – OWN IT!
    • You only get one chance to do this, there are no do-overs.
    • What is the worst thing that could happen? Keep asking yourself that!
    • That voice in your head is a broadcast from behind enemy lines – tune OUT.
    • Learn to look after yourself physically and emotionally.

    My challenge to you is to break out and break free from these factors. You have unlimited potential, you were born into genius and it is time to escape from mediocre! Build a brand that earns you more money, more respect, more opportunities and creates more impact in the world and in your life. Be brave and walk TALL.

    How Do I Increase My Brand Value? PART 1

    Creating a Brand Story – Part 2

    Anel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za

    The post What is Holding Your Brand Back? PART 3 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:00:47 on 2018/02/10 Permalink
    Tags: Career Management, ,   

    Creating a Brand Story – Part 2 

    training_for_administrative_assistantsBy Anel Martin

    You know that awkward moment in the interview when they ask you about your areas of excellence, or that moment you need to introduce yourself to someone new at a business networking event (and your response sounds a bit rehearsed) or you run into the CEO in the elevator and they want to know who you are and what you do at the company.

    If you have ever felt vulnerable or embarrassed in these situations you need a Brand Story and Part Two of this series is just for you!

    So what is a brand story?

    Well, it is like an elevator pitch, just not as robotic or plastic! It is a true story about your talents and gifts. It is something that can be recited at will without rehearsal because it is TRUE and comes from your heart.  So let’s get practical.

    Step 1 Make a list of what you are really good at/recent achievements (at least 10).

    I am being literal here, so write down your areas of excellence and recent successes. Doing this on paper or on your laptop takes it out of your head and makes it more concrete.

    Step 2 Stuck? That is totally normal. Time to consult with a friend or colleague.

    It is funny (but maybe sad) that I have done this exercise with hundreds of assistants from across the world and writing down their strengths is a major challenge, but on the flip side you can ask them about their development or problem areas and they can give you two dozen without missing a beat. If you are stuck, know that this is normal.

    The solution is to consult with a trusted friend or colleague to help you compile your list. This is very useful because they might mention things you have not even thought about and also help you do a reality check on your existing list.

    The key is to be open to the feedback.

    Step 3 Trim down the list to 6 (but NOT less than 4).

    Go through the list and pick your top 6. Trim it down for maximum impact. Eliminate similar skills or merge items that can be grouped logically.

    Step 4 Rank from 1 to 6 (1 being best).

    As the title suggests look at your list and prioritize. Again the help of a trusted advisor will be valuable if you are unsure.

    Step 5 Write a concise, strong, short and clear one-liner about this skill.

    Do a one-liner for each of the 6 skills/abilities. Keep it simple and direct (research has proven that people will rate you are more intelligent if you use simple language, so don’t try and be too fancy).

    Avoid clichés like I am an excellent team player, I work well without supervision, I am a perfectionist. All of these things may be true but if you can’t find a more original way of expressing the same idea then please omit it altogether.

    EXAMPLE OF A BRAND STORY

    1. If I commit, I deliver.
    2. I am not shy and I take big risks.
    3. I am a connector of people and ideas.
    4. I have passion.
    5. I am kind and enjoy people.
    6. I am a time management expert and I get things done.

    Step 6 Test this Brand Story on yourself and your inner circle

    Test drive your brand story. Does it feel real? Would you be embarrassed to tell someone your brand story, if yes, it needs more work?

    It should be true, it should be natural and easy to articulate. Get feedback from others once you are ready to share.

    Use your brand story to update your CV, Linkedin or to position yourself for the next opportunity that comes your way. This is a very powerful tool to “sell” your brand in an authentic way and I hope that you find these tips useful.

    If you have questions or problems with creating your brand story you are welcome to reach out to me via my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/PA-20-Upgrade-Yourself-530299150373650/ or Twitter @anelmartin I am always happy to help!

    Anel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za

    The post Creating a Brand Story – Part 2 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:00:48 on 2018/01/26 Permalink
    Tags: , Career Management, ,   

    How Do I Increase My Brand Value? PART 1 

    training_for_administrative_assistantsBy Anel Martin

    “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos.  I have to thank Jeff, as I have not found a better way to explain personal brands in all the years I have been exploring the subject.

    There are a few things we need to understand (from my point of view and experience) when it comes to brand:

    1. Your brand already exists (whether you know it or not)
    2. Your brand has value attached to it (actual financial and opportunity based benefits)
    3. A successful brand is not created by faking it
    4. The strongest brand is not the one that is sold the most aggressively
    5. Your brand is not your appearance (although it may influence your brand and how you are perceived)
    6. A powerful brand relies on confidence (not to be confused with arrogance)

    So how do we authentically enhance our brand value?

    B –Build skill sets

    The working world has changed so much in the last few years and will continue to do so. In fact, the prediction is that in 5 years’ time, only 15% of what you know right now will still be relevant. So, continuous development is not a “nice to have” but a survival strategy. Development no longer has to cost money; there are tons of free resources available. It will now require time, discipline and commitment.

    We also need to be aware that in the future there will be more focus on what we called “soft skills” a few years ago (as it will be assumed that you already have the technical ability) (See WEF Top 10 Skills for 2020 ) so take that into account when planning your development.

    We have also just entered the Connection Economy (check out Seth Godin’s video for more information about this) which will bring radical shifts in the way we work and connect with others. Creating new skills sets and being able to apply them with generosity and enthusiasm will definitely give you the edge.

    R – Reputation management

    When we look at reputation management we need to think about how we communicate (in the real world and online), the standard of work we consistently produce, our ethics, how organized and punctual we are and most importantly OUR attitude.

    It is not what you do on the days you feel good that determines your reputation; it is what you do daily. The small activities, words and actions accumulate to form the picture. The old saying goes “Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard”

    These are major factors that influence not only our own brands but also the co-brand that we have with our manager/s, but that is a blog for another day.

    A – Authenticity

    No one likes a fake; it is true no matter where you go in the world. A truly amazing brand cannot be a projection, imitation or a mirage. It is ok to talk a good game but you MUST be able to back it up with consistent action. Find your own voice, your own unique talents and contributions and bring them into your work. Don’t be a copy. People pay good money for originals, not cheap knock-offs.

    N- Network

    In our roles “who you know” is extremely important.  Having a strong, reliable network helps you solve problems, find opportunities, grow relationships and organically enhances your brand (IF YOU ARE ADDING VALUE TO YOUR NETWORK).

    Networking should be done online (there is a very dynamic, active and diverse group of assistants online from across the globe and it is easy to plug into these groups via LinkedIn or Facebook) but importantly, networking should also be done in the real world. Take time to attend events, speak to people you have not met before in the office (even just a friendly greeting will do) and take opportunities to grow your circle. Your network = your net worth, it doesn’t matter how great you are if no one knows about you. I am not encouraging you to brag but to be confident and to OWN IT!

    D – Dependability

    A brand is nothing if you are not consistent. Being phenomenal today and poor tomorrow doesn’t serve you, as you are not dependable and you are therefore eroding trust. If you can’t be a star every day then pick a level you are comfortable with and stay in that zone until you are ready to level up. This applies to work that you produce; commitments made and kept, communication, your personal appearance, and emotional intelligence.

    If you are wondering how healthy your current brand is please feel free to do the FREE Brand Health Assessment at http://www.anelmartin.co.za/brand-health-assessment.html

    training_for_assistantsAnel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za

    The post How Do I Increase My Brand Value? PART 1 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:10:13 on 2017/12/12 Permalink
    Tags: , Career Management,   

    10 Myths About Professional Training – Infographic 

    professional_training

    “Have you ever heard someone say that earning a certification won’t make much of a difference in getting a job? Or that most employers won’t pay for off-site professional development courses or seminars? In the following infographic, findcourses.com dives into ten of the most common myths revolving around professional development and training in an attempt to find the truth behind the myths!

    Take a look at the facts and figures below, taken from some of the leading authorities in the world of training, and decide for yourself if there is truth behind these myths or if there are more opportunities for, and benefits to professional development than you thought!”

    10 Myths About Professional Training 10 Myths About Professional Training by findcourses.com

    The post 10 Myths About Professional Training – Infographic appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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