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  • feedwordpress 17:30:24 on 2018/03/07 Permalink
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    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 16:45:43 on 2018/02/23 Permalink
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    When Is The Last Time You Thanked Your Assistant? 

    Thanked_Your_Assistant

    When is the last time you thanked your assistant? Expressing your gratitude could increase your productivity.

    I was in California speaking to a group of administrative assistants at a large corporation when one of the assistants told me how much a compliment from her executive means to her. She said, “When my executive tells me I’m doing a great job, I want to do even more for him.” “I want to go the extra mile; produce quality work; take things off my executive’s plate.”

    It may seem like a small thing to you, but it carries a great deal of weight to your assistant. Try to remember to let your administrative or executive assistant know when she or he has done something that is to your liking or meets your expectations. It will go a long way.

    When was the last time you thanked your assistant? We’d like to know in the comments below. 

    What’s stopping you from taking the time to thank your assistant?

    We’ve shared some insights into some of the biggest draw-back in these related articles.

    Are you too busy for the most important partner in your office?

    Executives and Assistants are Struggling Today.

    Not sure how to express your gratitude? 5 Ways to say thank you to your assistant.

    Why do we care if you thank your assistant?

    Fun suggestions on where you can find your assistants strengths to compliment.

    121 Creative Ways To Reward Employees 

    EA_Guide_Store_Banner_Thanked_Your_Assistant

    The post When Is The Last Time You Thanked Your Assistant? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:07:03 on 2018/02/20 Permalink
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    Your Administrative Assistant Is Your Greatest Asset 

    Your_Greatest_Asset_Is_Your_assistant

    Your assistant is your greatest asset, or will be after you read this.

    In today’s fast-paced corporate world, many managers rely on the newest technology to help their company grow. Between e-mail, virtual assistants, smartphones, high-speed Internet connections and a host of other technological marvels, they mistakenly believe they are more independent than ever—making their own travel plans, managing their own Inbox, sending their own letters and scheduling their own meetings. In reality, however, these so-called independent managers have lost sight of the one asset that can truly impact the company’s bottom line: an empowered administrative assistant.

    Unfortunately many assistants (also known as administrative professionals) are not taken seriously. In order to make the most of your administrative professional and advance your company’s mission, you need to treat your assistant like a partner and develop their skills on a daily basis. Only then will they have the know-how and confidence to make decisions and take charge of challenges that arise during the day.

    Related: Assistants Speak Out, Their Biggest Struggles In Partnering With Their Executive

    Following are the top 4 ways to foster growth in your partnership with your assistant.

    1. Have regular meetings. Conducting daily or weekly meetings allows your assistant to gain a broader perspective of your company’s goals and what is currently going on in the organization. Attending these meetings also keeps your assistant abreast of upcoming projects and the status of existing ones. Armed with this knowledge he or she can intelligently answer questions for clients, follow-up on action items, monitor the progress of upcoming projects and also remind you of important tasks.
    2. Provide continual and constructive feedback. Many managers and executives neglect to give their assistant any kind of feedback—positive or negative. While they may be able to critique a specific project the person worked on, they’re hesitant to give an individual the praise or correction needed. If you want your assistant to grow professionally, you need to let her or him know how their performance rates with you.
    3. Be a mentor. While you may have an abundance of company information, such as brochures, web site content and catalogs, your assistant ultimately looks to you to teach her or him about the organization and business in general. You can help by mentoring on a regular basis. For example, when you make a decision, explain to your assistant why and how you came to your decision.
    4. Establish goals and state your expectations. Your administrative professional truly wants to help you look good. It’s difficult for this person to meet your expectations when you don’t clearly communicate them. To make your administrative assistant a greater asset to your business, clearly state what needs to be accomplished and why.

    No matter how advanced your office becomes, your administrative assistant will always prove to be your greatest asset. When you encourage your assistant to become a true work partner, you will become more productive.

    Joan Burge

    Underneath_It_All_assistantThis article is an excerpt from the book, Underneath It All: Postgraduate Level Revelations Lift Administrative Assistants to New Heights. Authored by Joan Burge, Founder & CEO, Office Dynamics International

    Related: Executives and Assistants Are Struggling Today

     

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    The post Your Administrative Assistant Is Your Greatest Asset appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:35:34 on 2017/04/06 Permalink
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    Gift Ideas For Administrative Professionals Day 

     

    Administrative Professionals_Day_Gift_IdeasFinding the perfect gift for your administrative assistant can be a daunting task since flowers and lunch no longer cut it. Today’s executive or administrative assistant wants a gift that is long-lasting. You might be thinking…. what about a cool coffee mug? Or what about a travel business tote or beautiful Levenger notepad and pen? Maybe you were considering a gift certificate to your assistant’s favorite restaurant or spa.

    While those might be lovely gifts, they don’t really have the same impact as the gift of education. And the gift of education does not come easy or often for your assistant. In fact, thousands of administrative assistants will never attend an in-depth training program, conference, or take an online course because his or her company won’t pay for it. How sad is that when you consider organizations will easily fund training for their executives and managers? Yet, the administrative assistants who support them every day, rarely let them down and give with their heart, get little training.

    If you want to be a stand-out executive with your assistant, I highly recommend giving one of the following gifts for Administrative Professionals Day or Week:

    ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS WEEK IS APRIL 24 – 28, 2017.

    If you’re an administrative professional, please leave a comment below and let the world know what you would like for Administrative Professionals Day!

    The post Gift Ideas For Administrative Professionals Day appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:18 on 2017/04/06 Permalink
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    NOT, “Just An Admin!” 

    Have you ever said, or heard an admin say, “I’m just an admin?” I have. And I’ll admit it – I’ve said it too. Then one day I discovered that every admin is valued and the true value of the profession of the administrative assistant!

    I’d like to share my journey of discovery with you. It began several years ago when I started working for Mr. H as a temp. What started out as a two-week assignment ended up lasting for seven years! During the first week, he asked me to take care of the accounts payable and receivable.

    I told him, “I’ve never done this before. I’m happy to help but I’m not a bookkeeper, I’m JUST an admin.” He said, “Look through our records and see if you can figure it out.”

    So I did!

    Later he asked me to figure out our DOS Computer Programming.

    I said, “Mr. H. I’m not a computer software expert, I’m JUST an admin.” He said, “I think you can do it and handed me the programmer’s binder.”

    It took time, effort, mistakes and a lot of painful focus to learn and ultimately, I was successful.

    Much later he told me we were going to relocate the office to a town 60 miles away. He asked me to find a location, negotiate a lease, remodel the space if needed and take care of all interior decorating and procurement.

    I said, “Mr. H I’ve never done this before. I’m not a contractor or an interior designer, I’m JUST an admin.” He said, “I think you can do it, let me know if you have any questions.”

    I got started, one small piece of the project at a time, one step at a time. Three months later I selected the location, negotiated the lease, remodeled the space and purchased new furniture, office equipment, and supplies. The project was successfully accomplished.

    Later I was recruited by Mr. W – he made it clear that my first priority was to create a highly functioning admin team and to assist him with his management team.

    I told him, “I’m honored to work for you. I’ve been an executive assistant for several years and I’ve received a lot of training but I’m not a facilitator or a trainer. I’m JUST an admin.” He said, “I know you are capable of this assignment and we need you to do a great job. I’ve got your back and I support your judgment 100%. If you run into any road blocks let me know.”

    It wasn’t easy, there was trial and error, lots of candid conversations and over time we were not only surviving, we were thriving. Mr. W’s confidence in me propelled my performance to a new level. I rose to his level of expectations. We became a united front and trusted and believed in each other.

    Years later, I was working for Mr. K, by this time I had much more experience and was confident in my capabilities. I knew I my job was to make him be more successful with me than he could be without me. We went through a huge reorganization and he routinely asked me for my feedback. I told him what he needed to hear, not what he wanted to hear. He valued and respected my feedback, even if the messages at times were difficult to hear. We developed a strong partnership and trusted one another completely.

    As I reflect upon my career, I can easily see how I was valued:

    • When Mr. W’s wife told her husband he needed me for his business partner, I knew I was more than JUST an admin. I was a trusted colleague.
    • When I was able to create a highly functioning admin team, I knew I was more than JUST an admin! I was a highly respected professional.
    • When Mr. K and I talked about what he wanted his lasting legacy to be and for seven years I helped make that legacy a reality, I knew I was more than JUST an admin! I was a trusted advocate and business partner.
    • When I helped Mr. K through his transition to retirement and assisted his replacement, Mr. A into his new role as the leader of the company, I knew I was more than JUST an admin! I was a change agent, confidant and advisor.

    I know my story is all too familiar for other administrative assistants. We are all more than “JUST” and admin. Administrative assistants go above and beyond and take on new assignments with little to no background, training or experience. Our role is no longer confined to typing letters, answering the phone, scheduling meetings and travel. The role of the administrative assistant requires a diverse skill set, high emotional intelligence and strong business acumen to get through the day to day environment of today’s demanding environment. At any given moment we are asked and expected to be:

    • Calendar Managers
    • Project Coordinators
    • Correspondence Experts
    • Facility Managers
    • Compliance Officers
    • Office Managers
    • Bookkeepers
    • Computer Software Experts
    • Key Influencers
    • Negotiators
    • Change Agents
    • Communication Specialists
    • Vendor Relationship Managers
    • Public Relation Managers
    • Personnel Managers
    • Trainers
    • Facilitators
    • Creative Event Planners
    • Expert Travel Agents
    • Leaders

    We are also the trusted confidant, the informed advisor, the compassionate counselor and the ambassador!

    Administrative assistants are the ultimate business partner and that is why YOU are valued!

    Join me in making the commitment to never, ever, ever, ever say, “I’m JUST an Admin” again! Instead, hold your head up high and say, I’m an Administrative Professional!

    By Peggy Vasquez

    International Speaker / Author / Chief Executive Assistant

    www.peggyvasquez.net

    Come see Peggy live at our 24th Annual Conference For Administrative Excellence!

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

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    The post NOT, “Just An Admin!” appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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