3 Ways to Raise Your Performance, Value, and Even Your Pay
May 13, 2014
Solid professional development in the form of professional certificates, certifications, and continuing education has long-term professional benefits. These three are essential because they provide a foundation for your career and create a path for moving from where you are to where you want to go. They can’t be beat if you want to:
- Boost your value and performance in the workplace and the marketplace
- Document your mastery of key skills and best practices for administrative professionals
- Generate new ideas and contribute better solutions
- Open up career and promotion opportunities, differentiating yourself from other candidates
- Get increased recognition of your competence and expertise in the field from peers, employers, and recruiters
Admins and managers understand that these credentials show your ability to keep up with the evolving demands of the field. Here’s what to look for:
- Certificates are issued when you complete a focused non-degree educational program, typically in your field or a field you would like to move into. A certificate tells the world that you have successfully completed a targeted educational program. A prime example of a national-level certificate for admins and assistants is ASAP’s PACE Certificate. The PACE certificate is unique because it allows you to tailor coursework to your needs and provides credit for courses from a variety of training providers.
- Certification refers to successfully completing a testing program in a specific field. You do not have to have attended any training courses; however, you must pass the test for that field. The essential certifications for administrative professionals today are Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) or Expert tests. Roughly 98% of companies use Microsoft Office applications, and 86% of hiring managers indicate that IT certifications are a priority. MOS certifications are a portable credential and document your mastery of the fundamental tools of your profession.
- Continuing Education programs are instructional or training programs that bring you up to date in a particular area of knowledge or skills. These would include seminars, workshops, webinars, e-learning, and professional conferences. When selecting training, take into consideration the format that will work best for you and for the topic. Look for providers that have demonstrated knowledge of the administrative field and the skills needed. Organizations like the American Society of Administrative Professionals offer targeted admin training in a variety of formats including live and on-demand webinars, Online Training Courses, live regional meetings, and an annual Conference (the Administrative Professionals Conference, or APC) that brings together admins and assistants from across North America and around the world.