How Professional Development Fuels Career Advancement for Admins

April 30, 2024


Professional Development

Professional development plays a pivotal role in driving career growth for administrative professionals. Take Sarah for example, an administrative professional in the fast-paced world of event management. At a recent industry conference, Sarah immersed herself in workshops and seminars on event planning, technology trends, and customer service strategies. 

After the conference, Sarah decided to enroll in a certificate program for event planners. Through coursework and hands-on projects, she honed her skills in budget management, risk assessment, and crisis management, earning a certificate that sets her apart in the industry. In fact, our research indicates that certified admins like Sarah command nearly $4,000 more in annual compensation compared to non-certified admins. This investment in her career not only secured Sarah a well-deserved pay increase but also boosted her career opportunities. Explore even more of our research in Professional Development: Recognition That Matters to Administrative Professionals.

Here, we delve into the pivotal role that professional development plays in driving career advancement for administrative professionals. From expanding skill sets to fostering leadership capabilities, we explore how a well-rounded approach to professional development can propel your career forward.

Key Professional Development Opportunities for Admins

With packed schedules and endless responsibilities, prioritizing professional development can be a challenge. Yet, to advance effectively in your career, you must make time for high-value development opportunities that directly contribute to your goals and career trajectory. This involves selecting opportunities that not only enhance hard skills like technical proficiency and industry knowledge but also nurture soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities. By strategically combining opportunities to develop both hard and soft skills, you can add tangible value to your resume.

1. Fuel immersive learning and professional networking opportunities with workshops and conferences

Workshops and conferences are essential for admins because they offer a convenient platform for learning, networking, and staying updated on industry trends and technologies. 

While some employers may be willing to cover the costs of courses and conferences, they typically seek tangible returns on their investment. Therefore, it's not just about selecting learning opportunities that align with personal interests, but also about strategically choosing those that demonstrate tangible value to the employer. Select sessions that align with both organizational goals and your own career aspirations.

When you receive the session agenda ahead of a conference or workshop, take the time to review it and prioritize sessions that offer: 

  • Hands-on workshops to develop skills relevant to your current responsibilities and goals

  • Roundtable discussions where thought leaders share insights on emerging trends and best practices

  • Opportunities to collaborate with peers or network with professionals

2. Certify your proficiency with formal educational courses in key concepts, theories, and best practices

Earning accredited certifications or completing specific courses can significantly enhance your resume, particularly in fields where educational qualifications are valued.

For admins at the start of their careers, consider courses in: 

  • Written and verbal communication skills crucial for professional correspondence

  • Commonly used office productivity tools such as Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, project management software, and customer relationship management systems

  • Project management fundamentals to showcase your ability to plan and oversee projects

  • Essential administrative support skills including scheduling, records management, travel coordination, and event planning

  • Relevant ethical stands and regulatory requirements

For admins aiming to advance their careers, consider more advanced topics such as: 

  • Advanced business writing and communication to master persuasive writing and professional presentations

  • Leadership and management skills for strategic thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making

  • Mastery of advanced features and applications of office productivity software

3. Refine essential skills with online courses and webinars

Compared to traditional in-person training programs and conferences, online courses and webinars offer a more cost-effective and accessible option, accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Led by subject matter experts and industry leaders, these virtual courses provide:

  • Self-Directed Learning: Admins can explore topics at their own pace, focusing on skills that align with their career goals

  • Interactive Multimedia Content: Videos, quizzes, and discussions enhance information retention and make complex concepts more accessible

  • A Wide Range of Educational Resources: E-books, articles, case studies, and recorded presentations are available for reference

Virtual learning supplements more traditional hands-on methods like workshops and seminars, providing opportunities to reinforce key concepts or explore topics in greater depth.

Explore our library of webinar resources, offering a diverse selection of free and paid courses, both live and on demand. Covering a range of interests and expertise levels, from staying updated on artificial intelligence trends to mastering workplace boundaries, our webinars have something for everyone. Dive into our webinar library.

Unlock Your Earning Potential with Professional Development Opportunities

New research from ASAP’s Professional Development: Recognition That Matters to Administrative Professionals white paper reveals that compensation trends for admins are on the rise. That means now is the perfect opportunity to invest in professional development opportunities. Whether it’s attending in-person events (such as APC and EA Ignite), pursuing certification (such as PACE), or participating in online courses (such as ASAP webinars or courses), these resources can propel your career to new heights. 

Explore the Research Here!

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American Society of Administrative Professionals

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