July 26, 2010

Administrative Assistant Training Decisions

If you're seeking administrative assistant training or executive assistant training and professional development on a budget (and who isn't on a budget these days), it can be tough to decide just where to invest your dollars. Even if it's not your personal funds but rather your company's dollars allotted for your training and development, you still have tough choices to make.

Perhaps you want to create a professional development and training plan for you, or for your administrative assistant and executive assistant team. But you want to make smart choices when choosing from the many advertised administrative assistant training and professional development options. How do you do that? Where do you start? And why is this such a tough decision? The choices are tough because...

...that administrative assistant conference taking place on the West coast looks interesting. But so does the conference for executive assistants being offered at a Southeast destination the following month. You can't afford both. But wait...there's more.

There is an alternative to traveling further than your chair. It's a Webinar being offered next month that's filled with information and training for administrative assistants and executive assistants (or so it says in the descriptive sales copy). Hmmm. Could be interesting.

But you know what...those books for administrative assistants and executive assistants for sale at your nearest bookstore look useful too. However, once again, that fixed budget is getting in the way. You can't choose all of these administrative assistant training and development options. It's not financially possible.

So what's it going to be?

Should you do the conference, the Webinar, or the self-study books? Tough decision. They all look great; they all claim to be filled with information tailored to the needs of office professionals like administrative assistants and executive assistants.

So which is going to be most worthwhile for you in your administrative professional job and career?

And how much professional development and training do you need as an administrative assistant or executive assistant?

And the answer is...

"It depends."

Big help, right?

There is no "one answer fits all administrative assistants and executive assistants."

The answer depends on your specific needs. So, you have to define that first. Here's how...

When planning professional development and training, try "working backward." That means think of what specific outcome you want, what specific behavior you want to change, what specific problem you have, and so forth; then research for the solution (which would be the training, classes, etc.).

This helps you fine-tune your professional development path and narrow down your choices of which classes and training will be worthwhile to you (and your employer).

On the contrary, a lot of administrative assistants and executive assistants mistakenly do it the other way around. That is, they find classes and other training resources and then try to think of what value they'll get out of them.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

That's like deciding you'll take a trip to Disney World and then deciding why the trip will be fun for you. You would never plan in that manner. That's the wrong order. Do an "about face" now!

I mention this point in the report recommendations section on p. 33 of the 54-page report called SPECIAL REPORT #4: Administrative Professionals Investing in Professional Development and Training.

This report may give you more insight when creating your professional development and training plan, and even with getting buy-in from your employer (if you're looking for your company to fund part, or all, of your training and development plan). But that's not all that's in this report. More details and cost for this special report, which is related to administrative assistant training and executive assistant training and professional development, are at


This report may give you something worth thinking about and more clarity when deliberating your next move in your executive assistant training or administrative assistant training and professional development plan. Don't just "wing it" with your professional development and training as an administrative assistant or executive assistant. Spend your money and your time wisely (including that of your employer). Think it through. Analyze your needs, specifically. Work backward from your desired outcome to your solution. Only then will you know what professional development and training will be worthwhile for you at this time.

(c) 2010 Karen Porter; All rights reserved

Karen Porter is a job performance and career success coach and advisor to administrative professionals and the founder and president of The Effective Admin and Virtual Association for Administrative Professionals: "My specialty is serving administrative professionals like you with job performance and career management advice. I have more than 24 years of experience interacting with the 'real' workplace and working administrative professionals."