Gone are the days where the main requirements for administrative professionals are solely to type documents and answer phones. In a constantly evolving world, one needs to have a varying array of skills, to have a long-lasting career. Acquiring new skills and planning your development for the future is what’s known as futureproofing yourself.

Futureproofing yourself requires keeping abreast of local and global trends in your profession, your industry and anticipate which skills will be needed so that you don’t find yourself at the losing end of a competitive job market.

Upcoming Course: Implementing Everyday Emotional Intelligence for Secretaries and PAs

There was a time when companies couldn’t survive without fax machines and now, thanks to advancements like emails, the fax machine now occupies a space at the back of a company’s storeroom. You don’t want to become the proverbial fax machine!

So to prevent that from happening, we’ve identified 3 ways to futureproof yourself and enjoy longevity in your career:

Education and Training:

Part of futureproofing yourself is to have the necessary education to complement your work experience. With the job market being so competitive, having a diploma or even a degree is not enough to stay relevant. Attending training courses frequently will go a long way in continuously developing your skillsets.

Attending courses from a reputable institution like CBM Training will help you in staying up to speed with the demands and expectations of your ever-changing job requirements. An added benefit to staff training is companies are generally keen to fund staff training, due to the tax and skills development benefits they can get.

Broad Technology Skills:

Most of our daily tasks are now done electronically, so it’s not enough only being skilled in Microsoft Office. You need to stand out from the crowd and using programmes like Google Forms, Google Calendars and WeTransfer will all aid in making you more proficient in your job.

The benefit of expanding your technological skillset means that you have more to offer. Increasing your versatility will demonstrate what an asset you truly are to your organisation.

Strong Communication and EQ Skills:

Since you communicate with so many different people every day, having strong communication and emotional intelligence (EQ) skills are essential.  Knowing what to say and how to say it is critical to prevent any potential misunderstandings and solve potential problems. When communicating, don’t just talk; also listen to what others are saying. Very often, their body language and tone are a dead giveaway if they are genuinely interested in what you are saying. Showing empathy can also be helpful and help you earn trust and respect amongst your peers.

Upcoming Course: Adam Fidler’s ‘The Indispensable Executive Assistant’

In a country as diverse as South Africa, it’s also very advantageous if you communicate in more than one language.  Particularly with businesses focussing on transformation, being multilingual will go a long way in futureproofing your career.

Futureproofing yourself is a continuous process. It’s essential for all professionals, administrators included. The world is continuously evolving and to avoid becoming obsolete or redundant like the fax machine, your skills and knowledge need to evolve as well. Futureproofing yourself, will not only help you remain relevant in your current job, but it could also present you with a potential promotion opportunity in the future as well!

The Indispensable Executive Assistant


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