invest in your professional development

Administrative Assistants, How to Co-invest In Your Future

I can’t tell you the number of times people have told me they won’t attend a conference or training program if their employer will not pay for it. Additionally, many people will not even purchase a book or online program for themselves. I find this amazing as investing in your education is the best investment you can make. You will always get a great return on your investment (providing you are grasping the information and doing something with it.)

I was an employee for 20 years before I started my own business. I was in the administrative profession for all 20 years and I did not earn nearly what assistants earn today. Yes, I wanted my employers to pay for my education or training or to send me to a conference. And most often, they did. But I also spent my own hard-earned money to learn and become the best assistant I could. When I left the workforce as an employee and started my own business, I did not have much money and I did not have clients. However, I invested what funds I did have on learning and developing myself in my new career as a corporate trainer, business owner, and speaker. And have continued that for 28 years.

I understand you don’t want to spend your own money but that is a short-term view. Instead think of the long-term payoff when you invest in yourself, education and development.

There can be a happy medium. I am calling it co-investing. In other words, you invest in your education and your company invests in your education. So when your executive or management says no to you attending a conference, workshop or purchasing e-books or online training, tell them you will pay 40% or even 50%. This way they will see that you really want this education; that you are serious about your career and that you are willing to put some skin in the game. Your executive will be more inclined to go to bat for you and get the funds. Also, by co-investing, you are adding to your bag of skills which you will take with you the rest of your life.

Another way of co-investing that I’ve seen with assistants who have attended our annual conference for assistants or our World Class Assistant™ certification program is where the assistant paid for her accommodations and travel while the company paid for the registration costs. Or the assistant used vacation time and paid the registration while the company paid all travel expenses.

Be creative. You can create a win-win and secure your career in the future by investing in yourself. You might want to mull this over as you lounge by the pool or sit by the lake this summer. Open your mind to seeing yourself as someone worth investing in. This way you will be prepared when fall comes and you start looking at some educational opportunities for yourself.

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