In today’s competitive workplace, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Employers want administrative and executive assistants with more than experience. They want true professionals—people who are committed to the administrative profession as a career choice, willing to invest in their own growth, and eager to go the extra mile to expand and prove their capability.
Many of the large corporations I have been working with in the last three years are requiring two degrees for currently-employed administrative assistants to be able to move up to senior executive assistant levels. There is even one large Fortune 50 company I work with who is requiring new hire administrative assistants to have a minimum of a two-year degree.
The landscape has definitely changed and it would behoove any executive assistant, administrative assistant, secretary or administrator to take a serious look into various types of credentialing or establishing their credibility.
There is a maze of options available. I am preparing to host the Office Dynamics March 10, 2015 free webinar called Why Assistants Should Consider Certification? While Office Dynamics has a few administrative certificate programs and curriculum-based designations, I had not realized the breadth of administrative certificate programs.
There are two main points I want to make in this blog:
- An administrative certificate or certification does not guarantee success, a salary increase, new title or promotion. It still boils down to what someone does with what they learn. I know assistants who have fancy titles or an acronym after their name but do not necessarily demonstrate professional excellence. On the other hand, I know several top-notch senior level executive assistants who do not have initials after their name and are very successful. You must not only have the aptitude but you need the right attitude. You need networks and you need to be visible.
- I fully support an assistant getting some type of certificate of completion, administrative certification or professional designation because it does show that a person has gone the extra mile and that they are serious about their career. To receive any of those, it takes:
e. Hard work
h. Investment in oneself . . .
. . . all of which translate into skills you need to be successful in the workplace. Hiring managers look for these traits and so do C-Suite executives when interviewing for a new assistant.
From 1970 – 1990, I worked in the administrative profession. I started out as a receptionist and quickly worked my way up to executive assistant supporting top executives. I was a long-time member of PSI (Professional Secretaries International). But it wasn’t until I was in the field for 17 years that I decided to strive for my CPS (Certified Professional Secretary) offered by PSI. It was a grueling process as there were no live classes in small little Asheville, NC where we were living at the time. I did all self-study. I went through 6 huge books and learned on my own (no study group) and took the exam and passed the first time! I didn’t strive for my CPS because I needed to get a good job or higher pay. I already had those things. I did it to challenge myself and learn new things, which I did. I was also able to add CPS to my tool kit which I took with me when we later moved to Memphis, TN.
I hope you will attend our free webinar on March 10 as I delve into every aspect of certifications and designations; the types of certificate programs available to administrative and executive assistants; and things to consider when considering an assistant certificate program.