Microsoft Office is the most used tool for sharing and presenting information, and as such Office 365 has over 1.3 million company users worldwide. In order to fulfil most professional roles today, you’ll need to be more than familiar with Office. Most employers will expect you to be proficient in its common applications including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and (more recently) Teams.

In this article, we look at four reasons why you need MS Office training, and how this will benefit you as well as your employer!

Why is MS Office training important?

If you’re working as a Virtual Assistant (VA), Executive Assistant (EA) or Personal Assistant (PA), you’ll need a high standard of proficiency when it comes to using Office applications, and you’ll need to be on top of your game! Today’s clients will ask you to (and expect you to know how to) fulfil a range of tasks involving Office. These include creating presentations, scheduling meetings, managing social media posts, analysing data – and more!

Irrespective of the stage you’re at in your career, keeping your skills up to date and plugging any gaps is vital to both your productivity and your earning potential. Employers want assistants who can work independently, use their initiative and solve problems – fast! Technology is the cornerstone of almost every industry today and the corresponding skills are not nice-to-haves, they’re essential.

Despite this, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest software programs and releases which are introduced on an almost continuous basis. Gone are the days when you learned how to do something once and never had to update your knowledge! On top of this, many of us have simply never received any ‘official’ training in MS Office applications. This means it’s often been a case of learning on the job, e.g. by asking peers.

What MS Office training am I likely to need?

As a VA, PA or EA, employers may ask you to do some of the following using Office:

  • Word: Dealing with layout and formatting (e.g., setting margins, using tabs, using headers/footers, inserting page numbers, creating table of contents, working with complex tables), working with tracked changes, using mail merge.
  • PowerPoint: Adding and editing media, using slide masters, slide formatting (e.g., creating animations, managing slide transitions, adding slide narrations).
  • Excel: Organising data (e.g. sorting, using filters, database functions), dealing with calculations (e.g. using formula, lookup functions, statistical functions), using autofill/autocomplete, inserting charts, analysing data.
  • Outlook: Managing contacts, scheduling meetings, working with multiple calendars, organisational tasks (e.g. creating rules and sorting messages).
  • Teams: Manage tasks, messages and project updates from one place, work collaboratively and more efficiently with third parties, organise posts, conversations and files, schedule and run online meetings.

4 reasons why MS Office training will benefit you

Whilst training is typically a savvy career move in general, here are some compelling reasons for training in MS Office:

1)   Expand your career opportunities

Having a good grounding in MS Office will open up a wider range of career opportunities. It will also increase your value from a client or employer perspective. There’s really no such thing as a “safe gig” or “job for life” anymore and proactive individuals who are focused on upskilling and personal development are likely to be chosen over others.

2)   Gain a competitive advantage

MS Office skills are frequently prioritised and sought by organisations. Clients will usually expect you to have a good standard in Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel as a minimum. However, having advanced skills in any of these areas could make you a real asset – and give you that competitive edge!

3)   Work in a more agile way

Having in-depth knowledge of the array of tools and functions of MS Office will allow you to work in an agile and productive way. This applies regardless of the organisation or the sector you find yourself working in.

4)   Work more efficiently

Once you get some high-quality training under your belt, you’ll begin to develop strategies to increase your efficiency and output. Using the quickest and best direct route to completing tasks will allow you to dispense with a trial-and-error approach. This will save you much valuable time and energy!

Doing things well and quickly will also mean you’re much more likely to get repeat business from clients. Working through tasks in a competent way will also increase your self-confidence.

What MS Office training is available?

You only have to do a quick search in Google to see how many MS Office training courses there are! However, the quality of this training varies considerably, according to the provider. This can make selecting a suitable training course a tricky (and somewhat daunting) task.

Training in MS Office with Tomorrow’s VA

At Tomorrow’s VA, we offer a suite of MS Office training courses created by company founder Shelley Fishel – an experienced MS Office training provider of 20 years and a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute. As well as delivering training, Shelley is a regular speaker at events such as The PA Show, hosts her own ‘Virtually Amazing’ podcast, and has even written a series of 48 books and manuals about MS office applications! So, she certainly knows her stuff!

Our courses can be purchased either individually (on a ‘pay as you go’ basis) or packaged together in a discounted bundle known as ‘The Hub’. Members of The Hub will receive lifetime access to its content – with Shelley regularly adding new course material!

Investing in your personal development can, and will, pay off in the long term. You’re likely to recoup the cost of training in MS Office many times over if you’re working as a VA, PA or EA. So, with career benefits like these, you really can’t afford not to!

If you would like to find out more about our MS Office training courses, please get in touch to discuss your options!

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes