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!