You might be hearing more about the phrase skills economy in the months ahead.
The world of business – along with almost every aspect of our lives – has undergone an enforced change. And we’re not totally sure how things will look and be in the near future.
A skills economy is the set of skills people in a given industry are expected to possess. You’d expect an architect to be able to sketch and draw technically. You’d expect a journalist to be able to write. You’d expect a taxi driver to know how to drive and find places.
If you were to place that phrase into the context of the future, a skills economy would describe the set of skills those same people would be expected to have as work changes in the years ahead.
At this moment, you might be a VA, an Executive Assistant or perhaps a PA thinking of going out on their own one day.
You have a current set of skills you use. They might be the same ones you use in the future or there could be some new ones you’ll need.
It might just pay to ensure you get on top of the basics now (and there’s no harm having some of the ‘advanced’ skills under your wing, too).
Mastering the whole of Microsoft 365 in one go might seem like a tall order. So why not simplify the process?
Let’s take Microsoft Word. How easy do you think it would be for you to improve your skills in this application by just TWO per cent?
Now consider Excel. Despite the availability of other apps, there is still widespread use of Excel. Let’s say you increase your practical knowledge of it by the same amount, two per cent.
You may use PowerPoint, to create presentations, slides, infographics or Instagram posts.
Could you increase your skills in this application by two per cent?
Let’s keep the momentum going here.
If you are using Microsoft 365, you are almost certainly going to be making use of Outlook. It’s where you have your inbox, create and manage your messages, and stay in control of your communications.
What are the odds you could improve your skills in Outlook by two per cent?
One of the Microsoft applications that has seen a big jump in usage this year is Teams. The increasing need to hold meetings and events online has drawn businesses to this powerful collaboration and communications tool.
Let’s say you were able to increase your skills in this by just two per cent.
This may not all sound like much but here’s where the fun starts.
You have five applications. For each one, you achieve a two per cent increase in your skills.
What is the overall impact of that? Well, if you said 10 per cent you would be wrong.
If you advance your skills in the way suggested, you would improve your overall Microsoft skills by 32 per cent.
You can work it out for yourself. Two times two times two times two times two equals 32.
That’s a third better than where you were at your starting point.
It’s a bit of fun but you can see the point I’m making.
✔ When you improve your skills across the board by small amounts, it adds up to a lot more. And the advantages are very clear for the smarter-working VA.
✔ When you know how things work you get more done in less time
✔ When people know you have certain skills, they are more likely to hire you.
✔ When you have stronger skills, you can promote and market them as one of the reasons to hire you. You can do a great job – very efficiently.
✔ When you are able to work more productively, you can take on more clients.
✔ When you have specialised skills, you can charge more.
You may already be seeing other benefits of having strong core skills in Microsoft 365.
If you want to get started and get to grips with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook or Teams, an online course is a good way to go. You can explore my range of courses here.
There’s no waffle or padding. Just straightforward training.
You watch me go through each step of the tasks you are most likely to ever need in a series of short videos. Watch where you want, when you want. Go back to the piece you need whenever you need a refresher. Lifetime access for one price.
If you like the idea of being a master of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams, it’s probably worth it for you to take a look at Tomorrow’s VA Hub, affectionately dubbed ‘The Full Monty’.
It’s the box set of all my online courses and represents the best value for money.
And, of course, if you would like a bit of help in deciding what’s best, you can get in touch or arrange a quick call with me.
Whether you want to 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x or 32x the percentage improvement in your Microsoft skills, I’m here for you.