Back to School Time for Admins: The Training You Need Today

With summer winding down, many kids are heading back to the classroom. Should you be joining them? Learn more about the types of training admins typically need to keep their skills sharp.

I was recently trained on some website management software and it was an eye-opener. While I’d used the application in the past, I quickly realized I had no understanding of its full potential and all of the finer points of making it work correctly.

I think situations like that happen a lot in the workplace: We get used to doing things a particular way and don’t realize there’s a lot more to learn to do our jobs even better.

Could you benefit from additional training? Here are some skill areas to consider:


As an administrative professional, no doubt a large portion of your day is spent using a variety of technologies, such as computers, phone systems, tablets and other devices.

Do you really know all that you should? One of the clearest indicators you might benefit from training is when you dread using an application or technology because it’s complex or difficult. For example, if you find yourself cringing at your manager’s request for help with that PowerPoint presentation because you don’t know the advanced features, it’s probably time for some classes.


Often, people move into leadership roles without any instruction on how to manage people effectively. If you’re being promoted or currently oversee staff, think about whether you truly understand all of the aspects of personnel management. This can include everything from how to provide clear communication and motivation to handling poor performance and staff conflicts.


If your administrative job involves managing billing and other financial issues, are you an expert in what you need to do? If you’ve had no formal accounting education, chances are you can benefit from some form of instruction. This training may overlap with building your technology skills if you need to master financial software.


Do you play a role in negotiating deals with vendors? Are you confident you’re getting the best possible deals for your company? If not, lessons in negotiation techniques can help you gain an edge with future bargaining.

Public Speaking

Think about whether you’re prepared to talk before a group, if necessary. It may be that you need to train your department with a new procedure or explain to others how you successfully led a project. Situations can come up at any time requiring public speaking. If you’re breaking into a sweat just reading about the possibility, consider heading back to school for some public speaking classes.

What type of skills development has been most beneficial in your career? Do you prefer learning through a mentor, classroom or online sessions, or other form of instruction? Share your thoughts below.

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