It’s a familiar story. Administrative professionals know they need to advance their skills, but the company budgets are tight and training budgets have been cut to accommodate other corporate priorities. So how can you still get the skills training and professional development you crave without having to ask your boss for financial support? It’s simple: Make better use of the Internet!
The Web is packed full of free training options that many overlook simply because they aren’t looking there to begin with. Here are five simple ways to expand your knowledge without even breaking open your wallet:
- Google it. If you don’t know where to start searching, start with Google. Include specific keywords for the type of training you are looking for and include the words “free” and “training” in your search (e.g., free office productivity training, free Microsoft office word training, free photoshop training).
- Surf YouTube. You’ve probably watched some fun or entertaining YouTube videos, but did you know that YouTube.com is also packed with training clips? Similar to Google, include specific keywords for the type of training you are looking for and include the keyword “training” in your search. You do NOT need to include the word “free” because YouTube content is free.
- Tap into Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office provides extensive free training, tutorials, template downloads and other resources on http://office.microsoft.com In fact, free webinars on various Microsoft Office programs are offered every Tuesday.
- Ask Lynda. If you haven’t discovered Lynda.com yet, you’re in for a treat. It is a subscription-based software-training site but also offers several free training previews on numerous programs
- Leverage social media. You may be familiar with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for sharing pictures and updates, but did you know these outlets are also brimming with free training options? Watch for events your contacts are attending. Follow training companies such as the American Management Association on Twitter (@amanet), The Office Professional (@office_pro) or the American Society of Administrative Professionals (@ASAPadmns) and “like” them on Facebook. You’ll be the first to know when new training is offered.
With a few quick internet searches, your professional development calendar will be full of free training opportunities. Don’t let company budget cuts become an excuse for not advancing your skills. Be innovative, take charge of your career, and use the Web to advance your skills to new levels.
© 2012 by McMurray
Originally appeared in The Office Professional Newsletter in August 2012. Reprinted with permission.