In my last post I shared about continuing your education and adding to your skill set as a virtual assistant. One can do this through non-traditional means with online groups, blogs, books, and webinars. Today I’d like to add to that list with additional methods of continuing education and include links to get you going in the right direction.
Additional Methods of Expanding One’s Skill Set
Mentorship – A lot can be learned from someone who has ‘been there and done it.’ Often times the hardest part is finding the right mentor for you. A few virtual assistant mentors I recommend checking out include: Diana Ennen, Tracey D’Aviero, Lisa Wells, Donna Toothaker and Kelly Poelker.
Online Courses – There are tons of online courses out there specifically for virtual assistants. Some come with certificates, some with accreditation while others simply come with the satisfaction of learning something new and gaining a new skill. Whatever the case be, don’t overlook this tool. I once took a 4-week social media marketing course through. Accredited – no. Game changer – yes! Now I have clients that seek me out specifically to handle their social media marketing efforts. Booyah!
Research – When I started out as a VA I had a limited skill set. Often times clients needed specific tasks completed which I was unfamiliar with and they had no time to learn to do themselves, so I pulled up my big-girl panties and dove right in. I researched until I knew the task, program or subject inside out, then I researched some more. It’s great to have people tell us how to do things, but until we actually look it up for ourselves and do it, how will we really learn. Research. Research. Research. You can never go wrong by going old-school and sticking your nose in a book or looking something online through a search engine. Personally, my favorite search engine is Google, but others include Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and DogPile.
New Blog Series – I have found that when I make a commitment to do something, especially with other people relying on me, it becomes more real to me. I go the extra mile to ensure I know what I am talking about. I encourage you to try that. Say you want to add event planning as a skill. Start a new blog series. Share your adventure with what you are learning with your new topic/skill at hand. You never know what you can learn by forcing yourself to stretch. As an added bonus, the feedback you receive from your readers can send you over the top with knowledge and advice.
Skill Set Evaluation
I want to touch briefly about your skill set inventory. If you have prepared a resume, then odds are you have listed many of your skills. I encourage you to take a few moments to make a list of your current skills. Now note which ones you are current on and which ones you need to update – as in, taking a refresher course. Next, list which skills you want to add to your set. I realize that some skills need to be followed up with specific certifications which come after taking college courses and tests. BUT, with the methods I have outlined you are able to add many skills to your lineup. It just takes a little dedication, discipline and time.
I want to hear from you. What luck have you had these methods for increasing your skill set? Which would you suggest to our readers? Be sure to share in the comments below.