I usually write my post about an aspect of my life that helped me to become a virtual assistant. This week, I am focusing on the events of last week-end. I attended the International Association of Administrative Professionals – Greater New England Division Conference in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The conference is held every year at this time at a different location.
The reason for the conference is to bring all administrative professional members together for updates on technology, education, workplace issues and to promote understanding of other cultures and personalities. I arrived at the hotel the night before, so I could get some rest before it began. It’s quite a schedule of speakers, meetings, activities, vendors and other promotions. It’s also a chance to get re-acquainted with other members and meet new ones.
It’s especially important for me, as a virtual assistant, to attend conferences like this one, because keeping current gives me the edge in my line of work. I learned about copywriting, cultural tips for the workplace, body language, visuals and tone, Excel and PowerPoint tips, how to get organized, and what new software programs are out there.
Aside from the benefit of convenient instruction on these topics, I realized that I was familiar with some of the topics, but others were new to me. At times, it was like a quiz without pen and paper. If the speaker talked about something I was familiar with, I was satisfied that I was already “in the know”. If the speaker demonstrated a new tip or shortcut or gave me a different perspective on an issue, I appreciated the information and will try to incorporate it into my dealings with my clients.
I am so pleased to be part of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. It offers monthly chapter meetings with relevant speakers, networking with other professionals, online webinars and courses on its website through membership, and conferences and a yearly convention.
I learn so much from attending meetings and webinars and that enables me to work more efficiently in the administrative world. How can I offer the best solutions to my clients, if I don’t know what they are? This association gives me the tools to stay current on many topics and helps me to work more efficiently. I came away from this conference with renewed energy and some great new ideas to use in my work.
It is unfortunate that many employers do not know about the International Association of Administrative Professionals or realize all the benefits of membership. Employers can save money on education costs by simply paying the employees’ yearly dues. Where else can you find a variety of speakers and courses every month with relevant information for the workplace? What empowers employees to assume more responsibility and to take more of an active role in administrative matters? The International Association of Administrative Professionals.
As a virtual assistant, I welcome this continuing education and try to absorb as much of it as I can. I don’t have the sociability of working in an office, so the time spent at workshops and conferences reinforces my skills and enables me to learn new ones.
Although many things in my past has contributed to my decision to become a virtual assistant, the International Association of Administrative Professionals keeps this momentum going and continues to form and shape my “administrative image”.
This was definitely a “me” week-end, full of facts, fun, food and fundamentals of the trade. Everyone should take some “me” time to refresh and renew their dreams and ambitions. We all need positive reinforcement at some time and the International Association of Administrative Professionals is my way of staying focused and informed.
I learned so much in just 3 days, but that knowledge will now be part of the services I offer to my clients. Although certain aspects of my life led me to become a virtual assistant, events like this sustain me and make me a better person and work-partner during these tough times.
I can’t wait for next year’s conference!