CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Learn to develop your skills

By DeAnn James
Special to The Sun

Today's administrative professionals must constantly keep abreast of what is happening in their field.
How to keep motivated

As large employers continue to restructure, most administrative professionals' workloads have intensified.

Employers now seek work-ready employees and provide minimal training.

Office workers must learn creative ways to keep their skills current. One of the ways to do that is attend professional development sessions offered in conferences to executive and administrative assistants throughout the year.
Organizing Efficiency Consultant

Maxine Henry, an Organizing Efficiency Consultant and the President of Maxine The Maximizer, will be one of four speakers at the Office Workers Career Centre's (OWCC) professional development event on April 26 (see story below). Her session teaches attendees how to get organized and eliminate the clutter from their workspace.

"Getting organized at work helps workers propel forward in the workplace," Henry says. When you are organized you can focus and become more aware of the needs of those around you, particularly your employer's needs.

"Extra mile"

"Office workers must always go the extra mile and take on more responsibility," Henry says. "It is vital that these administrative professionals learn to work without supervision and prove to their employers that they can make key decisions."
The Writing Consultants

By constantly upgrading their skills and keeping pace with technology, office professionals can become more organized.

"The key is to be in control, instead of having other workplace factors controlling you," Henry says. Her session teaches these essential skills. For more information, check out her website at

Jane Griesdorf, founder of The Writing Consultants, will also be speaking at next week's OWCC event. Her session focuses on producing clear and focused writing, an important skill for professionals and administrative personnel to have in any industry. Employers expect administrative professionals to have excellent writing skills in order to compose a wide range of correspondence, including e-mails.

In her session, office workers will learn essential writing skills that can help them deal with new writing challenges on the job.

"They will learn how to respond to e-mail not only effectively and quickly, but more importantly, accurately and politely," Griesdorf says.
Networking made easy

"Acknowledging the reality that one document can have many readers -- customers, bosses or the public -- is also an important first step in customer-oriented writing," Griesdorf says. "Office professionals must properly address their audience, understand their needs and know how to write in a positive and gracious manner.

"Poor writing skills can restrict an administrative professional's progress in their job, but good or improved writing skills show up immediately and will be noticed by the right people," Griesdorf says.

To contact Jane Griesdorf, visit her website

Administrative professionals today also need to be ready for unexpected change or transition. Understanding how to build relationships through networking and how to keep motivated are two key skills to have as admins move through their career.

Speakers Rhonda Finniss at and Jan Hill at will be addressing these issues in their presentations at the Celebrate your Profession! Realize your Potential event on Tuesday, April 26.

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