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Education makes a difference!For the first time in history, the United States has a larger population of college graduates than those without higher education. Does it really make a difference?

Statistics say yes – you’re more likely to be employed in a good job if you have some type of post-secondary education. According to a new report from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, of the 11.6 million jobs created in the last 5 years, 8.4 million went to those with at least a bachelor’s degree.

Even if you have an associate’s degree, it helps. Of those 11.6 million jobs, 3 million went to those with an associate’s degree or some college education.

Those with merely a high school education got the leftovers.

College grads make more money as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, someone with a bachelor’s degree made, on average, $1,137 per week in 2015. If you had only a High School diploma, your average weekly wage was $678, nearly half that of the college grad.

So, what’s the fix?

Go back to school.

This is the most obvious solution. However, before making this move, know why you’re going and what degree or credential you hope to earn. If you get this degree, will it really be easy to get a job that pays what you need? Do your homework! Talk with folks that have finished the program you’re looking to get into. If the school won’t put you in touch with alumni, that’s a bad sign. Stay away.

Be very thoughtful about the cost of the school and beware of schools who promise “free money” to attend. If possible, try to pay for school as you go. If you’re employed, and your company has a tuition reimbursement program, use it.

There are also online programs available, including programs from Harvard and Stanford Universities. Even if you only want to take a few specialized courses in accounting, finance, or marketing, this is a good option. Check out the Open Education Database for free or low-cost college courses.

Remember, even some college work increases your chances for a better job with a better wage.

Millions of people are struggling with huge loads of student loan debt because they didn’t understand what they were signing or the wages they could expect after graduation.ja

Don’t make that mistake.

Get more experience and develop additional skills.

For some, additional formal schooling isn’t practical. But that doesn’t discount learning on your own. There are courses you can take at a very low cost or free on the Internet. Check out Career One Stop for career resources and training.

If you prefer an apprenticeship program, check out this Department of Labor resource for available programs and scholarships.

Ask about additional training at your current employer. Many training budgets go unused because individuals don’t ask for additional training. Work with your manager to develop and training program, and do it!

Yes, it does make a difference if you have some education. Keep adding to your skill set to make yourself more marketable and employable.

 

womenThe participation of women in the workforce has increased over the years until over half of all women of working age have a job or are looking for a job. Gender diversity is good for companies. In a study by the Kellogg School of Management, teams with both men and women performed better than single-sex groups because the mixed groups were better and solving problems.

We know there are differences in how men and women approach the world of work. Let’s talk about a few specifics.

Teaming

Women are good team members. They often are better at being supportive and rewarding, while men are often seen as better at delegating. Because women tend to more collaborative, their participation in teams often results in more ideas. Both styles are necessary when running an effective team.

womenInfluencing

Women are seen as better at encouragement and networking than men. Female workers read situations better and are seen as better communicators. They often are better at resolving conflicts. Partnership is seen as a feminine trait while aggressiveness is seen as more masculine.

Habits at work

Women have a greater tendency to ask for more and challenging work than men. Men are more apt to “wing it” or try to do a task or volunteer to do a job in which they have no experience. Women have a tendency to assume they need more experience than men to do the same job.

Women tend to take fewer sick days and often put in longer days than men. Both genders appreciate flexibility in the workplace, allowing them to handle personal matters that can’t wait until after business hours.

Negotiating

Men tend to be better negotiators than women. Men ask for more money when starting jobs while women may underestimate their value. Women who negotiate hard are often seen as too aggressive or not being part of the team. Tough male negotiators are seen as typical.

In addition, men tend to ask for what they want. Women often are not as obvious when asking for assignments. They are more likely to wait until their manager notices that it’s time for a new project.

womenEducation

Women increasingly have higher levels of education than their male coworkers. Women received 62% of advanced degrees granted in the U.S in 2009-10 according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). For every two men in college, three women are registered. In the next few years, women will have the majority of college degrees.

Companies who hire college-educated workforce will have more women to fill their ranks. With fewer college degrees, men could be shut out of management roles in larger organizations. This will be a very big culture shift for many companies.

The differences between how men and women view work are important to a well-rounded company. Studies have shown that companies are more profitable with more women in upper management positions. Diversity in the staff helps an organization to be well-rounded and better serve their customer base. Is your company promoting gender diversity?

Are you interested in a new position? Check out our jobs page here.

As the Administrative Assistant, you are expected to do it all, know it all and more. You wear many hats and can change direction and tone in the flip of a paperclip. And this all is based on working around your boss. Depending on what type of boss you have, that alone can establish other challenges for you.  There is the Chatty Boss, the Micromanage Boss and the Incompetent Boss.

How to handle each of these bosses is a talent all in its own. And each of these is a blog all on their own. Today though, Clear Choice Staffing Solutions wants to offer you tips on how to handle the Incompetent Boss.  And if you are a boss that is reading this – you can learn from it.

Incompetent Boss / Administrative Assistant Conflict

The first thing you need to do is determine if there is a conflict of personalities between the two of you. Does your boss let work stack up that he or she intended to get to but never did? Then pile it all on you when it’s down to the deadline and they’re overwhelmed? Why isn’t he or she delegating more work to you to start with? Is there a lack of confidence or trust? It may be time to request a one-on-one meeting and chat about this. If you do determine it is confidence or trust issue, ask what you can do to fix that.

The Boss’ Strengths / Weaknesses

Your boss evidently has some skills or they wouldn’t have been promoted to where they are now. But that doesn’t mean they are good at every aspect of their job. So once you realize they aren’t an idiot, they just aren’t good with “that” or “this”, it will help you to interact with him or her. Understanding they have limits and what those limits are, you can work ahead of them or around them to and make future projects go smoother.

Communicate Your Needs

Determine what it is you need from her or him and communicate these needs. Do so in a way they will understand.  If you need more time before a deadline so that you can do a better job, tell them. If you wish they would give you more feedback so that you can improve, tell them.  If you don’t speak up for yourself, then who will? After all, you are the Administrative Assistant. You are the go-to person for the company.  

The Administrative Assistant Log  

As things come up that give you aggravation or concern, write it down. Include the date and the concern, what or who was involved, what happened, how it was handled and any suggestion you may to prevent it again or make it smoother when it does. Then schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss them. Make it an effort to have a meeting on a regular basis and have your log with you each time.  This will not only show you want to team up with your boss, but that you are taking initiatives toward a common goal.

Continuing our month long focus on Administrative Assistants, Clear Choice Staffing Solutions offers you 10 steps to be the most successful Administrative Assistant possible.

Theodore Roosevelt said it. Steve Jobs said it. Do what you love. Apparently both knew what they were saying because both were successful in their lives. And to be the successful Administrative Assistant, you have to love what you do. And you will do many things, at the same, all day, every day.

You must love supporting others unabashedly and unapologetically. You are more than “just an assistant” and you know it. It takes a special person, male or female, to be an Administrative Assistant and be successful at it. They may have had a different title, but you can probably bet that Theodore Roosevelt and Steve Jobs both had a successful Administrative Assistant supporting them.

So just what does an Administrative Assistant do to be successful?

Be Relentless, Be Adaptable: The job of Administrative Assistant never has 2 exact days in a row and you have to not only have to be able to change hats without a warning, but you have to love that you have to do that.                      

Accept Challenges, Conquer Challenges: The word “No” is not in your vocabulary and cannot be an option. Where others say something can’t be done, your job is to get it done and make it look easy.

Know Your Power: Never let others know just how powerful you are and never forget how powerful you are. You are your boss’ ear, eyes and have tremendous influence in all matters related to her or him. Never underestimate your power.

Happy To Serve:  The success Administrative Assistant goes above and beyond their boss’ expectation and don’t mind doing it. They are eager to please their boss and have many tricks in their bag to do just that.

Mind Reader:  The success Administrative Assistant can read their boss’ face, mind and mood and act accordingly. They know when to approach their boss about things and most of all, they know when NOT to approach their boss about things.

Chaos Is Nothing: The Administrative Assistant is person everyone goes to with any crisis. It could be equipment failure in a presentation or the fire alarm going off for no reason.

Ability To Juggle:  Administrative Assistants can juggle many bowling pins, never drop any while balancing a ball on their nose, fixing the copier and preparing the next meeting all at the same time.

Always Learning: Administrative Assistants know it all but are always willing to learn more. There is never anything they can learn more about.

Have Connections:  One of the best things any Administrative Assistant can have is a network of endless resources.  One of their magic powers is getting things done now and they have the resources to do it.

Desire To Make A Difference:  An Administrative Assistant enjoys being their boss’ enabler. You do all the planning, all the implementing and then watch others bask in the success of it all.

At the end of the day, as the Administrative Assistant, you’ll know you were successful when all ended well and you never dropped the ball, never broke a sweat and nobody is the wiser of it. You will be your boss’ secret weapon that makes the company a success.