Street Smarts Over Expensive Certifications
Okay, I’m going to say it, and I’m going to say it because I feel I have earned my place in the Executive Assistant world to say this with confidence.
GETTING CERTIFICATIONS IN EA TRAINING COURSES DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR ABILITY TO GET A JOB, GET A RAISE, GET A PROMOTION.
We earn our stripes by doing, by experience, in some cases, baptism by fire. Asking the right questions to the right people. Doing our research, creating relationships. Much of this will never be taught in an IAAP training class (CAP) that I hear is grueling and expensive and does not, in most cases, result in anything other than a piece of paper.
I try not to begrudge anyone from investing in themselves to be the best they can be and maybe that certification provides a sense of accomplishment and more confidence. However, I see posts from EA’s on some forums sweating out the tests like it was the bar exam – so unless they are going to start earning as much as lawyers, I ask, was it worth it?
I am of the belief that our ability to do our job is more innate, intrinsic, it comes naturally to those that were born to do this job. I am one of those EA’s. We are self-taught and we all have our own individual style. I don’t know about you but when I start a new job, if the incumbent is still on board to train me, I would like to say, nah, that’s okay. I would rather not step in someone else’s shoes. I got this.
This is what I have learned in my 30 years of taking my street smarts off the streets and into the office/cube/C suite. Own it from day one – hour one – minute one. And maybe put that money toward a new pair of fancy shoes.
Here is a good article from Robert Half that talks about this very subject in a more general way. I am here to help not hinder anyone seeking to improve themselves, so I present other points of view for consideration.