Liberal arts degrees are great and enlightening, but they often fail to teach students real life, applicable skills that they need to thrive in a modern workplace. Unfortunately, not everyone enters the field as a top dog, and businesses must be kept running somehow. Often times, that requires people with liberal arts degrees to take a step back from Plato, Friedman, and Shakespeare and learn some basic administrative skills. Having these skills going into the workplace will make you highly desirable as an employee and an asset in the office. Add these nine valuable administrative skills to your to-learn list and your future office life will be much brighter.
Most of these skills can be learned through basic online resources or webinars, even though in-person, on-site learning is almost always preferable.
How to build and edit a website
Invest some time in learning the backend of SquareSpace, WordPress, Blogger or some other web-hosting platform and show off your skills when your boss puts you on the spot down the line.
How to make a good cup of coffee
No one wants to admit that they might be fetching coffee one day, or that they’ll be the one restocking the breakroom machine, but you don’t want to be the awkward kid googling how to brew a cup of coffee when the need arises.
How to create invoices
No matter the field you’re going into, it’s likely you’ll have to learn how to deal with invoices. Spend a few minutes know learning how to create an invoice from scratch and using online resources and you’ll impress your boss later on.
How to fix the copy machine
Learn to fix a jam. Handle a lost scan. Manipulate the paper tray correctly. You will be the star of the office. No one can ever afford for the copy machine to be broken.
How to write a press release
Even if you don’t think you’ll ever have to write a press release, having this skill can really benefit you in your career. Luckily, it’s easily to learn at home and you can read countless examples for many fields online.
How to use a fax machine
We all like to think that no one uses fax machines anymore. Unfortunately, they still exist in many offices and learning to use them now will save you embarrassing moments down the line.
How to conduct a good meeting
Don’t you hate when a meeting takes up a lot of time but accomplishes nothing? Don’t let your meetings be like that. Learn how you lead in meetings, whether that’s in person or on a conference call, with or without a presentation and printed materials, etc. Learn your style and perfect it before it’s time for your big show-stopping meeting.
How to do a mail-merge
Learning to do a mail-merge was one of the most challenging and rewarding administrative skills for me. Not only did it make mass mailings and emailings a lot easier, it allowed all my communication to seem personal and netted a higher reward.
How to vet resumes and cover letters
Understanding what makes a good cover letter and resume for your field of interest will not only let you upgrade your own but will make you a valuable asset when your boss hands you a stack of resumes and wants your input on a potential new hire or intern. Don’t let them down.