tech training

Mastering today’s tech means you’ll be able to build upon that knowledge for years to come, explains Vickie Sokol Evans

2022 Is (Nearly) Here

I know, it’s shocking. We’re still referring to ancient times when things were different, back in good ol’ 2019. And it feels like we’re stuck in a time warp – that 2020 is perpetually here and on repeat.

With each year, technology changes drastically. And the pandemic accelerated that as we were all thrust into isolation with only our technical skills to keep us warm.

So, what’s a high-achieving Assistant to do with the new year coming into view?

The Plan

Here’s a step-by-step plan to establish your tech goals for 2022, plus get your manager’s buy-in and support.

Step 1: Assess Your Technology Skills

I have identified 18 core areas where every Assistant can maximise their technology skills:

Evaluate which ones you think you need to know better and which ones your manager might need you to know better. You can do an online technology skills assessment at

Collectively, this is your skills gap.

Step 2: Understand the ROI

As a Microsoft Certified trainer, I know that the average business user only knows 10-30% of the capabilities of a Microsoft program. With additional training, that percentage increases, and when you become certified, you’re well over 80%. That’s a significant gap between where you might be and where employers need you to be.

As an Assistant, it is sometimes difficult to quantify the bottom-line difference you make to the company, but saving your executive time by becoming more confident and proficient in using the existing technology can provide concrete proof.

For example, you may know that learning how to create presentations quickly and efficiently would save your executive 3.5 hours per week if you took on that task.

To calculate ROI (return on investment), using £200 as the hourly rate for an executive (you can adjust this as needed):

£200 per hour for your executive

168 hours saved(3.5 hrs * 48 work weeks per year)

£33,600 return on investment for the year

And this number doesn’t include the time you save!

Step 3: Meet with Your Manager

When you meet with your executive, talk through how the goals they, the team and the company have can be supported by advancing your skills in specific areas.

Identify specific things you could take off your executive’s plate to save time and scale their role.

Ask questions about how much time can be saved when they are freed of these responsibilities.

Your goal is to get to an approximate number of hours saved per year. They know how much an hour of their time is worth; they need your help understanding how much time you can save them.

With our presentation example above, you could pursue training and certification in MOS PowerPoint. Give them a timeline of when the training can be completed, or perhaps what can be completed by your next review, and what the investment is. The ROI of hours saved will be substantially higher than the investment.

Once you manager commits, you also commit to tracking your training and attaining certification by this time next year.

Feeling Bold?

Ask about receiving a bonus when you pass the exam.

Ask if the entire team of Assistants can pursue training or certification together! The ROI is even greater when the entire team is working at a higher level of expertise and productivity.

Tracking Your Training Progress and Achievements

Create an Excel spreadsheet to do this. As a former business analyst, that’s my love language, but if it’s not yours, just email me at and I’ll send you the one we use.

Here’s to You in 2022

Now you’ve got the plan you need to move into 2022 with a mission. Up-leveling your technology skills is a valuable investment for your career long term and a strategic move for your organization. Technology is constantly advancing exponentially, and mastering today’s tech means you’ll be able to build upon that knowledge for years to come. I can’t wait to celebrate with you.

Literally making the audiences’ jaws drop, Vickie Sokol Evans, author of the bestselling “100 Tips” series for both PC & Mac, teaches the world’s smartest people how to use their technology better. She's witty, sharp, pointed and knows more about how ... (Read More)

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