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Office Admin Training: this the norm or a hard sell.

(19 Posts)
absolutelynotfabulous Sat 11-Jul-15 17:25:47

Hi all. I approached a well-known recruitment agency/ office skills training provider with a view to upgrading my office skills. I'm a lecturer/manager/teacher with some admin skills and rusty Word.

The agency representative said I should take a course in Excel and Outlook, then look at upping my typing speeds (currently about 60 words a minute). This, she claimed, should make me a bit more employable but will cost about a grand.

I'm trying to get back into "proper" work after a stint of casual work/ sahming, I'm 55 and I'm not sure it's worth the cost. My skills could do with a bit of upgrading, though, but would my age be against me even with added skills?

I'm getting the impression I'm on the scrapheap...

Muskey Sat 11-Jul-15 17:39:31

I think it's a bit OTT. I was 50 when I went back to work after a five year career break. Although I did do voluntary work in order to keep my word and outlook skills up to date. I would say you do need excell and outlook. Your typing skills sound fine (much better than mine)

Please don't let other people make you feel too old. I am sure you have many transferable skills that employers would love to have. Good luck

absolutelynotfabulous Sat 11-Jul-15 17:45:26

Gee thanks, Muskey. My admin skills are ok, kind of, but I've never actually been an office worker as such. So the skills I have are kind of halfway there. I can do lots of things in Powerpoint, and I can type ok, but I'm not capable enough admin-wise to land an office job simply on the basis of my skills.

I hadn't thought of doing voluntary work in an admin role, so thanks for the tip!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 11-Jul-15 17:49:17

Sounds like a bit of a con to me.

Can you do some temping to get more up to date experience but get paid as well?

NewsreaderChic Sat 11-Jul-15 17:51:12

Surely this is training you could do by yourself at home?

EnlightenedOwl Sat 11-Jul-15 17:58:44

beggar that download mavis beacon onto your pc its a home typing course. Won't cost you anything like £1k
also you can do online courses in excel/powerpoint for a fraction of that cost.
you could then do voluntary admin work to validate you have that skill and build up work experience

EnlightenedOwl Sat 11-Jul-15 18:03:21

or if you felt you wanted some certification you could look at something like this? Still nowhere near £1K!

www.edistancelearning.co.uk/office-skills/ecdl-v5-course

absolutelynotfabulous Sat 11-Jul-15 18:17:13

Thanks all. Yes, I had thought I could do something at home, but those courses look great.

I'm trying to get some temping work beaver but I haven't got the skills anyone is looking for..so a bit chicken and egg...

EnlightenedOwl Sat 11-Jul-15 19:02:02

keep trying though (re looking for work) because I don't think it would take long for you to pick it up I think the main one is once you've cracked keyboarding and know your way round a spreadsheet you're getting there. Powerpoint is useful to have as well.Also focus on what you can do rather than what you can't. If I told you I work with someone whose job is as a legal secretary and she can barely find her way around a pc, hopeless on the bespoke case management packages despite endless training (no powerpoint skills or excel skills and she has been a legal sec for near on 30 years)....still holds her job down though!

absolutelynotfabulous Sun 12-Jul-15 10:16:34

Thanks, enlightened. Glad someone thinks I have something to offer....sad

theendoftheendoftheend Sun 12-Jul-15 10:21:12

I'm sure your typing speed is fine too!

Salmiak Sun 12-Jul-15 10:23:55

Id also recommend signing up to a temping agency. You can get a simple admin role, filing, a bit of typing, reception duty etc quite easily.

Also have a look at the nhs professionals temping bank. Our local hospital is desperate for temps.

Littleen Sun 12-Jul-15 12:51:19

Have you considered doing other things than admin? There are jobs out there which doesn't require computer skills smile

EnlightenedOwl Sun 12-Jul-15 15:28:36

I'm certain you have something to offer, all you need is a refresher/skills course and you're away, something will come up am sure of it. Sometimes word of mouth or personal recommendation is an "in" so use your contacts too. I would crack the Microsoft Office skills (keyboarding, Powerpoint etc) as it would widen your skillset and mean you will attract a better salary. Also personal satisfaction too!
If it helps I did my RSA secretarial training - but just before the computer explosion. My typing skills are good but my Powerpoint and Excel skills are self-taught and I work as a Legal PA. This is a useful link:

support.office.com/en-us/article/Office-training-and-tutorials-b8f02f81-ec85-4493-a39b-4c48e6bc4bfb

absolutelynotfabulous Sun 12-Jul-15 15:31:34

Thanks all. I think I've got into a bit of a negative mindset, to be honest. I just can't see that I have anything to offer!

I used to work in Further and Higher Ed, but I can't get back in. I can't even get into the lecturer "banks" nowsad.

I'm feeling very old, unemployable and on the scrapheap.

Thanks for your tips, though. And for having faith in me...smile

Salmiak Mon 13-Jul-15 13:22:15

I'd say you have an amazing skill set. Typing at 60 wpm is far from shabby, it's impressive.

Seriously I'd say hand in a cv at a couple of temping agencies. Focus on your good and accurate typing, ability to pay attention to detail, ability to prioritise, good timekeeping, etc - these are all skills that I'm certain you have.

It may be that you're even over qualified for a lot of the jobs on their books, so when you go in for a chat say you're more than happy to start with any jobs they have (maybe even mention and show interest in specific ones they have advertised on their website) and that way you'll get some current experience and good references.

absolutelynotfabulous Mon 13-Jul-15 16:31:29

Thanks, Salmiak. Maybe I am underselling myself......

Littlef00t Wed 15-Jul-15 21:17:49

An accurate 60 wpm is fast. This was the speed required for a data entry role. 50 was stated elsewhere as respectable office speed.

Some local colleges have courses you can go on, often free if you're not working for excel etc.

You've got the volunteering under your belt, suggest you go for temping as others have said.

twentyten Wed 15-Jul-15 21:21:23

Hi. Group on do some cheap on line training courses for excel etc too!
Could you do tutoring/ marking/ proofreading? Good luck!

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