I work in a large company. For years I was an admin assistant and made very little progress in my role. I am quite a flexible worker, so the company tended to move me from department to department. This did not give me the opportunity to progress in any role. Over the years, I noticed that people who had stayed on in one role tended to progress and get promotion to more senior roles in that area.
My Failure to make progress and my opportunity to shine
I was doing a relief stint in the finance department, when one of the bosses came out had to complete a report that needed to be finalised by the end of the week.
I had never written a formal report before so I tried to explain that I lack the skills to write a report. He said he did not care and I needed to get my act together and complete the report, as I was supporting that job role.
How I Researched to Develop the Skill
That night I stopped in at the library on the way home and found a few report writing guiders. This gave me the basic outline that I needed to underatke report writing. Nevertheless, I still needed a formal course, if I was going to do a lot of report writing.
Putting my learnings into practice
In the morning, I looked at the template of the report. The structure was not as informative as the ones I had read about, so I added more structure and created a clear plan for completing the report.
It appears that my colleague knew very little about structuring a report. Therefore, there was plenty of scope for me to make improvements.
How to Write a Report
I followed the main guidelines that I had learned from the book:
- One must create a reasonable structure
- One must be clear on the objective, which is what you want the report to encourage the reader to do.
- It is essential that you create a plan
- If there is any data, it will need to be brought in at logical points and shown as charts or graphs where possible.
- One must not be long winded, get to the point with clearly understood language-no jargon
These guidelines helped me finish the report and gain a permanent role in that area. These skills have certainly helped me to advance my career. I recommend a similar approach if you are new to report writing.