5 top career tips for administrative assistants

Being an administrative assistant is a great position to be in at any company. You’ve got an inside track with the C-suite that many other positions don’t offer, and you have the ability to make that work in your favor. This short list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a great place to find some helpful ways to jump-start your career.

  1. Teacher calling on student

    Learn new skill sets

    When it comes to professional development for administrative assistants, the most important thing you can do for yourself and your career is to keep learning new skill sets. Your job has already taught you that most important soft skill that so many others don’t teach – people skills. This skill is paramount to any successful career, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take every opportunity to learn new skills. So, what can make you a more valuable asset?

    • Become an Excel wizard and dazzle your coworkers with your pivot tables and formula skills
    • Find free web development classes online and hone your HTML abilities to a pixel
    • Take every training opportunity your office offers (when you can) and take lots of notes

    Anything that adds value to your organization – or makes the day-to-day for employees easier – is a great place to start in looking for new skills to develop.

  2. Keep your eyes open for the move that’s right for you

    Next up – movin’ up. The best thing about working as an administrative assistant is knowing when you can make internal moves inside said company. You’ve already attended trainings and webinars, taken your free online courses, and learned how to make stellar pie charts in Excel. Now, you’ve got to move your eyes on internal job listings. Know what you’re capable of, know what jobs are opening up, and know what you need to know to get them.

  3. Volunteer your time

    99% of life is showing up, which brings us to another important aspect of your professional development – being a part of the office culture. Visibility within the company is a great way to ensure your colleagues know who you are and most importantly, know what you’re capable of. How can you convey that to said colleagues?

    • Party planning committee? Commit to helping organize the conference room festivities!
    • Planning a happy hour? Show off your design skills with a snappy poster!
    • Have an office charity event? Assist in the myriad efforts necessary to pull off this great event!
  4. Know when to make your move

    Pinpointing when to execute and knowing when to bide your time about asking for that promotion can be tricky. Use the access you have and the knowledge you can glean from working with your managers to know when the time is right to strike.

    • Don’t seem like you don’t care about your current position, but don’t seem complacent either.
    • Make your intentions known through the correct channels.
    • Avoid discussing your promotion near year-end holidays, quarterly reporting months, and busy times of the year.
  5. discussing work

    Be an asset

    This last one may seem obvious, but it’s also one of the most important parts of improving your career – be an all-around asset to your company. Do your job better than it should be done and make sure management knows it. When you have the chance to save the company some money, take that chance. When you have the chance to make an impact besides the bottom line, take that opportunity as well. When others see the value you bring to the table, professionally and otherwise, your chances for advancement increase.

    There are a number of ways administrative assistants can use their insights into the company to know how and when to advance. And there are various trainings and courses (free and paid) to build skills that make you an asset to any team.

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