From small local offices to large international corporations, companies of all sizes and industries rely on administrative assistants. These essential members of the modern workplace are often the glue that holds the office together. Many offices thrive because of the organizational and interpersonal skills of admin assistants.
Whether you’re an admin assistant in a temp job, or a seasoned pro with decades of experience, these tips are sure to help you become a beloved – and essential! – member of the office.
One of the most critical skills required of administrative assistants is that of organization. In many offices, the admin assistant is responsible for everything from maintaining both digital and physical files to organizing and ordering office supplies. Developing a robust task management system, and keeping your calendar up to date, will ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Sometimes the power at the office goes out. Sometimes an employee is fired. Or sometimes a client takes their business somewhere else. The old adage “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst” couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to admin assistants. You can prepare for the worst with duties such as regularly backing up computers, having plenty of extra office supplies on hand, and keeping important physical files safe and off-site.
From signing for package deliveries to greeting clients, admin assistants are often the first point of contact at many companies. Whether intentionally or not, a first impression from an admin assistant could potentially represent the whole office. You can put your best foot forward by dressing and acting professionally, and being articulate in your communications.
In an age of email, cell phones, and social media, we’ve become accustomed to rapid and consistent communication. This is especially true for admin assistants, who may be responsible for communicating with everyone from vendors to the birthday committee. Admin assistants are often the bridge between managers, employees, clients, and everyone in between. Responding to communications concisely, clearly, and in a timely manner is an essential skill for admin assistants.
Are you the first to notice that the coffee needs to be prepared, the paper in the printer need to be refilled, or that the office supplies need to be restocked? Being a successful admin assistant means being proactive and solving problems before being asked to. One of the qualities managers look for when hiring and promoting employees is a person who can foresee what needs attention.
No matter how knowledgeable or prepared you may be for your job, you may find yourself in unexpected office situations where you’ll be required to think on your feet. Learning new skills outside of the office and stretching your administrative capabilities will benefit you in ways you may not anticipate. Keeping an open mind and thinking outside the box is a guaranteed way to make yourself a necessary member of the office.
One of the most surefire ways of turning your job into a career is by becoming proficient in your industry. Demonstrating a passion and a knowledge in your company’s field is to demonstrate your dedication to the company itself. Whether your company sells paper or seafood, learning about your company’s history, its competitors, and the industry in general will prove your devotion to the job. After all, few skills are more transparent than that of passion for a job.
Do you have advice on how to become a become a beloved admin assistant? Please let us know in the comments below!