As an administrative assistant, you take on many roles as someone who knows how to do a little bit of everyone's job in the office. Aside from filing papers, scheduling meetings, typing reports and answering the phone, you probably manage projects, post to the company's official social media presence and write the company blog. In short, no one functions in the office without your problem-solving skills.
Administrative roles change with the times, yet some things remain constant across the spectrum of administrative assistant jobs. It doesn't matter if you work for a lawyer, accountant, doctor, sports agent or marketing firm. Even though your boss thinks you are indispensable, sometimes the irregularities of the workday interfere with your normal operations at the office.
Something always comes up to interrupt your normal flow of work, even as you head out to your much-deserved lunch break. Even though it may take the legal intern 30 seconds to place new paper in the photocopier tray, he finds you to ask for more reams despite the spare tray underneath the copier was full of them. Naturally, you shorten your lunch break to help.
An administrative assistant keeps an uber-organized desk. How else can you compartmentalize your problem-solving skills? When someone puts a bunch of papers on your desk, you wonder where your co-workers put their own stuff as they destroy your perfect organizational system.
The job description of an administrative assistant may as well cover just about everything that occurs in the office. You keep the break room cabinets organized and stocked. You take newspapers to the recycling center and learn how to jiggle the vending machine the right way so it dispenses properly. As the jack-of-all-trades, you should know a little bit about everyone.
When you don't get your work done, no one else finishes theirs. Everyone relies on your expertise, knowledge, know-how and skills to keep the office together. How they survived while you took two weeks off is beyond your understanding.
New roles for an administrative assistant include computer nerd. When the IT department needed to train someone to know how to retrieve files from the new cloud computing software, you were the first person the computer gurus took under their wing. Your computer skills always need to evolve with current trends to make your job easier.
One of the most important skills you learn running an office involves prioritizing. Even though Sam in accounting feels his memo has high importance, that doesn't mean you place it in the high priority folder. You worked overtime during the last quarterly report, so you know what high priority looks like. As such, you keep the office together even as those around you may fall apart with a simple paper cut in the mail room.
An administrative assistant fills an important role at the office, even if that role may seem undefined at times in your career. Despite the tongue-in-cheek nature your job sometimes entails, your co-workers appreciate your skills whether they realize it or not.
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