Do You Have What it Takes to Be an Awesome Administrative Assistant?

Lauren Krause
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If you are looking for an entry-level office job, consider becoming an administrative assistant. The administrative assistant is an essential position in most organizations, and job responsibilities in the modern office go far beyond the traditional typing, filing and receptionist duties of the past. Take a look at these important attributes to see if you have what it takes to become an awesome administrative assistant.

Time Management Skills

Administrative assistants wear many hats, and knowing how to prioritize and properly manage your time is essential to keeping your office running smoothly. A combination of careful planning and necessary flexibility allows you to handle situations that require an immediate response while still meeting deadlines and completing long-term projects in a timely manner. Having a plan for your daily activities helps keep you on track, but your ability to be flexible without dropping anything puts you at the top of the field.

Exceptional Communication Abilities

Both written and verbal communication are a regular part of the administrative assistant position. Administrative assistants compose emails; talk to clients, co-workers and executives; and field phone calls from a variety of sources; and maintaining a professional and competent demeanor is essential. Great communication goes both ways, and having excellent listening skills is just as important as your knowledge of the English language. Learn to listen for information while still being compassionate to the needs of others to ensure both parties leave the interaction feeling heard and satisfied.

Technology and Social Media Proficiency

Administrative assistants are increasingly called upon to handle the responsibilities of a social media manager in the office, updating the organization's social media sites and websites on a regular basis. Stay on top of new developments in the field to execute these tasks with minimal effort. Also, quickly adapting to technology innovations and having enough tech savvy to troubleshoot the common hardware and software problems you encounter reduces downtime associated with learning new skills or waiting for the IT department to respond to a problem.

A Love of Organization

A natural inclination for organizing gives you a head start in the administrative position. An orderly office pairs well with an organized to-do list for staying on track and managing multiple tasks in a satisfactory manner. Having a place for everything and everything in its place allows you to find things when you need them.

Trustworthiness

The best administrative assistants are at the hub of their office, serving as both confidant and knowledgeable source of information for those with whom they regularly interact. Show others that their willingness to confide is warranted by keeping their secrets safe. Likewise, make sure that any information you do share is accurate and appropriate to the specific situation.

With many corporations downsizing, competition for available office jobs is on the rise. Keep your skills in top shape to find an administrative assistant position that is right for you. After you have secured a position, maintain your skills to become an indispensable part of the team.


Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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  • Arabia P.
    Arabia P.

    Volunteer experience sounds like a good way to start. I never considered it. Thanks!

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Maria you are most welcome. Being an admin asst was a very rewarding career for me and helped open the door to so many other careers. I was in the same boat as you are so I started by going to temp agencies and finding some short-term jobs. That helped me to decide what industry I was best suited for and I went from there. Admin skills are ones that can open the door to so many other possibilities. Best of luck to you.

  • MARIA GIRLIE B.
    MARIA GIRLIE B.

    Thank you so much for the information @Nancy Anderson. That will help a lot, especially to me which is new here in Victoria, and seeking a career in admin.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Deborah thanks for your comment. Same issue that we seem to always run into... needing experience when we don't have it. So some suggestions - look around for some volunteer work maybe in your church or the kids' school. How about a non-profit in your area? They always need help and this would help you get some experience under your belt. Plus volunteer work looks great on your resume. Go back through all of the positions you have held and see if you did any tasks that would fall under an admin asst.... putting together presentations for your team; taking minutes at a meeting; helping to put together an event... all admin tasks. You might be surprised to see how much you have actually done while working as something other than an admin asst. Wishing you all the best.

  • Deborah S.
    Deborah S.

    This is all very helpful, thank you. It would be helpful if a person could get volunteer experience first, as most jobs, at least where I live, require 2 to 3 years previous experience.

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