Administrative assistants wear a variety of hats in the modern workplace, and their role extends far beyond simple clerical duties. Today's admin ensures a company runs smoothly and that everyone is operating at their full potential. These are the required skills to excel as an administrative assistant.
The administrative assistant generally acts as the face of an organization. You are the first point of contact for customers, clients and visitors. Being able to represent the company professionally is of utmost importance, so solid communication skills, both written and verbal, are vital. In addition to communicating professionally, a successful assistant also possesses a professional look and attitude, with lots of patience and discernment.
Administrative assistants must know the ins and outs of their particular industry in order to be an effective part of the team. Having the ability to participate in conversations using key industry terms is crucial in assisting executives and managers navigate their workloads.
There is rarely a typical day for an administrative assistant, so maintaining flexibility is a must. Often, you are required to respond to urgent requests and emails; being able to do so while staying on top of your regular workload is an essential skill. On top of that, a great assistant is always looking for ways to streamline the workload not only for herself but for her superiors and co-workers.
Time management is a crucial skill for administrative assistants. You are in charge of managing executive schedules and keeping others on time and prepared for meetings, travel and other timely events. In addition to keeping others' schedules going, you must manage your own time well in order to complete important tasks while dealing with distractions and interruptions. Multitasking is often necessary.
Assistants are confronted with tricky situations often. Whether it's a double-booked meeting or a misrouted supply order, being able to think critically on your feet and comes in handy when you need a quick and effective solution. This also includes having to work with difficult personalities: being able to please different people using wit and professionalism while keeping the workflow running smoothly is a trait of a highly effective assistant.
Administrative assistants keep everyone else in the office on time and organized, so they must also be organized. Effectively prioritize all tasks, manage your daily calendar and make sure every file has its place. Staying on top of your own workload prepares you for unexpected duties and last-minute emergencies.
Administrative assistants play essential roles in nearly every industry. As the economy evolves and more workers are laid off, the assistant's responsibilities multiply and grow more diverse. Make sure your skill set includes the required skills listed here to provide the high level of support your company needs.
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