As an administrative or clerical professional, you already know that having administrative procedures in place makes your job easier. However, many businesses, especially startups, don't give much thought to documenting procedures, resulting in haphazard workflows and increasing confusion in the workplace. Take the initiative to put clear procedures in place and to document them, not only as a tool to make your day-to-day job run more smoothly but as a path to career advancement.
Start a Procedures Manual
If your company or department doesn't have defined administrative procedures in place, take the initiative to start collecting the ones you see already in place in the daily working environment around you. Gather any notes you took during your training and advice given by more seasoned employees, and look for opportunities to add procedures where the workflow is less defined. You can track these in an electronic folder or create a physical binder that other employees can grab when they aren't sure how to handle a situation, or do both to facilitate the spread of your administrative procedures across the department.
Share your procedures manual with your department head and, if possible, with admins at your level in other departments. Your boss is likely to be extremely impressed when she sees not only that you've been proactive about creating and documenting these procedures, but that you've shared them in an attempt to make the whole department's workflow run more smoothly.
Look for Opportunities for Reverse Mentorship
Sharing your administrative procedures manual opens the door to reverse mentorship. As department heads become aware of how you've helped to streamline work in your area of the company, don't be surprised if you're invited to start sharing your methods and teaching people who are senior to you. These opportunities for short-term reverse mentorship can help you make connections within the company and allow you to establish a reputation as a competent and organized admin, which can in turn give you advance notice when a new position opens and make you a front-runner for that slot.
Become the Expert
As you expand and amplify your administrative procedures manual, you're in a prime position to start training admins in other departments and establish uniform procedures across the company. The executives in your department are likely to support this once they see the effect your work has on workflow and inter-department communication. Once you've established yourself as the expert on company procedures, you're in a position to set up regular admin meetings or training sessions that solidify your new role.
If your department doesn't have clearly defined administrative procedures in place, as an admin, you're perfectly placed to create helpful procedures that can ease any tension about how to accomplish regular tasks. Document your procedures, and share them as widely as possible to facilitate communication and smooth workflow and to pave the way for your own career advancement.
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