What You Need to Excel

Julie Shenkman
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Companies who seek an outstanding administrative assistant want an employee who can help everyone at the office excel at their jobs. The person who fills that role must exemplify fantastic soft skills to keep everyone on task and moving forward. Discover these seven traits that can help land you the perfect office admin position.

1. Communication

Every administrative assistant needs to be an effective communicator. You often represent the first line of contact among customers and clients to the rest of the staff. You also have to deal with frustrated staffers, angry department heads, stressed-out managers, overworked executives and unhappy clients. Make sure you know how to communicate with everyone while maintaining a good rapport, even on high-stress days.

2. Technology Know-How

Technological tools help create an efficient work space whether you're at your desk or on the way to pick up office supplies. Familiarize yourself with social media, online tools and the latest apps to make your day run more smoothly. Productivity tools include time management software, programs that organize and plan meetings, and cloud-based software you can access from anywhere.

3. Industry Awareness

An administrative assistant may work in a specialized field, such as legal, telecommunications, government or manufacturing. Maintain a working vocabulary of industry jargon, keep up with the latest news, and know the basics of the field in which you work. All of these facets help you communicate with everyone else at the office while giving you common ground with people from other firms who call the company.

4. Time Management

To effectively handle each work day, you need to recognize the most important tasks you must complete before anything else. Managing your time means keeping everyone on task, helping with critical projects and maximizing your time at the office.

5. Organization

Another vital skill for an administrative assistant is organization. Meetings must stay on point and on schedule. Otherwise, everyone's day faces an uphill battle with late appointments, missed phone calls and decreased productivity. Organization goes hand-in-hand with time management and technological tools that help keep your day on task.

6. Financial Savvy

You oversee several financial aspects of the firm, such as ordering office supplies, researching the latest software upgrades and negotiating lower costs for everyday items the company uses in bulk. Saving money improves profit margins, so it behooves everyone, especially an administrative assistant, to find ways to cut costs while maintaining efficiency.

7. All in This Together

Think of yourself as a coordinator as opposed to an assistant. That's really what your job entails. You are the glue that holds the office together when you communicate between staffers, organize meetings, make travel plans and organize everyone's time. The best administrative assistant keeps everyone on the same page.

To be a successful administrative assistant, you must demonstrate all of these skills on the job. However, remember that you must first prove that you have these soft skills before you even start.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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