For the most part, you enjoy being an administrative assistant. And you’re pretty good at it, too. You can find a missing budget report in six seconds flat. Your customer service voice is always on point. And you have the uncanny ability to know what your executives need before they even realize they need it. Your skills as an administrative assistant are second to none—for now.
But that doesn’t mean your efforts should remain stagnant. As with any profession, there’s always room for improvement. And if you want to remain the office hero that everyone knows and loves, you need to learn how to continuously develop your skills as an administrative assistant—not just maintain them. If you’re looking for ways to stand out from the crowd and advance your career, here are some areas to focus on for professional development.
Love it or hate it, technology is always changing. You’ve only just learned the shortcuts for one program when another is thrust on you, and it’s back to square one.
Frustrating, yes. But today’s managers and executives increasingly rely on their assistants to be tech-savvy. There are plenty of online administrative assistant courses on everything from software basics to cybersecurity and beyond. Many of those courses are affordable and sometimes even free. Set a goal to attend just one online administrative assistant course or webinar on the latest technology each month and keep yourself from falling behind.
Contrary to popular belief, staying organized involves more than a clean desk. It’s about creating and using systems and procedures that allow you to improve your productivity at work and get the job done correctly the first time.
On any given day, you’re responsible for projects, processes, and even people—and keeping it all straight is a big chore. Set yourself up for success by learning how to be more organized in every aspect of your job and you’ll reap the rewards. Here’s a great article on ways to keep organized, from using cloud storage to going digital.
As an administrative assistant, you’re often the office go-between, which means your communication skills need to be phenomenal. One poorly worded email or missed phone message can compromise your reputationwhether you’re acting as a liaison between departments, dealing with clients and vendors, or simply communicating within your own department.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online communication courses for administrative assistants, and the topic is regularly covered at conferences and seminars.
4. Time Management
It’s no secret that you have plenty of tasks to fit into your long work week. Knowing how to prioritize them and use your time wisely can keep you from coming in early, staying late, or apologizing to your executive for unfinished projects.
If you’re struggling to meet your projects on time, it may be time to get some help. Again, professional courses can help you develop and hone this skill. But sometimes all you need to identify the lost timeis to spend a week or so tracking where your time is really going and making the necessary corrections.
5. Business Etiquette
No matter where you work, business etiquette should be high on your list of skills to develop as an administrative assistant. That’s not to say that there’s never a time to crack a smile, but your personal brand matters—from the clothes you wear to the way you interact with clients and deal with different personality types. Understanding how to act in a variety of business situations will allow you to rise through the ranks. Good business etiquette will also demonstrate who you are and the value you bring to your organization.
You’re already an office hero, but don’t stop there. When you learn how to develop your skills as an administrative assistant and take the appropriate action, the only way you can go is up.
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