To be successful, you need a wide range of hard and soft skills. That might include everything from good communication to interpersonal skills. You may need to know the basics of accounting or have a talent for internet research. But, new projects often call for new skills. How can you possibly keep up? You’re probably thrown into new situations all the time, so you already know how to think on your feet. But to really get ahead, you have to find opportunities for professional development that fit into your already crazy schedule.
There is an entire library of career development books out there to help you advance your career. And, you can read them on your schedule. Read up for new ideas on how others have worked in the past. Some pertain directly to being an administrative assistant, others don’t. But they’ll all give you useful advice that you can apply toward developing yourself and advancing your career. Here are seven must-read books:
Communication Strategies for Administrative Professionals: How to Communicate What You Can Do, Can’t Do, Will Do, Won’t Do, Need and Want by Karen Porter
Communicating clearly is a vital skill for a successful admin. Learn how to effectively communicate with your coworkers, managers, customers and more in this career development book by Karen Porter, founder of The Effective Admin.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Written in 1937, this book holds time tested advice on positively influencing your coworkers. Without the bad taste of manipulation. Add this classic to your reading list to gain a skill set every admin needs in the office.
Sitting on a File Cabinet, Naked, With a Gun: True Stories of Silicon Valley CEO Assistants by Linda McFarland and Joanne Linden
This fun read gives an insider’s view into what it’s like reporting to a CEO as admins share their experiences reporting to powerful Silicon Valley execs. Check this one out if you’re vying for an Executive Assistant role.
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential by John C. Maxwell
Continuing to push your personal development forward can get tiring. Reinvigorate your drive to grow your career with John C. Maxwell’s principles for growth and work towards reaching your full potential.
The Innovative Admin by Julie Perrine
Learn to bring creativity into your career by this career development book from All Things Admin founder, Julie Perrine. With chapters on the innovation mindset, journaling, creating a personal advisory board and more, you’ll soon find yourself bringing a new perspective to your position.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
As an administrative professional, you may be a major contributor to, if not the creator of, your company’s culture. Learn how to foster creativity in your team and company with these lessons from the founder of Pixar.
Be the Ultimate Assistant: A celebrity assistant’s secrets to working with any high-powered employer by Bonnie Low-Kramen
Written by the former celebrity assistant to Olympia Dukakis, this career development book shares the skills you need to be successful as the assistant to a high-powered individual. Filled with stories from the life of a celebrity assistant, this read will also keep you entertained.
The trick is finding ways to fit reading into your daily, weekly, or monthly routine. Regularly carve out small blocks of time — maybe during lunch or on a break — to read. Just remember that there’s a time and a place. You may need to cut into your personal time on nights and weekends, but don’t go overboard. Your career development and moving ahead are important, but it’s also important to use your time off to recharge so that you can retain the new information and skills you’re learning. It’s a lot of work, but nobody said moving up the ladder was easy.
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