Creating and Achieving Goals for Administrative Assistants
- Julie Perrine
- 5 Min Read
Setting goals for your administrative assistant position is an important part of the job. Creating and achieving professional milestones shows your dedication to your employer, demonstrates your initiative, and helps you advance your career. Whether you’re taking on this task as part of an annual review or simply trying to better yourself, it’s important to understand how to create attainable goals and see them through to the end.
Creating Goals for Administrative Assistants
You probably already have personal and professional goals for yourself, but they’re not always tangible. It can be difficult to put down on paper what you see in your head.
To create your goals, start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What do you want to learn?
- What skills do you need to develop to stay relevant and in demand in your current position, or to move into a higher position?
- What have you always wanted to do or achieve? (e.g. earn a degree, certification, or promotion, travel, write a book, etc.)
- What are your company’s goals and your manager’s goals? (If you are doing this as part of an annual review process, it’s important that your goals tie into the company’s objectives. Knowing what the company wants to accomplish can help you better understand where you fit into the process, and what kinds of goals you should be setting for yourself to best help the entire team.)
Now that you have a goal in mind, put it down on paper! People who put their goals in print accomplish a lot more than those who leave that goal in their head. In addition to your goal, document where you are now, where you want to go next, and the steps you need to take to get there.
Begin creating your goals based on the answers to these questions. Good goals not only give you something to shoot for, they make you stretch yourself at the same time. They need to be realistic and achievable, but they need to keep you motivated to take the actions necessary to accomplish them as well.
Seek Input from Your Managers
Before you finalize your goals, seek input from your executive or manager and share your reason for planning. Seeking input early in the process and explaining your reasoning for creating the specific goals you present can make a big difference in the outcome. You can’t expect your executive to be on the same page you are when you don’t have a real discussion about this first.
Even if your personal goals aren’t exactly what your manager approves for your annual review, that doesn’t mean you need to abandon them entirely. Pick one or two to pursue in addition to the official ones you agree to with your manager, and plot your plan of attack.
Three Tips for Accomplishing Your Administrative Assistant Goals
- Set a timeline for the completion of your goal. But be sure to set milestones leading up to the completion, too. Small victories can give you a reason to celebrate and keep you moving forward. For example, if you plan to earn a special certificate, remember to count completing the program registration and any pre-work or study as meaningful milestones to achieving that goal.
- To achieve a big goal, break it down into the individual actions that need to occur to achieve it. For example, if you are hoping to apply for a new job, updating your LinkedIn page, and polishing your resume materials is an important step in that process. Add a projected timeline. Then track your progress as you go.
- Post your goals in a visible place so you see them daily. Place them in the front of your agenda book or tack them to your bulletin board. Keep your tracking forms handy so you can quickly look at them or note actions you complete.
Your goals should be specific. It’s not enough to say, “I want to get promoted.” Instead, you need to determine what position you’d like to move into and by when. Other examples of goals for administrative assistants may include:
- Become a certified Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel by December 31, 2019.
- Establish a consistent monthly training component into my career/skills development via webinars, online courses, onsite training, or conferences and workshops.
- Obtain my bachelor’s degree in business administration from (school name) by [insert date].
- Develop an administrative procedures manual for my position by [insert date].
Setting goals can seem daunting, especially for an already-busy administrative assistant. But when you create specific, attainable goals for yourself that align with existing management and company initiatives and regularly keep track of your progress, you are setting yourself up for success!
Looking for more tips on professional development for administrative assistants?