As administrative support roles continue to change and grow,
individuals are empowered to take more responsibility for defining their
work and making contributions to the bottom line. ore emphasis is
placed on making decisions, participating on committees, scheduling and
coordinating rather than taking orders. Receptionists, secretaries
and administrative assistants are considered true professionals in
Communicate Effectively. "Today's administrative
professional has a bigger role in the organization and needs a more
sophisticated level of communication skills and customer service flair,
explains Peter Tuttle, President of Staffing Solutions Enterprises, a
Northeast Ohio employment firm. "They need much higher business
acumen with a good understanding of business and key issues within the
organization. Is is not so much a support role as having a clear
mission within the organization."
Learn to see things from others' perspectives, including those of the
boss, the company and the customers. Be on the same wavelength
with the boss in supporting her/his goals, and communicate regularly
with the boss in a direct and positive manner. Learn how the
company works and master his/her best business strategies.
Keep Expanding Your Skills. Office professionals are now
knowledge workers. Discover your areas of expertise - be a
specialist as well as a generalist. Be a team player and learn
from your teammates. Cross training is critical as you
interconnect information and determine what to save.
Technical training is imperative. "Administrative associates
need a more sophisticated level of know-how in PC project management,"
indicates Mr. Tuttle. They are expected to be the software
troubleshooters for the office. Administrative professionals must
master computers software, especially spreadsheets, databases, graphics
Be organized and manage your time. There are fewer
players on administrative teams today and you, like most people, are
doing more with less. The need for efficient time management and
organizational skills has never been more critical. Increase your
value by working smart. Develop stellar work habits and shuffle
paper as little as possible, spending at least 60% of your time on "A"
projects, leaving the "C" projects until later.
Exercise your initiative. Stretch beyond your job
description. Get up to speed fast; be a quick-change artist.
No one is allowed to get too comfortable in his/her jobs today.
Since many managers now do their own correspondence, you need to
identify how to contribute in new ways.
For example, my assistant, Char Phillips, takes responsibility for
delivering top quality products at e-speed. She makes creative
recommendations for my presentations and she is always thinking of how
she can add value to the business. On a day to day basis, she
holds herself accountable for outcomes, initiates new ideas and sees
things from the customer's perspective.
If you want to move up, get your college degree. Administrative
assistants make great students because they are organized, they have
good computer skills, and they are good at multi-tasking. Learn
new skills related to balancing budgets, human resources or the
marketing function. Determine your hidden talents and make them
Manage your career and love what you do. If you can't be
a star where you are, go someplace else. Don't allow yourself to
get "stuck" by feeling forced to remain where you don't fit.
Success means loving what you do. The job market continues to gain
strength in Northeast Ohio. People move around today; buy into the
new work paradigms and make them work for you and your career.
As we approach 2004, your administrative role will continue to expand
as you continue to research, schedule, coordinate and share information.
Your job is critical to the success of your organization, and you play a
big part in defining your position on the office team. Play your