The Next Level Admin Professional
BEYOND THE BASICS.
How is the Admin role changing?
Administrative professionals are in high demand and, to meet employers’ increasing expectations of this role, you will need much more than basic clerical skills. With current technology allowing
so many managers and other organization leaders to write their own correspondence, handle their schedules and prepare presentations, the role of the admin is evolving. The basic skill expectations for successful administrative pros include: communication, organization, time management, multitasking and prioritization skills. But, to keep pace with changing administrative expectations, you’ll need to demonstrate significant abilities at the next level, such as initiating better procedures and planning, pro-actively solving problems and being technically savvy.
NEXT LEVEL SKILLS
What are they? Why are they important?
Establishing and perfecting the advanced skills for administrative professionals will not only keep you marketable in a competitive job market, but will provide you with more job satisfaction. People who are challenged at work tend to stay engaged in their job. One of the most important roles of an administrative professional is to make those you are supporting look good. By having these next level skills in your portfolio, it will help you do just that. In today’s world, technology “know-how” and the ability to plan and manage projects efficiently are invaluable to any organization. If you have the know-how and the desire to take each task to the next level, you will find great fulfillment in your work. Not only will you become more satisfied, but will also find that your reputation for going above and beyond can get you noticed in constructive ways.
Here is a brief list of some “next level” skills needed to compete for top positions and achieve success in this vital role:
Technology Skills. Working comfortably with office software programs, including spreadsheets, databases, word processing and graphic presentation software. Sending email and conducting researching on the Internet or other industry-specific resources.
Writing Ability. Be equally skilled in standard written English and, in some organizations, business English, to ensure the quality of correspondence, emails and memos and to assist in proofreading.
Time Management. Using an electronic calendar to schedule meetings and travel, and managing tasks to meet deadlines for efficient operation of an organization.
Resource Oversight. Ordering office supplies and arranging equipment maintenance to keep the office well-equipped and stocked for the staff.
Management. Supervising the actions of other clerical staff and handling requests from other staff members for time-off, etc.
Problem-Solving Skills. Resolving schedule conflicts or changes, finding answers to customer concerns, working with vendors to fix issues with order fulfillment, payment of invoices, refunds or exchanges, etc.
Planning Skills. Establishing office procedures, for example, or ensuring resources are available to complete projects on time.
HOW TO BECOME ADMIN 2.0
Determine your strengths and weaknesses as an admin
Self knowledge is a powerful tool and can help you ad value to your current or future job. One way to determine your strengths and weaknesses is to take self assessment tests. A great resource to learning about your strengths come from the book Strengths Finder by Tom Rath. Visit the website at StrengthFinder.com – http://strengthsfinder.com/ to take the evaluation. You will need a copy of the book for an access code to take the evaluation. If you don’t want to buy the book, try this free online test to get you started: http://richardstep.com/richardstep-strengths-weaknesses-aptitude-test/
Seek out learning opportunities
Because of the changing office and administrative environment, it’s important to make sure your skills grow with the evolving expectations of this role. Take a look at the next level skills and determine what you can improve upon. Learning opportunities are always available and can be found in places you least expect. Try volunteering to help plan large projects, become part of an industry group on LinkedIn or even seek out online programs for things that will help you become more efficient in your current role.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
Know what to focus on
Concentrating on the top 3 or 4 most important things that matter to the organization you are working for will help you become more valuable in your role. If you don’t already know what the major company objectives are, do some research. Talk to leaders in your organization to understand what they are hoping to accomplish this year. Asking questions about large initiatives will not only impress your leadership team, but will allow you to really understand how you can focus on the correct objectives.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Whether you are looking to shine in your current role or are pursuing a new job, the importance of knowing what the advanced expectations are will give you the competitive advantage. As the expectations for administrative professionals evolve, those who choose to make it a career are finding that it is becoming more interesting and more challenging. While job requirements vary widely, a highly-skilled individual, who performs exceptionally, will be seen as a valuable contributor to the success of any organization. And the career growth opportunities are likely to follow.
TOP JOB TITLES FOR ADMINS:
- Administrative Assistant
- Office Manager
- Executive Assistant
- Executive Administrative Assistant
- Office Assistant
- Office Administrator
- Administrative Coordinator
- Assistant Manager