6 Tips for Becoming a Great Administrative Assistant
CHARACTERISTICS & SKILLS THAT WILL MAKE YOU STAND OUT
Administrative Assistants are the heart of a business. These priceless individuals keep the office running smoothly, handling everything from routine office work to managing executive schedules, event planning, troubleshooting, and looking for ways to streamline efficiency. We’ve put together six tips for how to go from being a good Administrative Assistant to becoming a great one!
BE A GREAT COMMUNICATOR
Successful Administrative Assistants possess excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Frequently tasked with handling correspondence, speaking to clients, and dealing with the public, business partners, and vendors, great Administrative Assistants may become the face and voice of an organization. By using proper grammar and punctuation, speaking clearly, being personable and charming, Administrative Assistants put people—both inside and outside of the business—at ease with their professionalism and efficiency.
ORGANIZATION IS KEY
Administrative Assistants are juggling a lot of tasks at any given time: their own projects, the needs of executives, files, events, etc. These professionals don’t have time to waste in rework or duplication, so they must develop effective methods for keeping everything in order. This includes calendars, work schedules, deadlines, and systems that impact others within the business. A great bonus of organization is that it reduces stress by ensuring that things aren’t falling through the cracks and that work is completed in a timely manner.
PaPAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS
Closely related to organization is an eye for detail. Efficient systems that run like the proverbial well-oiled machine are critical for keeping a business functioning smoothly. Great Administrative Assistants will closely monitor all of the moving parts that keep an event, a meeting, or a project on course, from providing planning support to ensuring that resources are available when they are needed, to making sure that all team members are briefed and ready to do their part.
EXCEL AT TIME MENAGEMENT
One of the most important skills that separates good business office Administrative Assistants from great ones is their ability to manage their time effectively. Not only are they responsible for keeping track of their own time, but that of their boss. Because so many projects and deliverables are on the Administrative Assistant’s plate, this professional needs to be able to determine what they have time to accomplish themselves and where they will need to bring in additional help. Time management is a survival mechanism that keeps Administrative Assistants from stretching themselves too thin when tasked with multiple complex assignments.
ANTICIPATE SOLUTIONS BEFORE THERE IS A PROBLEM
The best Administrative Assistants are able to anticipate the needs of others in the office—especially their bosses—without being asked. They take initiative, driving projects forward instead of hanging back for step-by-step direction. This type of foresight, business-focused thinking, and ability to work independently make an Administrative Assistant invaluable to an organization.
An ability to think out-of-the-box and on-the-fly is one of the more important traits practiced by the best Administrative Assistants. There will always be challenges, unforeseen circumstances, and unanticipated changes, so someone who can jump into right the wrongs and improvise a solution to a potential disaster is always in demand. This type of rapid adaptability and demonstrated leadership makes great Administrative Assistants stand out from the crowd.
If you aspire to be one of these office Jacks- or Jills-of-all-trades, begin with a solid hands-on training foundation like the Business Office Administration training program offered at one of the several Florida Career College campuses. This program is a great way to start to build the skill set you will need to become one of these highly-valued professionals.