Executives rely on administrative assistants to keep the office in order and act as the voice of the company to outsiders. Administrative assistants have difficult jobs, juggling duties such as managing schedules and offering customer service when executives aren't available. Any administrative assistant will tell you that it is hard to define their job duties since they are often expected to jump into any assignment that needs attention. While it is often an entry-level job, many companies ask for administrative assistants to have up to 10 years experience so they know that the person will be reliable, organized and able to work in a fast-paced environment.
An administrative assistant job is a great way to get your foot into the door of any industry by working side by side with the top executives. Here are the skills you'll need to get the job:
An experienced administrative assistant is always one step ahead of the managers they are assisting. If a big project is coming up, they know to clear the schedule. If the manager is about to give a presentation, they are there gathering materials and coordinating with the attendees. Thinking ahead will save administrative assistants from crisis situations, but it takes time to acquire this skill.
It only takes one failed meeting or project for an administrative assistant to remember to always follow up with others. Following up with clients, workers and contractors is key in managing an executive's schedule in order for everything to run smoothly. This skill helps administrative assistants manage any project from their desk, whether it be travel arrangements or lunch meetings, and gives the executives confidence that their day will have very few hiccups.
Keep your composure
Helping to manage an office can be overwhelming, but administrative assistants are expected to stay calm and set the tone for the rest of the group. Since administrative assistants are usually the "go to" person in the office, keeping their composure during rough times will help them maintain their spot as the backbone of the company.
Think before you speak
Administrative assistants usually know executive decisions before the rest of the company is pulled into the loop. It is important for administrative assistants to think before they speak to other co-workers about any upcoming news. Staying conscious of keeping mum on company issues means avoiding a reputation of being an office gossip.