Without an effectively functioning team of administrative assistants, your office would grind to a standstill and key employees could find themselves unable to do their jobs.
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With so much riding on their role in the workplace, administrative assistants can use all the help they can get . . . like these tips to help them succeed from their first day on the job.
Administrative Assistant Tip #1: Know Your Business
It's virtually impossible for administrative assistants to be successful in the workplace unless they know the company inside and out. Knowledge of key personnel and office routines is a given, but a thorough understanding of the company's mission and the industry itself are also prerequisites.
Administrative Assistant Tip #2: Plan Your Workspace
A cluttered workspace is an invitation for chaos and disaster. An orderly and well-designed workspace, on the other hand, can make your job a lot easier. A minimal amount of photos and personal adornments are okay – as long as they don't interfere with your ability to work. Determine which resources you use most regularly and design your workspace accordingly.
Administrative Assistant Tip #3: Be Respectful
It's no secret that administrative assistants are often placed in difficult situations. When things turn stressful, the assistants are the ones who bear the brunt of workplace frustrations. Yet no matter how difficult and stressful the work environment becomes, it's important to maintain a respectful attitude toward your coworkers and supervisors. Instead of allowing the situation to get the best of you, use the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to perform under pressure.
Administrative Assistant Tip #4: Take Initiative
One of the easiest ways to make your mark as an administrative assistant is to anticipate your supervisor's needs before he does. For example, if your supervisor is scheduled to attend an out of town conference next month, take the initiative and make travel arrangements before he requests it. Your initiative will not only make the office run more smoothly, but also create the potential for increased responsibilities in the future.
Administrative Assistant Tip #5: Network
Networking is just as important for administrative assistants as it is for executives. Through internal networking, you can forge relationships within the company that are beneficial for doing your job and helping your department achieve its goals. Likewise, external networking with vendors and clients goes a long way toward maintaining clear lines of communication and nurturing relationships that are crucial to the company's success.
Administrative Assistant Tip #6: Dress for Success
Appearance matters, even for administrative assistants. Although you may not have the resources of a top-level executive, you can still dress in a manner that exudes confidence and professionalism. Keep in mind that the way you dress is more than a reflection on the company and your supervisor – it's also a reflection on yourself and it can have significant consequences when it comes to advancement.
Administrative Assistant Tip #7: Pursue Continuing Education
Most companies provide a continuing education benefit for their employees. Take advantage of continuing education as a tool for improving your skills as an administrative assistant and to create opportunities for promotion in the future.