Administrative assistants are the backbone of any well-run office and successful manager. Since you're wearing so many hats, Adecco recommends some ways to streamline those duties to guarantee you're being most productive while furthering your personal and professional growth:
- Represent the business: Many times, you are the first line of contact with clients, vendors and peers. It's important to reflect the business with the same professionalism as your manager. Stay informed and be cognizant of who you're dealing with and their impact on the business.
- Participate as much as possible: Assert yourself and be hands-on with as many projects as you can handle. When you do this, leaders take note of your motivation and drive to embrace challenges. These efforts and contributions within the company will surely harbor both personal and professional growth. If you choose to do the bare minimum of what's expected of you, you put your advancement at risk, so if there's a project that captures your interest, just ask to play a role.
- Manage time effectively: Using time effectively is a valuable skill in any business setting, but especially important for support staff, who are often juggling many assignments with competing deadlines. Prioritizing short-term and long-term assignments is important in meeting expectations in a timely manner.
- Seek feedback: The lines of communication with your manager must constantly be open. Aside from reviews, which should always be on time, seek constructive criticism on your work, your interpersonal skills and your growth potential throughout the year. Be constantly informed and don't be afraid to ask "How am I doing?" Because it's the only way you can better yourself and know what's expected of you.
- Perfect ‘managing up:’ Managers can easily lose themselves in their workload and sometimes pass off a number of tasks with little or no direction. It is your job to set aside time with your manager to figure out deadlines and all information pertinent to your assignments so that you're able to complete the task successfully the first time.
- Be a problem solver: Be as resourceful as possible when faced with a challenge instead of running to ask questions immediately. Take a step back and look at the problem from another perspective. If you do have to go back to your boss, come with proposed solutions and ideas in tow so that your manager can see that you’ve tried on your own and that you're not just looking for the easy way out.
- Be in constant communication: Always keep your manager on top of what you’ve already accomplished and what you're working on. A mid-week or end of the week recap of assignments that are complete, pending and in-progress will help your manager know where you are with everything and prevent aggravation when they need to know the status of projects. It is also important not to let emails or voicemails go untended for too long – we’re in a virtual world, and it’s important for you to stay on top of all of these forms of communication.
- Become a pro: If your ultimate goal is advancement, experience and good work will play a role, but so is being up to date on skills training, technological advances and anything that will contribute to your betterment. If you have specific computer program training you have a leg up over the competition and give the company a reason to hire from within for that higher position! Take advantage of what your company offers to you for training and development or seek outside sources for these invaluable proficiencies, because it is guaranteed to pay off.
- Perfect flexibility: In a support role, one must expect the unexpected and always be prepared for anything that is thrown at them. There is no such thing as a typical day in your world, so learn to roll with the punches and handle each situation as it comes. Over time you may change roles or even managers, but your adaptability will not go unnoticed if you maintain your own productivity and handle these situations with the utmost professionalism.
- Map your career: Make note of month-to-month and long-term personal and professional goals. If you know where you want to be then your work and actions will reflect that. Talk to your manager, let them know where you see yourself down the line and ask what it will take to get there. When you’re honest about your ambitions, they will become attainable!
For more great career success tips, be sure to connect with your local Adecco representative today!