Contact Us

Career Transition

Coaching

In the News

Administrative Roles Need Constant Definition

By Robin R. Raybuck

As administrative support roles continue to change and grow, individuals are empowered to take more responsibility for defining their work and making contributions to the bottom line.  ore emphasis is placed on making decisions, participating on committees, scheduling and coordinating rather than taking orders.  Receptionists, secretaries and administrative assistants are considered true professionals in today's workplace.

Communicate Effectively.  "Today's administrative professional has a bigger role in the organization and needs a more sophisticated level of communication skills and customer service flair, explains Peter Tuttle, President of Staffing Solutions Enterprises, a Northeast Ohio employment firm.  "They need much higher business acumen with a good understanding of business and key issues within the organization.  Is is not so much a support role as having a clear mission within the organization."

Learn to see things from others' perspectives, including those of the boss, the company and the customers.  Be on the same wavelength with the boss in supporting her/his goals, and communicate regularly with the boss in a direct and positive manner.  Learn how the company works and master his/her best business strategies.

Keep Expanding Your Skills.  Office professionals are now knowledge workers.  Discover your areas of expertise - be a specialist as well as a generalist.  Be a team player and learn from your teammates.  Cross training is critical as you interconnect information and determine what to save.

Technical training is imperative.  "Administrative associates need a more sophisticated level of know-how in PC project management," indicates Mr. Tuttle.  They are expected to be the software troubleshooters for the office.  Administrative professionals must master computers software, especially spreadsheets, databases, graphics and e-mail.

Be organized and manage your time.  There are fewer players on administrative teams today and you, like most people, are doing more with less.  The need for efficient time management and organizational skills has never been more critical.  Increase your value by working smart.  Develop stellar work habits and shuffle paper as little as possible, spending at least 60% of your time on "A" projects, leaving the "C" projects until later.

Exercise your initiative.  Stretch beyond your job description.  Get up to speed fast; be a quick-change artist.  No one is allowed to get too comfortable in his/her jobs today.  Since many managers now do their own correspondence, you need to identify how to contribute in new ways.

For example, my assistant, Char Phillips, takes responsibility for delivering top quality products at e-speed.  She makes creative recommendations for my presentations and she is always thinking of how she can add value to the business.  On a day to day basis, she holds herself accountable for outcomes, initiates new ideas and sees things from the customer's perspective.

If you want to move up, get your college degree.  Administrative assistants make great students because they are organized, they have good computer skills, and they are good at multi-tasking.  Learn new skills related to balancing budgets, human resources or the marketing function.  Determine your hidden talents and make them known.

Manage your career and love what you do.  If you can't be a star where you are, go someplace else.  Don't allow yourself to get "stuck" by feeling forced to remain where you don't fit.  Success means loving what you do.  The job market continues to gain strength in Northeast Ohio.  People move around today; buy into the new work paradigms and make them work for you and your career.

As we approach 2004, your administrative role will continue to expand as you continue to research, schedule, coordinate and share information.  Your job is critical to the success of your organization, and you play a big part in defining your position on the office team.  Play your position well.


 

Contact Us

 

Career Transition

 

Coaching

   

In the News

Robin Raybuck & Associates - All Rights Reserved

 

A Company