A Closer Look at a Career as an Administrative Assistant
It is not a fancy title but being an administrative assistant in an organization is more important than what most people think. Administrative assistants are often the “go to” person, and since they are involved in most aspects – if not all aspects – of a company’s operations, they are the best person to ask if you want to get something done or if you want to get a message across. In some organizations, administrative assistants are called office coordinators or office managers because they are the liaison between management and staff and are the ones ensuring a smooth work flow overall.
Administrative Assistants– What You Need to Know
Administrative assistants are essentially the heart of any organization. Their primary designation involves clerical and administrative duties such as organizing day-to-day schedules, preparing reports and presentations, responding to calls and completing email correspondence, coordinating meetings, making travel arrangements, and others. However, CEOs, CFOs, directors, department heads, managers, and supervisors all rely on administrative assistances to keep them in check and ensure they fulfill their functions and commitments.
According to PayScale.com, anadministrative assistantcan earn as much as $29,530 – C$51,521 a year. In some companies, they are entitled to bonuses, profit-sharing, and commission.
If you are planning to be an administrative assistant, there is a minimum requirement of a high school diploma or equivalent. However, it is an advantage if you have an associate’s degree. Certain educational institutions also provide certificates in administration, and this can be helpful if you are hoping to further your career. Most colleges and universities offer these courses online for the students’ convenience.
To be an efficient administrative assistant, pivotal assets are effective communication skills, excellent time management skills, and outstanding organizational skills. Since the job involves varying duties on a daily basis, administrative assistants are also expected to be efficient in workflow prioritization and multitasking, especially when there are tight deadlines to meet or big sales to close or high-profile projects to complete. Administrative assistants must also have excellent collaborative skills and attention to detail.
Pros and Cons
A great benefit of being an administrative assistant is you are always in the know in an organization and therefore you also have the power to influence the key decision-makers. Since you work with the higher-ups, you have opportunities to share your opinions on certain matters and you gain respect in that aspect.
Perhaps a disadvantage is that since you are often relied upon for tasks, you do have the tendency to be the first one in the office and the last one out. It is a job that comes with high pressure since you are dealing with people from all organizational levels on a daily basis and must ensure that their issues or inquiries are attended to efficiently and timely.