With all the buzz technology and workplace trends generate, it’s easy to forget that the foundation of every administrative professional should be built on timeless skills. Failing to develop these critical cornerstones for administrative assistants often means failure to thrive and succeed. There’s a reason some skills are needed decade after decade. Skills like:
- Resilience. Shining through the chaos is a skill that will serve you well. Offices can be hectic, deadlines can be tight, and stress can be sky-high. If we accept that and take responsibility for how we respond to the inevitable, we can achieve more. Remaining tough and tenacious regardless of what happens around you will show your peers and leaders that you’re unflappable and reliable. In a crazy world, that’s invaluable.
- Risk-taking. Being willing to gamble in business is essential. Don’t be afraid to try something new or take a few chances. Go out on a limb. Pitch a new idea. Speak up even when you’re worried no one will listen. Understand this: Some of those risks will pay off huge dividends and some will fall flat. That’s okay. The risks are still worth taking.
- Collaboration. We can, quite simply, accomplish more together. Work with someone whose background is different. Pick the brain of a peer who has twice as much experience (or half as much!) Seek out a leader who brings new insights and different perspectives to the table. Working well with others will introduce the magic of teamwork. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish and what kind of change you can make happen you work together as a group.
- Creativity. Leaders look for assistants who are willing to think outside the box. The status quo should always be given a good, hard look. Big problems can often be conquered with weird, “who would have thought” solutions. Seek them out! Offices can sometimes seem like the last place you’d expect to find bursts of creativity, but sometimes the most innovative, visionary, and fun ideas come out of boring, beige cubicles. Let your creative juices flow!
- Accountability. Don’t ever forget to make sure you’re staying focused and meeting the objectives you and your leader layout. Set up safety nets for yourself to ensure that no task, no assignment, no e-mail falls through the cracks. It’s about staying on-task, transitioning seamlessly, and keeping tabs on everything you’re working on.
Work hard to cultivate these skills, and your successful career will span decades!
Joan Burge has staying power. She’s been a lion of the administrative assistant profession for fifty years. That’s no easy feat. Staying on top for that long takes timeless skills, hard work, and passion. Learn how to follow in her footsteps!
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