6 Tips for Administrative Assistants to Land Growth Opportunities

November 29, 2021


The role of an administrative assistant is multifaceted and you have to be strong in many areas to perform the job well. Administrative professionals often wear many hats and are involved, to some degree, in many different aspects of the company's day-to-day operations. Their skill set is usually very broad when they initially join the workforce, but years of experience allow them to hone that skill set and gain some real expertise in certain areas.

If you are looking for an administrative assistant job with growth opportunities, you can be proactive in positioning yourself to move up the corporate ladder. Below are 6 tips to help you get poised for a promotion.

1: The Power of the First Impression

“You only have one chance to make a first impression.” This saying holds true when it comes to making a good first impression in the workplace. The Primacy Effect in psychology states that when someone experiences something before other things in a sequence, they remember that first thing more. You need to leverage your first impression correctly, so your professional reputation can be firmly rooted.

2: Study the History, Learn the Culture

One of the best ways to position yourself for growth opportunities in your current organization is to learn everything you can about the company. Brush up on its history. Learn the company’s mission statement, core values, and business philosophy. Immerse yourself in the company culture so you can familiarize yourself with how things work internally. Having a knowledge of these things will give you a leg up in navigating what professional avenues are likely to present promotional opportunities for administrative jobs and what the natural progression of that looks like for you.

3: Volunteer for Learning Opportunities

Stepping outside of your administrative assistant role, and quite possibly your comfort zone, is key for professional growth. Why? Well, for one, you expose yourself to other facets of the company. This will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses and see where your passions might lie. And secondly, you put yourself on management’s radar. Offer to help in areas that are short-staffed or see if you can lend a hand in a special project. When you actively seek out opportunities to learn, you are demonstrating initiative and teamwork. And those are two important qualities that can help you stand out from other potential candidates for internal promotions.

4: Take It a Step Further

A few of the core skills of an administrative assistant are preparation, organization, and presentation of tasks. If you strive to do an exceptional job in these areas, your efforts will not go unnoticed. Try to adopt the perspective that any task, from the mundane of delivering interoffice mail to a weightier assignment of preparing an itinerary for a large corporate event, is important and perform it with the same amount of care and attention to detail.  Within reason, try to get creative with your approach in completing tasks, so you can make your mark. Go the extra mile and tie everything up with a proverbial bow. When you put your best into every aspect of your job, you’ll be at an advantage.

5: Continue Your Education

A sure-fire way to get ahead in your administrative assistant role is to look for opportunities to continue your education. You’ll showcase your ambition by proactively working toward earning credits or certifications. This pursuit allows you to demonstrate that you are a self-starter who is eager for more professional responsibility. Whether it is by taking advantage of formal training offerings within your company or enrolling in an external certification program, you can’t go wrong. With more formal qualifications you’ll be better primed for advancement opportunities.

6: Consider the Trends

The field you are working in as an administrative assistant is a large factor in your potential for growth opportunities. Pay attention to the market trends to determine your best avenue. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the role of legal assistants is projected to grow 10 percent from 2019 to 2029. The report states that formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects. That’s not to say there aren’t ample growth opportunities in other fields. A common progression for an administrative assistant in an office setting is upwards to an executive assistant or an office manager. With a large range of businesses employing administrative assistants, even industry crossovers are a promising avenue for professional growth opportunities.

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