The job of an administrative assistant has been consistently evolving over the last few decades. Administrative assistants are being asked to take on larger and more diverse roles in their companies today than ever before.
With added duties like project management, budget management, and office management, there is more to administrative assistant jobs than scheduling and secretary duties. This is true in many industries, but especially for higher education administrative assistants. Working in education presents unique challenges, due to the specific goals and demands of academic institutions.
Making the most of your position, and advancing your career, may require a bit of strategic planning. In other words, seek out ways you can add value to your organization or institution as an administrative professional.
In all administrative assistant jobs, the exact steps involved in strategic planning will look a bit different. Your skills, credentials, qualifications, and industry all matter in determining what you can do to grow professionally. But there are some basic steps for administrative assistants in higher ed, or other fields, who are looking for advancement.
For those looking to add value to their organization, a fundamental first step is to understand organizational goals. In education, this means identifying your institution’s academic standards and purpose. What value does the institution provide to the community? What academic disciplines does your school (or department) prioritize? And why are these things prioritized?
Having a deeper understanding of the organizational goals is crucial because it allows you to identify areas of need. How can you, as an administrative assistant, improve the organization’s chances of meeting or exceeding its goals? These are the questions you should ask at the outset of your strategic planning.
It also helps to stay tuned into new developments within your organization. Goals might change, as can company structure, workplace practices, technological access, and much more. Make sure you have an understanding of any changes or developments taking place in your organization. This can allow you to be more flexible or more accommodating when change inevitably does occur.
Networking is always a useful habit for anyone looking to advance their career. So it should come as no surprise that strategic-minded administrative assistants should continue focusing on networking.
Networking is valuable for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a great way to learn things. When you interact with new people in your field, you gain insight into their experiences. This can open your eyes to new opportunities, strategies, technologies, and more.
Networking can also give you insight into how other organizations are run, and how they have tackled problems that you are currently facing. This can be especially great for your strategic planning if your institution is currently looking for new solutions.
Last, but certainly not least, you should be focused on your own personal development as well. What administrative assistant skills do you have, and which can be improved? Are there any qualifications or certifications you could have? What about your soft skills?
Even if you feel you excel at your job, there is always room for improvement. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, seek out feedback, challenge yourself, and invest in your professional growth. It can be one of the best ways to find and add value to your company or organization.
Lastly, one other way you can advance your career is to find more fulfilling and rewarding career opportunities. ASAP is a community of administrative professionals that provides support, networking, and resources for administrative assistants everywhere. Consider becoming a member to receive access to ASAP’s extensive training resources and professional events today.
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