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Tips on Breaking into the Admin Field

August 4, 2022

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Becoming an administrative professional is a highly sought-after career for many individuals. Most businesses have multiple administrative professional positions, which means that there are a plethora of industries you can work in as an admin. In addition, there is a constant demand for administrative jobs. Plus, later on, when you have more experience as an administrator, you may have more opportunities to work at other businesses or advance towards another clear goal.

Although some people are happy to work as lower-level administrative professionals like receptionists or administrative assistants due to the salary, benefits, and knowledge of the job itself, for others looking to advance from their admin position, there are many paths forward including officer administrator, executive assistant, bookkeeper jobs, and more. In addition, the connections you make as an admin will help you later if you are seeking a different position.

For these reasons and many more, you may want to become an administrative professional, but you may be having trouble breaking into the field or simply wondering how to start. Below, we’ll discuss tips on how to break into the field and become an admin.

Understand What Makes a Good Administrative Professional

The first step to breaking into the field is understanding what makes a good administrative professional. In order to accurately represent how your skills and experience can benefit an employer looking to hire an admin, you should know what they’re looking for in a good candidate.

Although we can’t go over every skill that makes for a good administrative professional, here are a few important ones to keep in mind:

  • Organized - Administrative professionals need to keep track of a lot of information and data, so stellar organizational skills are a must-have.
  • Problem solvers - Unexpected problems and last-minute changes are common obstacles for admins, so a good admin needs to be a creative problem solver that can think on their feet.
  • Good communicators - Admins communicate with employees at every level of a company along with clients and business partners; therefore, strong communication skills are a requirement for a successful admin.

There are many more skills that you should develop or showcase when trying to break into the admin field. If you’d like to learn more specifics check out our articles Admin Skills that Add Value and Top 10 Soft Skills of an Administrative Assistant to learn more.

Build Administration Skills and Training

Once you have a better understanding of what a great administrative professional looks like, you can start building and developing these skills and earning relevant education.

Education

Higher education is a great place to start working towards a future job as an administrative professional. Some employers like to see that applicants have a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Although this is not required for many entry-level positions, it can certainly help.

If you do not have a bachelor’s degree or you’re not working towards one, consider an associate’s degree. An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree requires a year or two of study to receive. This degree will thoroughly cover and build the skills required for administrative work and will look excellent on your resume when applying to relevant jobs.

Admin certificate programs are another way to build and represent necessary skills for admin jobs. These certificates are often earned between a few months and a year. They will cover computer literacy, basic clerical skills, along with some useful financial concepts. Certificate programs can be found both online and in person at business schools and community colleges.

Skills

If building skills through education and programs doesn’t fit your timeline, then there are some faster ways you can develop admin skills that will help you stand out in your application.

One of the most important skills necessary for administrative professionals is fluency with relevant programs and tools. These include Microsoft Word, Excel, Calendly, Slack, Gmail, database management software, along with many more. Although many people learn to use these programs through training courses or classes, you can teach yourself to learn them online. The internet has countless stores of information in the form of videos and articles that can help you to learn the basics and more advanced features of these programs. For example, ASAPorg has many resources that can help you learn like our articles Excel formulas and Microsoft Word: Tips & Tricks.

Getting Experience and Networking

It’s important to keep in mind that although the above skills and education are very helpful to becoming an admin, they are by no means necessary in every case. Some people can get admin jobs only with a GED if they have the right connections or other relevant experience.

Networking is one of the best ways to get any job, including administrative professional jobs. You can start with friends, family, and people you met in college and look to see if any of them are in administrative fields or work at companies looking to hire admins. Also, check job sites like LinkedIn to make contact with administrative professionals and employers looking to hire admins.

Next, get experience that is related to administrative jobs. This can include internships where you are performing administrative duties, part-time jobs, temp jobs, or entry-level jobs in the field like a receptionist position. Once you have some real-world experience in an office environment performing administrative duties, you will have a much easier time landing administrative professional jobs, regardless of your education.

About the Author: 

Thomas Hall is a freelance contributor. He specializes in financial content and informative web articles, although he considers himself a jack of all trades.  Thomas studied Mandarin Chinese, Philosophy, and Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont, and pursued writing as a career after graduating in 2020. In his free time, he loves to read, travel, explore nature, and write fiction. You can find him here on LinkedIn.


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