If you want to move beyond your position as an administrative assistant, you could be in luck. A recent New York Times survey of top executives suggests opportunity for admin career growth is thriving. As a matter of fact, your desk might be the perfect place to start. Your position as an admin affords you access to lots of company information and connections, so use what you've got to begin your journey up the ladder.
Raise Your Hand
The first step in moving up the ladder at your company is demonstrating that you're willing and able to take on more responsibilities in the position you already have. Be the first to volunteer on new projects or training programs, attend meetings with management, and take thorough notes on what is discussed. Get to know the names of each individual you come in contact with, so you can begin to build relationships and feel comfortable among your superiors.
Do Your Homework
Consider the positions you strive toward, and conduct thorough research on what it takes to get to that level. Do you need to possess a certain type of degree or certification? What technical skills are necessary? Scour job postings for this information, and be prepared to do the work. In the meantime, try to fit in with the management team by mastering the responsibilities of your position. Become the go-to expert on all the software packages, phone systems and office equipment your company uses. Polish your communication skills, attend every meeting, and be early or on time to the office every day. Showing the higher-ups how much of an asset you are in your position makes it easier when it comes time to consider you for a promotion.
Continue Your Education
If the position you hope to land requires a degree you don't have, look into enrolling in a local college. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement and schedule flexibility for employees who want to continue their education, so it's worth a look. Even if you don't have to enroll in a formal college program to qualify for the position, learning new things is still a great way to sharpen your skill set and make new connections. Try taking a public speaking course, software workshop or computer technology class to learn new skills you didn't know you needed.
Just Go for It
No matter what your position is or what industry you work in, there is always room for growth and advancement. Keep a record of all your accomplishments to help make your case when you ask your boss for support. If you really want to move upward, understand that it won't be handed to you. You have to make the first move, and you must be prepared to work hard for what you want. Nothing worth having comes easy, but if you put in the work, you can prepare yourself for success in a position at a higher level.
An administrative assistant career offers a variety of options for advancement, either within your current company or at another one. Use your position as the backbone of the company as leverage for new opportunities. With ample preparation and dedication, the possibilities are within reach.
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