Administrative Assistants Take on More Roles

Julie Shenkman
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If you think being an administrative assistant only means making photocopies and answering phones, think again. Administrative assistants are taking on more roles, including responsibilities such as social media manager, webmaster and project manager. When companies expand administrative roles, administrative assistants have opportunities to build new skills and become even more valuable.

The core role of the administrative assistant is still to provide administrative support to an individual, team or, in some cases, an entire office. However, the definition of administrative support has changed. Today's administrative assistants are just as likely to scan their bosses' email inboxes as they are to answer their bosses' phones. They're likely to be asked to draft tweets and Facebook posts along with memos and meeting minutes.

Why have companies started to expand administrative roles? Because the type of administration the typical company needs is now vastly beyond the photocopying, dictation-taking administrative work of a few generations ago. Today, a company's administrative work includes photo editing, website and social media management, and even project management.

If you plan to become an administrative assistant or to build a current career in office administration, learning new tech trends is essential. The successful administrative assistant keeps abreast of new tech trends, such as cloud computing, and knows how to use the latest tech tools to improve a business's administrative operations. You do not want to be the administrative assistant who does not know how to resize and upload a photo or how to store and retrieve documents on a cloud server.

According to Forbes, a good administrative assistant needs to take on the role of problem solver. Every company and boss has slightly different problems to solve, but a good administrative assistant is ready to find solutions for all of them, whether it's planning international travel schedules for a seven-person team or researching SEO keywords to use in the company blog.

Although many of the traditional administrative assistant tasks have disappeared — most people type their own documents these days, for example — the new tasks and roles that have sprung up to take their place guarantee that administrative assistants always have plenty of work to do to keep offices running. Today's administrative assistants are more likely to be texting their bosses from smartphones than taking dictation from a Dictaphone, but they are still essential and fundamental parts of the office. In fact, the more roles an administrative assistant is able to manage, the more career opportunities become available.

Today's administrative assistants take on many more roles than their predecessors, in part because offices have many more administrative tasks. Smart administrative assistants keep up-to-date on new tech trends and tools and are ready to use them to solve problems for supervisors and team members. If you're looking to be a successful administrative assistant, learning how to handle these roles is one of the best ways to grow your career.


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