There is no better time than now to begin your career as an administrative assistant. Despite recent economic trends, the demand for qualified professionals, capable of performing multiple tasks efficiently, continues to grow each day steadily. The fact that there are presently a wide variety of businesses whose needs require talented individuals to handle any number of important administrative duties means that there are currently more opportunities available in this field than ever before. This phenomenon, coupled with the advent of computer-based business technology and modern systems of communication, has helped to create a new generation of professionals with an entirely different skill set than its predecessors.
While salaries vary widely from industry to industry, many administrative positions, particularly those within the private sector, are very well remunerated. Although these facts may sound promising, you are probably wondering what skills are required to embark upon an exciting career as an administrative assistant.
Because there are any number of different industries and fields that require the services of administrative personnel, the responsibilities of these individuals tend to vary. Nevertheless, there are some basic abilities that any administrative assistant should possess. Among these, the most important are organizational skills. The ability to effectively run any business or institution calls for extraordinary attention to detail, which is why many high-level executives, managers and other professionals depend heavily on administrative assistants to keep track of information and help them manage their time effectively.
As a rule, in today’s world, any successful professional needs to have some basic computer skills. Proficiency in the use of word processing software, email programs, spreadsheets and web browsers is a must, while some positions may also call for the use of industry-specific or proprietary applications. Most employers provide on the job training in the use of specialized software. However, basic computer literacy and good typing skills are prerequisites for any administrative assistant position.
In addition to a firm grasp on computer technology, candidates for these types of jobs also need to possess effective communication skills. Administrative assistants should be able to express themselves well, both verbally as well as in writing. It isn’t enough to be a good listener, although that is also an important skill. If you want to be successful in this field, you need to be able to convey your ideas in a coherent and concise fashion. Also, it is important to be familiar with modern communications technology.
The most important thing is to be motivated and possess a willingness to learn as well as the ability to follow directions. Even if you’ve never worked in an office setting before, you’ll learn quickly as long as you show some initiative, keep an open mind and listen carefully to the instructions of your superiors as well as the advice of more experienced co-workers.
While a career as an administrative assistant can be very rewarding in and of itself, it can also serve as a launchpad to bigger and better things. The great thing about this field is that the possibilities are endless. Not only can you to choose what industry you’d like to work in, but you can establish yourself, learn the ropes and make contacts that can help you to pursue other opportunities further down the line. The fact is that many of the world’s most successful people started their careers as administrative assistants. If you think you have what takes to make it in this exciting field, don’t wait any longer, post your resume today and begin making your dreams become a reality.