Career Advice from Admins for Admins: Rise and Shine

This career advice is not about getting an early start on your day or making sure you eat breakfast every morning; it’s about soaring in your career as an administrative assistant and being an exceptional team player in the process. Here are recommendations from your fellow admins.

Following our recent Superhero Contest, I spoke with each of our winners to find out what they believe is at the core of being a successful administrative assistant. In my conversations with them, three themes emerged that any administrative professional looking to get ahead should keep in mind … Here, in our winners’ words, is career advice on what helps them rise and shine. May their words of wisdom inspire you.

Focus on customer service 

Asked,“What qualities do you believe make up the ideal administrative assistant?” there was one common response in the varied answers I received from each winner: good customer service skills. Their recommendation is that in all you do, make sure customer satisfaction is your number one priority, display a willingness to help others and strive to exceed expectations.

  • “When a request is made of me, I automatically respond positively and professionally, setting the tone for my next question: How can I help you?” – Rebecca Hoetger, regional office assistant, Esri
  • “My first priority is to make the client happy and any work done should be in service to them.” – Billy Davis, client services coordinator, Teachscape
  • “Deliver excellent customer service, be easy to work with and do your best.” – Maria Cepeda, senior administrative assistant, City of Atlanta

Demonstrate a positive attitude in the workplace

In your assignments, your enthusiasm can be a key ingredient in your success as an administrative professional. When you’re positive, your outlook is clear and you’re able to anticipate needs. And in times when change occurs (and we all know that is inevitable), exercise versatility to address the situations you face. Don’t stray from adding value and being someone who can make a difference. 

  • “I’m someone who goes the extra mile; someone who’s still willing to do what’s needed, even without recognition. I’m motivated by being a part of a team.” – Rebecca
  • “The greatest administrative professionals have one thing in common – a positive attitude. Coming to work every day with a smile and a caring nature for those around you is essential to being able to truly enjoy and make the most out of any opportunity.” – Billy
  • “Work with a smile and be positive every day. Don’t stress over problems. And take advantage of opportunities that arise.” – Maria

Be willing to take on new challenges

Challenges are important to career growth because you (and others) will never know your full potential unless you take them on and prove yourself. Don’t play it safe – volunteer for projects and step up to challenges that are outside of your comfort zone.

  • “I enjoy organizing the office and making sure it runs smoothly. Every day brings a different challenge. And when I am faced with decisions to make, I like to use a good-better-best philosophy. What I mean by this is, there are good things to choose from. Of the good, I choose the better options and of the better, I choose the best. I actually apply this both professionally and personally.” – Rebecca
  • “I live by a quote I found years ago. Henry David Thoreau said ‘As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.’ Every day is a challenge, and when I keep my thoughts straight and attitude right, all falls in place.” – Billy
  • “I am challenged by different projects handed to me. I like the chance to work with others who have a variety of backgrounds. Learning new things opens up opportunities and I’m like a chameleon who is adaptable to environments.” – Maria

What career advice would you give to administrative professionals who are trying to get ahead? How do you rise and shine in the workplace? Share your comments with us and others here in the OfficeTeam community. Or if you’re on Twitter, use #mycareeradvice to tweet your advice to our followers.