Office and administrative support occupations are projected to see a total of 1.5 million new job openings between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment trends indicate that companies are filling vacancies and adding new positions at a faster pace to keep up with rising workloads, and they're seeking administrative professionals who meet the following criteria:
- Have industry experience.
- Have a track record of showing initiative and the ability to collaborate.
- Possess a balance of experience and potential for future advancement.
- Feel comfortable with technology and software, especially Microsoft Office applications and social media platforms.
- Are excellent verbal and written communicators.
- Bring a positive can-do attitude to every interaction.
- Can make an immediate impact.
Recently, OfficeTeam teamed up with the International Association of Administrative Professionals to determine what the Office of the Future would look like for administrative professionals. Using data from that project and OfficeTeam's annual Salary Guide, we identified three employment trends that will have the biggest impact on office support staff.
1. Job titles are evolving
About half of the 2,200 administrative professionals who participated in a survey for the Office of the Future project said they either were unsure of what their job description entailed or felt it was inaccurate because their duties had evolved considerably. Employment trends like this are a sign that administrative professionals are being tasked with different – and more – job responsibilities than in the past.
These changes are reflected in the unique job titles administrative professionals are beginning to assume. For example:
- Chief executive administrator
- Director of first impressions
- Administrative chief of staff
- Director of administration
- Administrative services manager
2. Many job descriptions are outdated
Among the most important employment trends is this: Administrative professionals are shouldering more responsibility and also being asked to take on tasks that don't fit neatly under the job descriptions of other employees in the company. In fact, 87 percent of surveyed administrative professionals said they are asked to do something that's outside of their job descriptions very or somewhat often. That means new job descriptions are in order for most administrative roles.
Job descriptions define not only your day-to-day tasks but also the goals and benchmarks you need to meet. This keeps you and your manager aligned on the criteria used to evaluate your performance on the job. If you feel that your job description is outdated, ask your manager if you can work together to create an updated version that contains the following information:
- A brief summary explaining your position and your overall role in the company
- A list of your key job duties, the estimated time you should spend on each duty and the frequency of performing it (daily, weekly, monthly)
- The specific knowledge, skills, experience or other training required for the job
- Qualities or characteristics that help you excel in the job
If your manager is reluctant to make changes, there are ways to get around the red tape and update your admin job description.
3. Salaries are rising
The Salary Guide predicts average starting salaries across the administrative field will increase by 3.4 percent in 2015. The compensation for some positions, including HR assistant, senior executive assistant and customer service representative, is expected to exceed the average. And employers will often pay a premium for those who possess a Certified Administrative Professional designation, Microsoft Office Specialist certification or the ability to speak multiple languages.
For more insight on how this employment trend might affect your career, download OfficeTeam's Salary Guide. You can also calculate administrative salaries specific to your area using OfficeTeam's Salary Calculator.
Employment trends show that the future is bright for administrative professionals. Because employers face recruitment challenges, strong applicants who seek new positions may receive multiple job offers. Employers are also increasing benefits and perks to retain the best workers. Check out OfficeTeam's Take Note blog for more advice on how to take advantage of these developments to advance your career.