One of my favorite things about working on a team is that everyone has different points of view and skills and personality traits they bring to the table. How boring would life be if we were all the same? I’d say probably more boring than watching paint dry. Because of our human diversity, there are lots of different types of careers suited to different types of people. If you’ve been considering changing your career to, or starting a career in, office administration (executive assisting, administrative assisting, medical administrative assisting, etc.), here are a few important, but often overlooked, skills and characteristics to keep in mind.
Being technologically capable is one of the often-overlooked skills needed in office administration. You’ll likely be tasked with setting up meeting equipment beforehand, managing details of travel plans from your smartphone, and being connected to your boss via email and messaging, among other technologically oriented tasks. If you’re not comfortable with technology, you’re going to feel overwhelmed and lack confidence. To combat that, keep up-to-date with the latest office technology and if you don’t know how to use something or do something, don’t be afraid to ask for help and take the time to learn.
An important characteristic of good assistants is that they are more analytical than emotional. They can look at an impossible situation objectively and determine the best course of action without breaking down and hiding under their desks. If you find that you react to situations emotionally instead of stepping back and analyzing the data to take the wisest course of action, you may need to focus on becoming more analytical—especially if you want to be successful in office administration. Almost everyone can learn to look at the world in a more objective manner and that’s great both in the office and outside it. Look at this great blog about analytical thinking to get a few ideas.
Independent yet exact in following directions
In office administration, it’s important to be self-directed and complete tasks independently and without a ton of direction; however, it is equally important to be able to follow directions exactly. Office administration requires flexibility in this regard. You must be able to balance being independent and being capable of following directions to really shine as an assistant.
These are just a few skills and traits but they are ones that are often overlooked. Can you think of any other skills or characteristics that stellar office assistants have? Share them in the comments below!