Often some of the articles published during the secretaries’ week used to make me think and think deeply. I was secretary for 15 years in very demanding positions were my knowledge and experience were always at the edge of the organizations’ expectations and demands. I though that one day I will write this article from the professional high performance perspective.
Someone that have never faced twelve telephone lines ringing at the same time, could miss lots of details and situations about appropriate message managing, or appropriate client attention over the phone neither will have an idea about; how in the world you could make this mistake while you were typing? “If it is just a matter of choosing the right attitude”; while you have 10 things in your “to do list,” your supervisor just ask you to do 5 more, the client who just call ask you 3 more and your colleagues are counting on you to help them proof read that important document.
Beyond the right attitude, good manners and necessary style, administrative assistants need technical, administrative, managing, writing and composition skills both English and Spanish, wide knowledge about computers, time management and problems solving capabilities, and in some cases accounting and even some legal rules.
My knowledge and experience allows me to cheer some tips: (1) Start by realize where are you now as a professional and human being, and where do you expect to be within one year perhaps, visualize your goal and make a plan to reach each goal, do not let your destiny be guide by some mysterious force, be in charge. (2) Realize that Administrative Assistants need to be updated about technology and that is a full time job in these days. Be educated constantly in the latest programs including “desktop publishing and even accounting,” learn about how new operative systems and new versions of the programs you already know. (3) Learn about your company, revise manuals and procedures, mission and values, learn about the administration of your area, get cross trained, learn about other positions, the more you know the more valuable you are for your company. (4) Get self-starter do not expect your supervisor watch every step you make, you are supposed to be the helper, then help, anticipate those expectations and show that you are capable of outstanding performance with minimum or non supervision. (5) Manage healthy human relations with your co-workers, be a model of respect, courtesy and manners. Make your job a happy place to be and you the person everyone want to have around for a job well done and nice human relations. (6) Manage time wasters like, personal phone calls, desk disorganizations, lack of priorities, attempting too much at once, unclear communication, delayed information, indecision, procrastination, inability to say “no,” lack of self-discipline, , no deadlines, unrealistic time estimates, no daily plan, leaving tasks unfinished, gossiping.
You have an ocean of possibilities if you work smarter, with joy, responsibility and passion. Focus on you next port, plan the route, mark the charts and sail away!
Copyright 2002 QBS, Inc.