It's amazing the amount of stuff we load on to the backbone of administrative personnel. Without the quality work that these individuals provide, no organization would be successful, and very few "higher ups" seem to realize how vital these people are. Administrative personnel no longer just make the coffee and answer the phone. They are the first communication that prospective clients and business partners have with a company. They are the ones that make sure information gets to the correct person, and they get the brunt of the anger and hostility when something does go wrong. The three core competencies required to be successful in this field are:
- Computer Expertise- According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), the most important skill employers look for in administrative professionals is computer expertise. The rapid and constant development of electronic equipment and labor saving software makes it necessary for administrative professionals to remain current and adaptable. The ability to create spreadsheets, databases and
- People Skills-Even though administrative professionals need to be technically competent; they must not neglect the people skills aspect of their job. Often times an Administrative assistant is an extension of the company or individual brand. They represent their bosses in meetings, train and supervise others, and will probably find themselves working closely with other employees. Tact, patience, and the ability to communicate with others will always be necessary.
- Organizational Ability- With tasks ranging from the management of information (such as paper and electronic files) to researching projects to planning meetings or special events, administrative professionals must be able to manage time, information and people.