PA Life News | Tuesday, 04 March 2014 00:00
New and seasoned administrative professionals alike have a choice to make in their career: follow the crowd or become a leader. Each individual has a certain set of skills they can bring to the table and the key to succeeding is knowing your strengths and using them to your advantage. Here are 10 ways to capitalise on your expertise and stay competitive in this constantly changing climate.
Be aware of the brand you’re building You are judged on a daily basis by the quality of your work, what you say, how you act and how you dress in the office. Always be professional, right down to having a tidy desk, staying away from office politics, being positive and leaving your personal life at the door.
Know what you do and do it well Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile without being asked. Use every opportunity to develop your skills and add bullet points to your job description by learning something new every day.
Never stop learning Keeping up to date in the administrative world is about constantly improving your skills and developing new ones. Show that you’re passionate about your job by earning professional certifications and always be on the look out for more courses to take.
Read constantly Stay on top of industry trends by reading books, articles, blogs and anything else you can get your hands on. Ask colleagues what they’re reading and keep an eye out for new recommendations. It’ll help you at work and can provide interesting topics for conversations.
Join a professional association Professional membership organisations such as the European Management Assistants (EUMA) and the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM) act as doorways to growing your network and strengthening your skills. It also shows that you are serious about your career.
Build your network It is especially true when you’re getting started in the admin field that connecting with other professionals is the best way to grow and develop. Seek out new contacts and build a network of people you can turn to with questions and meet up with regularly to catch up and chat about the industry.
Find a mentor Knowing what attributes you would like a mentor to have and building a relationship with them is the key to growing your skills. Organisations such as Personal Assistant Tips provide one-on-one mentoring to identify weaknesses and give advice.
Learn about team behaviour Knowing how to recognise, interpret and act upon various personality traits within a team environment is essential to your success. Once you understand what makes people tick, you’ll be able to work more effectively with your colleagues.
Keep track of your progress Maintaining a portfolio of your work is a good way to chart your career. Keep a record of your accomplishments, skills, professional development (such as workshops and courses you’ve attended), presentations and letters of appreciation. It’ll also be helpful at performance reviews and for updating your CV.
Have a clear purpose Think of your role as a career and not just a job. Map out a plan for yourself and never turn down a learning opportunity. Remember that it’s not only about the destination; the journey is just as important.
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