15 Undeniable Skills of an Administrative Assistant (Part 2 of 3)

administrative assistant

Today’s blog is one in a series on education, best practices and industry hot topics related to careers in Administration, including but not limited to those working as Executive Assistants, Admin Assistants and Office Managers.  Today’s Admins handle duties that have no limits in scope and as the greater Philadelphia’s most trusted Corporate Transportation partner, Kevin Smith Transportation Group is invested in supporting those who work to make sure their companies run smoothly every day. 

If you want to hire your own Personal Assistant to book ground transportation, call 610-222-6225 and speak to one of Kevin Smith Transportation Group’s Corporate Concierges who can assist you with everything from Airport Transportation, Executive Black Car Service and Employee Shuttle Services.

Last week, we covered the first 5 undeniable skills that every Admin has or needs.  If you haven’t read last week’s blog, click here to see what some of our Rockstar Admins that we work with shared.

This week, we are going to cover skills 6 through 10.

6. Adaptability

As we’ve noted before, an Admin’s responsibilities are wide and varied. Often, this means being able to stop on a dime and pivot towards a completely unrelated project. Things change quickly, and the best Admins can react and adapt with ease.

For example, if the boss suddenly reveals a spontaneous trip that will send her out of the office for the next two weeks, her Admin needs to spring to action, clearing her schedule while effectively communicating with all affected parties to avoid hurt feelings and bruised egos. In this situation, there’s no time to stress out and spend hours deciding what to do.

Here’s our Rockstar Admin explaining this point.  “The other top skill would be being bale to change what you are working on in a moment’s notice.  I can be in the middle of something and my boss walks in and says he needs something now, I have to stop what I am doing and do what he has asked of me, then get back on track for what I was doing before he came to see me. 

That’s a key point.  It’s not just about quickly switching tasks, it’s about being able to get back on track once you switch back. After all, there’s very little that an Admin does that isn’t important.

7. Meticulous Organization

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s super important. When you’re working on a ton of different projects, you don’t have time to waste duplicating work due to a lack of organization. Plus, organization helps reduce stress, and it also stops important work from “falling through the cracks” both literally and figuratively.

When it comes to how you get organized, one of our Rockstar Admins contends that there’s only one rule; whatever works for you.

“No two people work the same way.  I like to finish a project before I start on another one.  But that is not always possible, so I have to have reminders to tell me to finish the first project I was working on.”

“Everyone has their own organizational skills and knows what works best for them.  I’m a sight person.  I use the calendar a lot.  I also have stuff on my floor so I can keep up with everything.”

“One girl that I work with uses stacks on her desk, so she can be sure what she is working on is finished.”

Whatever your method, organization is definitely a must-have Admin skill.

If you want to hire your own Personal Assistant to book ground transportation, call 610-222-6225 and speak to one of Kevin Smith Transportation Group’s Corporate Concierges who can assist you with everything from Airport Transportation, Executive Black Car Service and Employee Shuttle Services.

8. Having a “Servant’s Heart”

First coined by Robert Greenleaf, the term “servant-leader” has made its way into the management lexicon as of late. It refers to a style of leadership that puts the well-being of others first. In practice, this means focusing on personal and professional development, and viewing one’s main responsibility to be to support the success of one’s team.

This idea of “service” is just as important in the Admin role as it is in a leadership role.  One of our anonymous Rockstar Admins said “this is very important.  A Rockstar executive or administrative assistant wants to serve their leader whether the task Is big or small.  A strong admin knows that by helping achieve their boss’s goals, they will achieve their own.”

Great Admins are selfless and know that their willingness to pitch in for the team helps ensure both the team’s success and their own.

9. Resourcefulness

The ability to improvise, think on your feet, and come up with solutions of the fly is one of the most important traits an Admin can pick up. Our Rockstar admins explain.

“I have yet to coordinate an event that goes off without a hitch regardless of how meticulous I plan.  Whether there’s a last minute change in headcount that you already budgeted for or a system glitch in the monitor display 5 minutes before your boss’s presentation is scheduled to go live.”

“You must be able to think on your fleet.  Whatever the problem, a Rockstar admin will find a solution.”

Resourcefulness is a key trait for sure.  “I see Administrative Assistants who have their hands in a little bit of everything, are able to creatively solve problems and are able to ask the right questions early on in order to prevent any gaps in projects or unexpected challenges.”

10. Grit

We’re all familiar with Murphy’s Law that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.  Well, the business world is not immune.  Far from it in fact. Anyone who’s ever managed a project knows that challenges are inevitable.

Same goes for the Admin role. At some point, things will go sideways. Servers crash, phone systems go down, vendors flake, flights get canceled, people quit.  This isn’t just about being resourceful. It’s about being strong enough to stand up to any situation. A Rockstar Admin doesn’t crumble under pressure. The best ones persevere, rise to the occasion, and get the job done. That’s true grit.

Here’s how Admins can cultivate true grit, sometimes called resiliency:

  • Socializing with coworkers. Socializing releases oxytocin, which reduces susceptibility to stress.
  • Asking for advice. Sometimes, a different perspective is all we need to get through rough times.
  • Focusing on mindset. People can control only the lens through which they see the world, but they can alter their viewpoints from negative to positive with a simple change of perspective.

Thank you for reading part two of today’s blog on the Administrative Professional industry.  Please visit us next week for part three of three as we continue to publish tips, industry news and strategies that directly impact every Administrative Professional.

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