Begin your career at a Junior Administration Level and see where it takes you…
We all wish and dream of landing an amazing, high-paying job right out of school – not necessarily answering phones or scheduling meetings all day. But a lot of us start our careers at a junior administration – level, whether it’s as an administration assistant, personal assistant, or in a support role of some kind – and if you think it’s a job that’s going nowhere, please think again.
I know from experience that beginning your career as an Junior Administration Assistant and moving up to an Executive Assistant can be a great way to make fantastic connections, gain experience, and get promoted. All it takes is time, a lot of hard work, and a real willingness to think and step outside of the box.
If you want to make the most of your job as a Junior Administration Assistant – you need to:
Make sure you see the Bigger Picture
Your rank as a Junior Administration Assistant lets you see an industry and a company from an entry level position and then as you grow in the role it allows you to see it at a higher level. This is a wonderful opportunity to use this to your advantage: Make sure you treat everything that comes across your desk as a learning experience. Ensure you take time to read the reports, projects, and memos that you handle. When you work with people from different departments, ask questions about what they do and what they’re working on. Think about career paths within the company you’d be interested in, and use your role to find out as much about them as you can.
Be the Girl or Boy Everybody Wants to Know!!
A lot can depend on who you are supporting in your role, it could be a Marketing Manager, Sales Manager or a Logistics Manager – who knows!. The exposure you get to people, places, and knowledge can be tremendous, and you can very quickly become the person to know in the office. Remember you will have the authority to schedule meetings and make exceptions. You ultimately are the one who decides who gets face-time with your boss and who can wait in line.
The most useful advice I can give is to use your power as the gatekeeper wisely. If you are the reliable, responsive, and solid assistant everyone wishes they had, others will want to know you (or even poach you!). The more worthwhile contacts you make, the better off you will be when you want to take the next step.
Prove Your Worth
Chances are, your role will require you to frequently interact with a variety of people. Leverage off this and offer to take on tasks outside of your position to try different things in the company. If your manager is happy for you to – ask to help with a project in an area that’s understaffed or to take the lead on a task no one else is keen on. Use your exposure to other teams as a key opportunity to build and grow your resume and to show your current boss and potential employers what you’re capable of.
Become a Trusted Employee
Bottom line: Be the best employee you can be to your manager. You will most likely end up being trusted with confidential projects or information – make sure you do not betray that trust. Also, your role may occasionally blur the line between personal and professional — for example, selecting gifts for a wife or family member, or helping out with other personal requests. But rather than getting frustrated, look at it as an opportunity to become closer to your manager — an opportunity that most people won’t get.
If you think your boss is taking advantage and using you more for personal things, then by all means, raise the alarm. But, start with the attitude that no task is too small or too big, and you’ll be seen as a team player. Ultimately working as an executive assistant can get you amazingly unique exposure to an industry and can be a great way to help set your career in motion. Think broadly, learn as much as you can, and establish and build a solid relationship with your Manager. The experience you gain can propel you towards your dream job — or one you hadn’t even known about.
Speak to your favourite Recruitment Consultant or find a Recruitment Agency that specialises in administration roles to kick start your career. Also search job boards and network as much as you can!