In any company, one of the employees with the biggest variety of responsibilities is the Administrative Assistant. A good Administrative Assistant is constantly flexible, and doesn't limit his or her responsibilities to typing or filing or answering phones. As an Administrative Assistant's prime responsibility is the running of the office, the work of an Admin changes from day to day.
Though the clerical and office skills of many Admins are often overlooked, the best Admin Assistants can make themselves stand out by completing office tasks with the utmost efficiency. Though it's difficult to list the specific responsibilities of an Administrative Assistant, some of the most common tasks an Admin must undertake in the running of the office are:
Answering Phones and Scheduling Appointments
Though many larger companies have Receptionists, the job of answering the phones in smaller companies often falls to the Administrative Assistant. This is often one of the more difficult responsibilities an Admin has, as phone calls range from client questions, to information from corporate, to irate customers. Many Admin Assistants also schedule meetings, both internally and with external customers and support. This requires sharp organizational skills, as mixing up free times and dates for busy co-workers can lead to disaster.
Preparing and Sending Correspondence
Whether it be writing the end-of-year newsletter or an informational letter to clients, many Admin Assistants are give the job of organizing, writing, and sending correspondence. This requires good communications abilities, as well as an in-depth knowledge of grammar and spelling. The sending of correspondence, especially in large volume, often requires expertise with Microsoft Word's Mail Merge feature, as well as experience with Excel spreadsheets.
Writing and Preparing Reports, Documents, and Spreadsheets
Preparing reports and documents is usually one of the most important tasks of an administrative assistant. Whether creating a simple spreadsheet to track employee attendance, or using information from corporate to create an in-depth report on the company's results, most Administrative Assistants need a very high level of Microsoft Excel knowledge.
Organizing and Running the Office
Having great organizational skills is the number one requirement for a good Administrative Assistant. This is because the running and organization of the office is generally an Admin's main responsibility. Without a well organized Admin Assistant, it's easy for an office to fall into chaos. From organizing your computer desktop, to arranging the office, to ordering the correct office supplies, to managing customers, an Administrative Assistant must be organized at all times. This is especially true when running an office. Even in the largest company, the smooth running of an office depends on the organization of a good Administrative Assistant.
Though it's not a glamorous or glorified career, working as an Administrative Assistant entails a great amount of responsibility. The more difficult and complicated the office or the task, the more rewarding it can be for the one who can 'tame' or organize it. Though, unfortunately, Admin Assistants tend to be overlooked, getting your foot in the door of a company in an Admin capacity can give you the experience you need to create the career you want.
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