The specifics of administrative assistants’ jobs are as diverse as the admins themselves, but there are aspects that apply across the board. In honor of Administrative Professionals Week (April 22-26), we’re sharing readers’ thoughts on the three traits they felt were essential to being an excellent admin.
That question came up recently on the Admin Pro Forum: “For the company policy guide, our team is submitting a set of three rules—just three—that administrative assistants should keep in mind as they go about their work in order to be the best they can be. What should we include?” — Toby, receptionist.
By far the No. 1 answer readers gave to this question was “confidentiality.” As an admin, “you will hear things that no one should know,” said Bianca Constance.
“Hear everything; repeat nothing,” added Admin Amy. “A lot of times we, as assistants, are left out of the loop. I do my job better if I understand what’s going on in the background.”
Have a can-do attitude was the next most popular response. “Don’t say that something can’t be done, just make it happen … and always do it with a smile,” said Angela.“Never leave someone hanging because of lack of information; always make it your job to find the answer,” said Colette.
More than one reader suggested the ability to prioritize a number of tasks and focus on what’s most important to all admins. “The person and the company you work for are your No. 1 priority at all times,” said Darlene Puckett.
“Establish your priorities at the beginning of each day, communicate them to your boss to make sure you are on the same page, and commit to achieving at a minimum the first thing on your list,” said Laurie.
Other reader suggestions included being honest and acting professionally at all times.
Online resource: "How much have admins’ duties changed?"