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How to get more work from boss?

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Question: I am an administrative assistant for the president of my company and I feel I'm not being utilized enough. Does anyone have any suggestions or suggestions on books to help me get my boss to utilize me more? Thank you.  -- Anonymous

Editor's note: The National Institute of Business Management publishes two books that might help you:

  1. Results, Recognition and Rewards.
  2. Supercharge Your Career.

Find ordering information about both -- as well as about Personal Report for the Administrative Professional -- at

Also, you might check out How to Get From Cubicle to Corner Office, by Joel Weiss, and Become an Inner Circle Assistant, by Joan Burge.



First step is to ask. Then offer to help his/her direct reports and their assistants. Let them know you are available and ready, willing, and able to do more.

The comment by Robin is absolutely correct. Communication and initiative prove to others that you are willing to do more than the status quo. Look at ways to improve processes in your position and ask your supervisor if they can be implemented. You need to talk to your supervisor and make he or she aware that you need to be challenged more. Sometimes they are not aware that you are underutilized, they think everything is okay. A good book to read is QBQ, the Question Behind the Question by John Miller. It's helped me alot.

I too was underutilized. I told my boss I had some time available if he needed me to help. To this day, he likes to tell the story. He had never had an employee ask for something extra to do.

Be proactive! Look around for things you might be able do that get a back burner by someone else. If you think you can do it, ask if you can. I have added to my knowledge base and advanced my position in several jobs just by observing and volunteering. Before long you should have plenty to do!

Books are okay but you can start this action right now!

I suggest you enjoy your peace while you can, until you retire. Don't look for trouble. You deserve the rest.

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