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How To Strengthen Your Administrative Skills For Career Advancement

If you’ve currently spent several years working in administrative roles, you may be looking for a change of pace. For some, this means taking advantage of the profession and working within a new industry. For others, however, this can mean transitioning into a higher-level role.

“Some perks of being an administrative professional are that not only are your skills transferable between industries, but you can also move up within your company without having to learn a completely new set of skills,” says Britney Acquaire, a Senior Staffing Manager in The Execu|Search Group’s Office Support division. “However, to be considered for a promotion or advancement of any kind, you will have to be aware of which particular administrative skills you need to strengthen in order to do so.”

Here are the four administrative skills Britney says admins should start building on to be considered for promotions in the future:

Calendar skills

In lower-level administrative roles, you may not have to concern yourself with many calendaring responsibilities. However, if you’re looking to make a jump from an administrative assistant to an executive assistant, for example, you’ll need to be extremely aware of how to manage the calendars for senior-level staff. “In order to have strong calendar skills, it isn’t just about being proficient in Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendars,” explains Britney. “It’s also about acting as a good gatekeeper and knowing how to prioritize meetings for the executive you report to.”

Travel + Expense knowledge

For admins looking to move into a higher-level role, having demonstrable travel & expense knowledge is critical to success. According to Britney, this means being familiar with Concur, as well as being able to identify issues that could come up during travel. “Of course, technical administrative skills like program knowledge are important, but it’s also important to be familiar with how travel visas work, being able to put together an itinerary, and being aware of time zones. “

Data entry skills

Although it’s a lower-level skill, your data entry proficiency is indicative of how you’ll be able to handle more intensive projects as you advance through your career. “If you have good data entry skills, an employer will see that as a sign that you have good organization and project management skills,” explains Britney. “It also says to them that you have an excellent attention to detail, which is one of the key skills all administrative professionals need to have.”

Customer service skills

While not easily teachable, customer service is one of the key administrative skills you’ll need to have in order to advance during your career. Since you often act as a liaison between senior-level staff and anyone they come into contact with, being able to communicate and address needs in a timely manner is imperative. “As you begin to rise through the ranks as an admin, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate an awareness of hierarchies and social cues,” says Britney. “For admins who are able to show they can communicate at the highest level, opportunities will open up more frequently.”

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