One of our most popular blog posts has been a piece about the skills employers look for in an administrative assistant in the past few years. Knowing these skills has never been more important, as COVID-19 has increased the importance and complexity of the admin’s role. Not only do they need the traditional proficiencies in scheduling, bookkeeping, and arranging travel; admins also are being asked to take on front-line strategic functions like onboarding new hires and keeping everyone connected – particularly critical in an environment where remote work has become standard.
With that in mind, here are five skills employers will be looking for in admins in 2021.
- Creative problem solving
If you want to learn how to be a good administrative assistant in 2021, problem solving should be in your toolbox. Since an admin’s main responsibility is to keep things on point, problem solving is an indispensable skill. With remote work and flexible schedules on the rise, today’s modern workplace demands a new type of creative thinking to keep everything running smoothly.
- Foresight and anticipation
The best admins don’t need to be told what to do. They anticipate the solution before the problem even becomes a problem. These admins rise from being super helpful to being indispensable – the secret weapons bosses can’t live without.For instance, let’s say someone wants to set up a meeting with your boss to get some information on a project. If you can provide the information needed in that initial contact, you can tell your boss: “I took care of this ask for you because I see on the calendar that you’re blocked.” That anticipation and preparedness will really make you stand out.
The jury is still out on whether multitasking and productivity can truly co-exist. The best practice is to prioritize multiple tasks and handle them out one by one. But some of an admin’s core responsibilities require them to knock out assignments simultaneously. That’s because in addition to bigger, more strategic responsibilities, admins are still expected to handle mundane duties like scheduling. Being able to get these done quickly – or simultaneously – is a major advantage. The best admins do this effortlessly and accurately.
As we’ve noted, an admin’s responsibilities are wide and varied. Often, this means being able to stop on a dime and pivot towards a completely unrelated project. Things change quickly, and the best admins can react and adapt with ease. And adaptability isn’t just about quickly switching tasks; it’s about being able to get back on track once you switch back.
- Meticulous organization
It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s super important. When you’re working on a ton of different projects, you don’t have time to waste duplicating work due to a lack of organization. Plus, the organization helps reduce stress, and it also stops important work from “falling through the cracks.”–
- Effective communication
There’s no type of communication that Admins don’t touch. They must be savvy on the phone, write good emails, and project confidence when they speak to employees at all levels. No matter what the medium, their communication has to be clear, direct, and succinct.
Admins can transform a simple to-do list into a list of invaluable accomplishments through the art of prioritization. An ability to differentiate between “mission-critical tasks” and “tasks that can wait” showcases impeccable judgement, leadership skills, and an alignment with company values. Best of all, prioritization showcases competence, inspiring trust from leaders who are thrilled they don’t have to hold any hands.
Looking for Opportunities to put Your Admin Skills Into Action?
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