Our annual Administrative Professionals’ conference will be held virtually this year. Join us on Friday, April 23 for a half-day of engaging sessions. Register now.
Office support roles have changed drastically as our working world has evolved over the past several decades, increasingly so in the most recent years. Technology, modernization and social changes all affect the jobs our administrative professionals do. But they continue to shine as vital members of the workforce.
Adapting all the Time
Successful administrative staff are flexible, adaptable and open to change. As a large part of the role involves organization and planning—keeping a business running smoothly—they deal with new technology constantly. It is crucial to learn about new computer skills, software and databases, file management (both digital and physical), and other solutions. They adapt quickly to new procedures or emergency protocols and have to be able to share them with other staffers.
Decades ago, office managers might have spent part of their day typing documents on a manual typewriter, correcting errors manually with Wite-Out, and making copies using carbon paper. Over time, word processors and then computers with word processing programs took over. Now, many might use tablets, laptops, voice recognition software, and more to accomplish the same job as that old-school typewriter.
All that new technology comes with new programs as well—email, internet research tools, website management, spreadsheet programs… the list goes on. Our office support staff take it all on, without complaint. The phrase “it’s not my job” isn’t part of their vocabulary—they simply adjust and carry on.
The Face of our Organizations
Whether with clients, partners, or potential employees, administrative professionals regularly act as the face of a company. They rely on excellent verbal and written communication, customer service skills, listening, and intuition to succeed in this role. Often providing the initial impressions of a company, those in these roles contribute to the long-term success of any business.
Even internally, office support acts as one of the primary faces of an organization. Armed with expert knowledge about their workplaces, they help employees with a huge variety of tasks every day. And in a company with siloed departments, a support teammate might be one of the only people who interacts regularly with all members of staff.
Over time, the way administrative professionals work across their companies has expanded. Many organizations have shifted from a model of an administrative assistant working for a single manager or executive to one where the administrator serves an entire team, department, or business. This has led to an expansion of their duties as well.
Opportunities to Learn
Performing in such varied and vital roles, admins find it extremely valuable to help colleagues build leadership skills and develop in their jobs. Some of these key habits and skills might include:
Staying up to date on industry trends
Practicing good communication skills
Honing listening and constructive feedback skills
Offering great customer service
Learning about new technology and programs
Providing aid in new ways across the entire workplace
If you are looking develop as a professional in an administrative role, consider joining the Community College Workforce Alliance for our annual Administrative Professionals Conference. Each year we bring together administrative professionals and insightful speakers for a day of learning and networking. This April, we’ll give you the tools to help you thrive during times of uncertainty, build an inclusive environment in the workplace, boost your productivity in the age of technology, and much more. The event will be virtual this year, to allow for safe attendance and participation.
Reserve your spot today!