How to move up the ranks as an admin
5 tips to help you advance as an administrative professional.
From the front-desk receptionist to the CEO’s executive assistant, administrative professionals put their legendary organizational skills to work at all levels of business to keep companies running smoothly. Even if you’re working as an admin and loving your job, you may be looking for opportunities to grow and advance. You know there are plenty out there, but how do you take advantage of them?
Consider these five tips to help you move up the ranks as an admin.
Find a mentor
You want to seek advice on how to move up from “a professional mentor who has ‘been there-done that’,” says Elliot Lasson, executive director of Joblink of Maryland. “It might be a skill, set of experience, training, certification, or degree. The point is that ‘how to move up’ is somewhat industry and situation specific.”
Make yourself visible
“As an admin, one needs to gain as much visibility as possible,” advises Parker Geiger, owner of image and brand development firm the CHUVA Group. “One needs to first determine where they wish to go in the company, then connect the dots with those who might have great influence in supporting one's goals.”
Networking with your colleagues is a key part of the process of getting where you want to go. Geiger explains. “The next step is to start building those relationships by asking one for coffee, lunch, or positioning themselves close in the cafeteria to sit close to create an opportunity for interaction.”
Show you’re willing to lend a hand
Let people know you’re a proactive participant in the organization by pitching in even when what needs to be done isn’t technically in your job description. “Your role is vital to your organization and the people you support,” says Career Contessa founder Lauren McGoodwin. “Do good work and [demonstrate] a willingness to help out whenever you can. Once you get comfortable, ask your employer if you can sit in on meetings and calls- you'd be surprised how much you'll pick up.”
The little things really do matter. “Build your personal brand by becoming an expert in a something specific,” says Isha Cogborn, president and founder of professional development firm Epiphany Institute.
Be good at PowerPoint, figuring out Google+, managing Salesforce or understanding company policies. “It can be a technology platform or a high-impact activity your organization routinely carries out,” says Cogborn. Any way you approach it, “you’ll raise your stock with decision makers who know they can depend on you to deliver and put yourself on the radar for new opportunities.”
Frequently airing your grievances about your current position isn’t going to convince anyone you’re ready take on more responsibilities. “My number one advice is to never complain,” says body language expert and speaker Janine Driver. “Whether you are filing away papers or getting coffee always do it with a smile on your face. Be grateful for the job you have and the experience you are gaining by being around so much success.”