Employers have begun to recognize our changing roles in the workplace and some have reflected that by changing our title from “secretary” to titles that more accurately describe the positions we are performing in our organizations such as:
- Legal Assistant
- Personal Assistant or Personal Aide
- Medical Assistant
- Executive Assistant
- Office Coordinator, etc.
Event planning is a big industry that looks for people who are skilled in planning big events without a hitch. What better candidate to take on that role as a career, than the assistant who regularly plans events from small meetings to large conferences.
An assistant who has a marketing flare with a creative mind can branch out into editing or writing. Those who are skilled at regularly thinking on their feet as they come up with solutions and ideas both on the computer and on the job might be able to step into this role.
Some examples would be managing a company website, creating, editing and writing a company newsletter or creating promotional materials, invitations and brochures for marketing events. This can be a rewarding career change for those suited to this type of work.
An assistant with a head for numbers may be able to move into finance in an accounting or a tax firm. Some assistants regularly manage small budgets when planning functions or have bookkeeping responsibilities and work regularly on spreadsheets. Those with experience in this area might enjoy this type of career move.
Organization is a must if you are an assistant. One of our main duties is to keep our bosses organized. While being organized seems natural to us because of the nature of our jobs, some people are not organized and need help and are looking for skilled and organized people to do the job for them.
Working Within Your Current Job:
Someone who wants to remain in their Administrative Assistant position but spread their wings, can work with their supervisor and HR Manager to develop and change their role by specializing in certain areas and do more of the things they enjoy and are good at.
Administrative Assistants have a list of things they specialize in including business writing, proofreading, minute taking, meeting planning, travel agent, desktop publishing, editing, public relations and client liaison to name a few.
Some assistants have expanded their role to that of an executive assistant which sometimes means performing the role of an office manager.
Working our way out of a job
Kim began as an administrative assistant and has now become the HR Manager of a major law firm.
Sue is an IT specialist who started out as an administrative assistant with a knack for computers and made it work for her as a career.
Elizabeth began as an administrative assistant in an accounting firm and has become a junior chartered accountant.
What do these three women have in common?
- They each had a desire to pursue a different area of interest and they changed their direction and worked themselves into a new career.
- They each had forward-thinking employers who allowed them to have vision and encouraged them to work towards their goal and made room for that new role within their organization.
- They each took the initiative to get appropriate training and education to better equip them in the areas they were interested in.