Ten tips for succeeding in administration

Here are ten tips for succeeding in administration, that will help you whether you are an assistant, a clerk, an office automation technician, a receptionist or a secretary….!

1. Organize your day. Before doing anything, start by taking note of all the tasks you have to accomplish that day. Sort them in order of importance, e.g. by deadline or complexity. It is usually not recommended to start your day with the tasks you like the most, since you will tend to spend more time on them and risk running late for the others.

2. Don’t forget anything. Thoroughness is an essential quality to work in administration. You will often have to juggle various tasks throughout the day, and forgetting something could hinder your whole team. Set up safeguards so as to remember everything: to-do list, paper or electronic diary, audible alerts, etc.

3. Ironclad organization. Good filing of e-mails, documents, invoices, supplies, etc. is at the root of your work. Always take the time to put away your work tools to avoid the risk of being overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information and documents you will have to manage. You will also have to help your team be organized—propose a filing system for the computer network, take the initiative to properly reorganize administrative records and suggest processes for sharing diaries. In short, be a model in terms of organization!

4. Grasp the characteristics of each project. Whether to avoid becoming bored, or to counter mistakes due to inattention caused by systematically repeating the same operations for all your projects, make sure to properly grasp the characteristics specific to each of your assignments.

5. When in doubt, ask questions. There is nothing shameful about asking for more information for clarification or to make sure that you have properly understood what your employer is asking you do to. Find the right person to ask and ask all your questions at once instead of interrupting the person several times.

6. Stay on the job. Taking calls, greeting customers, helping your co-workers—it is best to stay close to your office for all these core tasks. Your absence will be even more noticeable if someone has to fill in for you. Your job is to make your team’s work easier, and if the roles are reversed, your usefulness to the company could be questioned.

7. Pay attention to how you come across. Don’t forget that you are the company’s voice and face. You are often the first and last person that visitors and customers will meet or call. It is therefore import to pay attention to your appearance and telephone skills. Adapt yourself to your company’s style to represent what it stands for; a communications company does not have the same image as an accounting firm.

8. Find out about your company’s activities and objectives.Your curiosity will allow you to better do your everyday work when you know all the ins and outs of each project. By becoming interested in your company’s workings and accomplishments, you will have a better grasp of the usefulness of each of your duties and could even be called upon to advise on certain projects.

9. Seize training opportunities. To advance in your career, your knowledge should be up to date. Always take advantage of opportunities to beef up your knowledge and skills on work tools, industry sector and activities. Whether it’s internal training via your co-workers or through external training, learning will always be a good idea throughout your career.

10. Honesty and discretion: the buzzwords of the profession.During your career, you will be asked to manage often confidential documents. Take care never to spread the information. Your manager is counting on your discretion and integrity. Watch out for hallway discussions, as some “snoops” could wish to make you talk!

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