Office and Admin Professional Development

What’s Next for Administrative and Executive Assistants?


Over at The Effective Admin, Karen Porter has some advice for Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants who are ready for the next big rung up the ladder.

If you like providing administrative support, you may find reassurance in the predictable climb upwards every time someone leaves or someone new is hired and needs an assistant. Or maybe you stumbled into admin work and are just happy to have a desk and a paycheck! But maybe now that you’re settled and have started to look around, you’ve realized you’re on a conveyor belt of sorts. That can often feel too limited.

What if you didn’t have to follow a predefined path? What if you could develop your own path based on a 5- or 10-year plan?

What this may mean is letting go of your title, or even your professional category and focusing instead of what responsibilities you want to hold a year or several years from now. Does your company have  roles that would afford you those opportunities? If not, is there any way you can still acquire some of those responsibilities outside of your normal job parameters, so they can translate on to your resume and make you appealing to a company that does have room for that position?

Ask yourself: What kind of jobs offer your dream work activities (and whatever benefits, perks, salaries, working conditions etc are your top priorities)? What sort of tasks can you add to your current roster—without changing your title—that will get you ready for your next move?

Define your strengths, look for holes in your experience, and work to fill them. Make your own path, ladders and rungs optional!

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About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.

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