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How to become an Administrative Assistant?

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Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered July 01 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Understandably, having outstanding customer service skills is essential to the job for Administrative Assistants. Successful candidates are not only exceptional customer service experts, but they are also naturally suited to the job due to their positive, can-do attitude.   
Starting your career as an Administrative Assistant begins with either innate or learned customer-facing skills and your high school diploma to meet minimum education requirements for the role.  However, there is an increased number of employers seeking candidates who have completed post-secondary courses or have earned a higher academic degree, such as a college or university degree in Administration, Business, or Secretarial Studies. Degrees of this kind can take anywhere from two to four years, depending on the program, and could lead to higher-paying positions with increased responsibilities. Aspiring Administrative Professionals must also build their computer skills during post-secondary, becoming more comfortable and skilled with email correspondence and other office tools and software.   
Many positions require previous experience, but you may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an Administrative Assistant. For example, it is common for Administrative Assistants to have previous career experience in roles such as Cashier, Receptionist, or other customer-facing positions.

Important Things to Know Before Becoming an Administrative Assistant
There's no universal way to climb up the career ladder. Career paths often vary from one individual to another, yet some similarities usually stand out. Hence, the typical career path for Administrative Assistants would look like the one pictured here. 
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills.   
  • Prioritize and plan work activities, using time efficiently while managing a high volume and diverse workload. 
  • Excellent multitasking skills to handle working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.  
  • Exhibit high levels of initiative, flexibility, and responsiveness on the job for clients and colleagues alike. 
  • Being able to learn and adapt while facing changing demands at a moment's notice.  
  • Great attention to detail and high levels of thoroughness.  
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.  
  • Possess the ability to communicate clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to build trust and cultivate relationships with clients, coworkers, and executives.  
  • Exhibit impeccable and professional phone and email etiquette. Having a friendly and engaging personality to foster and maintain positive relationships.  
  • Display strong customer service skills to anticipate others' needs and handle their requests proactively, diplomatic, and tactfully.  
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills.  
  • Identify issues and resolve problems promptly using creative problem-solving skills and good judgment.  
  • Demonstrated proficiency in computer word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications.   
  • Demonstrated ability to type at a speed rate of 40 to 60 words per minute.  
  • The ability to operate essential office equipment, such as copiers and printers.  
  • High levels of honesty, discretion, and integrity.  
  • Handle sensitive/confidential information.  
  • Exceptionally resourceful, self-sufficient, punctual, and reliable.