Be or Become an "Administrative" employee

Administration - Secretary - Assistant - ...

Every business or organization needs professionals who make the process of running it smooth and hassle free. They are not into involved in the actual functioning and day to day operations of the organisation. For instance, manufacturing, quality control, sales or marketing, are key areas of any business. The administrative sector does not fall into any of these. The administration team or individuals help in facilitating things to ensure the people working in the organization do not need to run around for various things.
From receiving telephone calls, making calls, creating presentations or spreadsheets, the role of an administrative professional is vast. They have multiple responsibilities in the office environment. A professional in this specific niche plays an integral role in the customer service domain as well. He or she is responsible to ensure someone who visits the office is treated well. Greeting them, responding to calls, emails, and offering administrative support is the key job of junior level administrative professionals.
When one wants to shine in the niche of administration, it is essential to be strong in written and oral communication. Impeccable communication skills are in fact the requirement stated by many reputed organizations. One who is good at multi-tasking is also sure to be a prime choice of many businesses. This is because the administrative professionals will have to do jobs at various levels.
Here is a brief note of the responsibilities of an administrative professional:
  • Information storage: Accurate filing of documents, both hard and soft copies, is a crucial administrative duty. This facilitates timely finding and accessing of the documents by the employees or other administrative staff. The same is required when dealing with the client records too.
  • Information finding: As an administrative professional, he or she might have to spend hours finding information. This can be in the filing cabinets or online, or in the various folders and databases on the computer or network. This is vital for the effective completion of any project. Compiling, storing, and summarizing the data has to be handled effectively by the administrative professional.
  • Responding to phone calls: It is one of the duties all administrative professionals at junior and mid-level should be adept at. When responding to calls, it is vital that he or she understands that they are a representative of the organization and must present a good image of the organisation. Also, he or she should make calls concerning various arrangements regarding meetings. There can be cross-department calls or calls to other businesses and clients.
  • Handling emails: Missing emails is easy, and this is why administrative professionals have to keep a keen eye on emails. Prompt and apt replies to suit the nature of the queries are one of the primary roles of administrative professionals.

Other important duties include:

  • Taking Minutes during the meetings
  • Diary management and arranging appointments
  • Making arrangements for meeting rooms and conference halls
  • Managing general office affairs (like stores and stationery)
  • Booking tickets and organizing travel procedures for the employees
  • Taking care of internal and external events
  • Taking care of the social media accounts of the company is also a new addition to the list of responsibilities of the administrative professionals.
  • Assisting in hiring and training new staff
  • Maintenance of office equipment like computers, copy machines, etc.
  • Maintaining office supplies
  • Monitor the production staff
  • Coordinating the project deliverables
  • Taking care of a few clerical duties as and when required

Types of administrative jobs:
Administrative jobs exist at all levels- junior, mid and senior management levels as well. While most of the aforementioned responsibilities are taken care of by the junior level staff, the same at a higher level is taken care of by the Administrative managers. Listed below is a common categorization of administrative jobs, such as –
  • Administrative executive: A junior-level staff, who takes care of nearly all of the responsibilities listed above. In a few organizations, the HR executives might take care of these responsibilities and play a dual role as well.
  • Administrative Sr. executive: He or she will handle more responsibilities and would have more experience in this sector, more than 5 years preferably.
  • Administrative Managers: A manager who takes care of the entire administrative activities including ensuring that the office runs smoothly.

What are the skills required for an administrative professional?

At all levels, the following skills are mandatory for a professional in the administration sector:
  • Basic computer skills like MS Office, spreadsheet etc. is as must. This is important to do daily functions of data entry, making presentations and taking care of organizing data. Exposure to CRM is an added advantage.
  • Internet skills are essential in all sectors. Knowledge and understanding of how social media works, responding to emails efficiently etc. is needed. A few organizations trust the admin professionals to take care of handling the social media accounts of the company.
  • Should possess good reporting skills. An administrative professional should report all activities seamlessly.
  • Analysing the process at hand, and effectively managing to meet the goal is vital.
  • Keeping things and tasks organized is the major job of the executive who is placed in the administration sector. This helps in keeping abreast with the schedule and filing information at the right hour.
  • Prioritizing tasks and meticulously planning meetings and events is a must.
  • An eye for detail always helps. When presenting plans or writing emails, it is necessary to stay away from committing errors. This is where the administrative professional needs to be careful, as his or her emails and phone calls are considered the views of the organization.
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Inventory skills
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of office administration procedures
  • Telephone skills
  • Ability to work as a team player
  • Multi-tasking skills

Job titles in the administration sector:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Administrative Manager
  • Administrative Executive
  • Administrative Support Manager
  • Administrative Director
  • Secretary
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