While you may have always suspected it, now there’s mounting evidence that Administrative Assistants serve roles in corporate America that are considered even more important than the jobs that their bosses do. According to a social media survey conducted by office giant Staples, almost two-thirds of those participating said office administrative assistants are more relevant than the boss when it comes to holding the office together.
Good Administrative Assistants do perform a host of above-and-beyond tasks for their bosses and their companies. Often not receiving the recognition they deserve, Administrative Assistants screen calls and emails, organize meetings, manage schedules, handle travel arrangements and track expenses. In smaller companies, they sometimes become ipso facto Human Resource managers. And in big and small arenas, they serve as gatekeeper to the boss, discerning just who gets in and who does not.
In “The Case for Executive Assistants” article for the Harvard Business Review, executive assistant recruiter Melba Duncan points out that good assistants save their bosses time and their companies money. In addition to the roles which are most commonly associated with them, Executive Assistants can be crucial onboarding resources, helping new managers get up-to-speed with company culture, according to Duncan. “In this way, knowledgeable assistants are more than a productivity asset: They’re reverse mentors, using their experience to teach new executives how people are expected to behave at that level in the organization,” said Duncan.
And for a few highly skilled assistants, the roles they initially play within an organization serve as stepping stones to advancement. Because the tasks Administrative Assistants often perform involve direct client communication, project research and vendor negotiations, Assistants are often strategically positioned to understand the full scope of what a company does and where it may be going –and to follow their company’s upward trajectory.
The value of and potential for today’s Administrative Assistants can’t be overstated. They are vital members of any organization. At Career Quest Learning Centers, students in the Administrative Office Professional Program are trained to work in today’s modern office setting. The program offers a wide array of office, communication and computer instruction to help students prepare for entry-level through advanced-level employment.