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Administrative Assistants: The Most Important Gatekeepers to Power

Posted: February 2, 2016

Administrative Assistant

If you’re considering a career as an Administrative Assistant, one of your most important roles will be gatekeeper for your bosses. Their time is precious and it will be up to you to make sure important information gets their immediate attention, while trivial stuff stays far away from their jam-packed schedule.

It’s about people. In your earliest encounters with your new boss, you’ll need to learn who’s who in their life. Who are the people that get easy and consistent access and who should be blocked from entry nine times out of ten? People consume time like kids consume cookies. Sometimes they don’t know when to stop. It’s up to you to allow only appropriate access. Don’t let everyone through the door who asks and don’t schedule unnecessary meetings.

And phone calls. Can you identify a spam sales call as soon as you hear that tiny space of dead air when you pick up the line? That’s an invaluable skill for an administrative assistant. You need to know how to keep solicitors away. On the other hand, you need to put important calls right through and provide your boss the information, papers and reports he or she may need to answer questions thoroughly and intelligently.

Along with correspondence. Whether it’s the daily pile of mail or a hundred emails, you may serve as the office’s human filter. Prioritize correspondence as it arrives. Forward the most important items directly to your boss, but send off others to the people, teams and departments best equipped to handle them. Recycle junk mail and delete nuisance emails. You might even consider working with IT to make certain that your junk folders keep your own busywork to a minimum.

And lots of paper. As you master the role of gatekeeper, your boss may even ask you to conduct research or read incoming memos and reports.  It’s a lot of responsibility to translate pages and pages of documents into small snippets of valuable information. But the best administrative assistants are sometimes asked to do just that. Do you have what it takes?

If you’re interested in a career in business, check out the Business Programs at Career Quest Learning Centers. You could earn your Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration in less than 15 months or an Administrative Assistant diploma in as little as eight months. Give us a call in Jackson at 877-365-8144 or in Lansing at 877-481-4930 to learn more now.