Assistants are partners

Administrative professionals are business partners essential to the professional development of managers, colleagues, and companies. In my almost 25 years as an administrative professional, I learned this in a variety of ways from various leaders, colleagues, mentors, and self-discovery.

As an administrative professional (and a number of other career choices), it is important to not only continually learn and develop the skills required for your position, but also educate yourself on the goals, mission, and core values of others you work with. A partnership is built when you are confident about your ability to perform a job’s requirements, adapt to changes, evolve, future-focused, and seek to understand the goals of your manager, co-workers, and the company. By understanding those goals and core values you not only perform the key aspects of your position successfully, but you can better understand the importance of your role toward the company’s main focus.

Seeing yourself as a key partner isn’t always easy, especially if others don’t see you that way. I cannot change how your coworkers or manager see you, but I do encourage you to see yourself as a valued partner. And truly hope you acknowledge your capabilities and what you bring to the table because trust me – assistants not only bring it, most of the time they set that table and create the invite list.

To realize your partnership value:

  • Be confident in your abilities. You are in your position for a reason!
  • Continue developing your skills
  • Encourage professional development in others
  • Actively learn new skills and the vision/mission of the company and manager
  • Ask questions and provide solutions
  • Share your ideas and listen to responses
  • Seek knowledge from coworkers at every stage in their career (every career stage has knowledge, resources, processes, and information to share – seek it!)
  • Create the opportunity to learn about other departments, positions, or processes
  • Anticipate future needs or yearly cycles and work ahead of deadlines
  • Think in terms of outcomes and how your daily tasks create accomplishments
  • Focus on your professional development despite having support or not. There are free webinars and workshops available, workgroups, free library resources, etc.
  • Visualize your current position as the learning opportunity it is
  • Look forward to career growth and change

There are several other ways to realize and acknowledge the value of your partnership, but the list above are a few key points I personally find important.

In the world of administrative professionals, there are so many personalities and working relationships that range from direct and indirect support to customer service related interactions with community members and vendors (and the list goes on and on). It is so important to focus on your partnership value and learn as much as you possibly can from all of your professional contacts. Whether you plan to retire from your current position, start your own business, change jobs often or even switch to an entirely new career choice knowing your value, building partnerships, and expanding your learning will influence and support your professional development in any role.

How do you acknowledge your partnership value? What is an important professional development tool you utilize?

Have any questions about your career, interviewing, resumes, partnerships, professional development, career changes? Please contact me in the comments or via email at – I am happy to answer questions!

Thank you so much for reading and following. Please find me on Instagram for encouraging quotes, tips, and more!

I will have more career posts and a special announcement soon! I am excited to be working on an ebook and workshops focused on my almost 25 years as an administrative professional and the importance of thinking beyond knowledge-based skills – more information coming soon!