As an administrative assistant, you can stretch your professional wings and take on many other positions with your transferable skills. But many admins allow themselves to get stuck in a rut, not realizing their own true value.
Being successful requires a combination of hard skills, including word processing, software knowledge and research skills. And working in different areas often requires learning specific processes or computer software. But many admins may have little or no experience in a certain area, and that lack of knowledge prevents them from getting ahead.
In order to apply for those jobs, you must learn to recognize your natural abilities, such as being good with people, and use those soft skills to clinch the job you really want. Soft skills can include good communication, enthusiasm, punctuality, working hard and self-motivation.
There are many opportunities waiting for you. The descriptions below describe fields that may be best suited to your personality type.
Does being yourself entail talking, schmoozing and communicating? Yes, you can get paid for doing all of that.
- Transferable Skills: Communication, writing, problem solving, the ability to work on a dozen things at a time.
The Discreet One
Can you keep a secret from your own mother? If that's the case, consider working as an assistant in human resources. HR assistants are privy to the size of their colleagues' paychecks, employee review results and who's going to get axed.
- Transferable Skills: Communication, listening and discretionary skills are crucial.
Do you love keeping busy by performing 10 things at a time? Have you always been compelled as an admin to keep you boss's life completely organized? If you also don't mind going around, picking Fifi up from her shampoo and running to the dry cleaner, chances are you'd make a great personal assistant to a CEO or company president.
- Transferable Skills: While you can highlight your organizational skills and ability to get along with others, set calendars and travel schedules, the key to being someone's personal assistant is chemistry.
Known as the Party Animal
Are you always looking for any opportunity to plan a party, meeting or event? Well, here's some good news: There really is a job where you can spend your time picking out place settings, menus and linens. While event planning involves much more than that, it's a great opportunity for admins who like the behind-the-scenes involvement in events.
- Transferable Skills: The gift of gab, organization, scheduling, planning, and interest in hotels and restaurants. A high energy level helps, since this job often requires working after regular business hours.
Just Ask Me
Do you just want to help, willing to answer any question or seek out the answer if you don't know it? Consider working as a customer service representative. If you're a patient person who is good at soothing people, this job's for you.
- Transferable Skills: Schmooze-ability, patience and organization.
The Human Calculator
Do you have a head for numbers, clean lines and organization? Do you dream about numbers, because they never lie? Are you a stickler for accuracy? If you prefer an environment that is buttoned up and fairly formal, you might want to spend some time in finance.
- Transferable Skills: Organization, software skills and mathematical skills.
Do you love to research and work with data? If that's the case, consider joining a market-research department. In this capacity, you'll assist in pulling up information on consumer trends so the company can determine the best ways to target and reach customers. But be careful: Market research can also refer to crunching numbers, so make sure you ask the right questions before applying for a job.
- Transferable Skills: Resourcefulness, Internet research capacities and organization.
For more information and tips to help you advance your administrative career, see all our advice for admin professionals.