So the topic of diversification has been discussed quite widely within the assistant industry for several years now. I think the conversation started around the time of the credit crunch. There were lots of scary statistics which showed many companies were reducing their administrative and support staff. At the time, many assistants were being made redundant along with their managers and departments. For those that were still in the role, we had to prove our worth by taking on more and varied work. The downturn in the economy certainly affected assistants and played a significant part in the diversification of the role.

Aside from the recession, there are many other factors which have contributed to the assistant role diversifying. New technology, a raised awareness of our skills outside of our industry and assistants taking their part more seriously are just a few examples. But what does diversification mean for an assistant on a day to day basis and what does the role look like now? How much time do we spend on our primary tasks and how much time do we spend on the new aspects of our job?

Last year I surveyed to get a snapshot of the industry. The results showed that many assistants now have lots of additional responsibilities outside of the primary assistant role.

How exactly is the assistant role diversifying?

The survey results indeed showed a clear indicated that the role has diversified – we have lots of opportunities to expand our role and take on new and exciting challenges. That is the positive spin on it anyway! The other side of the coin is that we are being asked to take on extra work that is technically a profession in and of itself. Do we get rewarded financially for this? Are we eventually able to move into this profession?

It would seem that diversification in the role needs to be explored as it throws up more questions than answers. I’d love to know your thoughts on the subject – how much has your role changed? Has it changed at all? Has the industry diversified and is this a good thing?

Leave your comments at the end of the blog, and I will revisit this subject in the next few weeks.

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