Balancing administrative work with more challenging projects

As an Assistant, navigating the transition from handling administrative tasks to engaging in more dynamic and exciting projects is often needed. While administrative duties are essential to the Assistant role, developing the interpersonal skills necessary for higher-level responsibilities is critical. This article explores how Assistants can start balancing administrative work with more challenging projects. Specifically, striking a balance between administrative tasks and engaging in dynamic projects while maintaining credibility and self-confidence.

Embrace the fundamentals: Administrative tasks such as responding to emails, diary management, handling correspondence, and arranging travel is the foundation of the Assistant role. These tasks ensure the smooth functioning of daily operations and should never be dismissed as unimportant. Recognise that even highly experienced Assistants continue to handle these tasks because they are intrinsic to the profession.

Demonstrate high-level capability: Engaging in dynamic projects requires demonstrating your capability and expertise. You establish your reputation as a competent Assistant by consistently delivering high-quality work and completing complex assignments. Once you’ve shown your ability to handle high-level projects, no one will undermine your skills simply because you’re also involved in administrative tasks.

Self-confidence is vital: Don’t shy away from common-sense tasks like photocopying or grabbing coffee or lunch for your Executive. These actions are part of your role in supporting your Executives and managing their time effectively. Embrace the mentality that as an Assistant, your fundamental role is to give back time to your Executive in every possible way. Your self-confidence and demonstrated expertise would and should overshadow any assumptions others may make about the tasks you perform or the value you bring to the organisation.

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The inclusion of all responsibilities: It’s crucial to understand that all aspects of your role, including administrative tasks, contribute to your effectiveness as an Assistant. As you strive to give back time to your Executive, you may need to handle various responsibilities. The title of your position doesn’t exempt you from any task that contributes to the overall productivity and success of your organisation.

Avoid insecurity and embrace expertise: Insecurity about performing specific tasks can undermine your self-confidence and credibility. Remember, your reputation is earned through your proven skills and project management expertise. Making a cup of tea or performing routine administrative duties doesn’t diminish the credibility you’ve built. Embrace all aspects of your role with confidence, knowing that your past accomplishments speak for themselves.

The skills to navigate the transition from administrative responsibilities to more engaging projects are essential for Assistants looking to become valued team members. To help with this, it’s a good idea for Assistants to start honing their expertise by attending courses that will teach essential skills like managing colleagues and difficult conversations.

A great place to start is with our Assistant Essentials Online Course – where you’ll learn how you can best support your business in ways that go beyond those just administrative.