by | Feb 9, 2022 | Blog, Executive Assistant

Working as an administrative assistant is a highly desirable entry-level position that can advance you into many other careers. It can be a way to get your foot in the door at any company without needing a college degree. Knowing what options are available on the administrative assistant career path can help you decide on the next step in your career. You can then start taking action to advance into your next position.

What is an Administrative Assistant?

An administrative assistant performs clerical and administrative duties to help a workplace run smoothly. An AA provides support to all of a company’s employees or a specific department. Some of an AA’s primary responsibilities include managing office communication, organizing meetings, maintaining the filing system, and greeting and directing visitors.

Benefits of Starting a Career as an Administrative Assistant

Working as an AA, you’ll develop a range of transferable and practical skills, learn the ins and outs of an industry, and grow a vast professional network. There are many reasons you may want to consider starting your career as an administrative assistant.

It’s Never Dull

A day in the life of an administrative assistant is rarely dull. You’ll find yourself facing new and exciting challenges every day. From managing office communications to planning company social events, the role of an administrative assistant is broad and diverse. It’s a position in which you’ll always be learning, growing, and picking up new skills.

You’re Always In Demand

Great administrative assistants are always in demand. Many employers struggle to find highly-skilled AAs. If you have the right skills and attributes to become an AA, you won’t have a problem finding a position.

You Can Work Anywhere

Working as an administrative assistant gives you the freedom to choose where you want to work. Offices in towns and cities all across the country are always on the lookout for administrative assistants. You can also work in almost any industry that interests you. Whether it’s marketing and advertising, legal or medical, most industries need AAs.

You Have Upward Mobility

If you decide to stay within the administrative profession, administrative assistant positions can progress into more senior roles. And there are far more career progression opportunities for administrative assistants today.

A remote executive assistant works at her  desk with notebook and small plant besides the mouse

What’s Next on the Administrative Assistant Career Path?

Thanks to the diverse responsibilities and transferable skills of an AA, the administrative assistant career path can go in many directions.

Executive Assistant

One of the most common steps on the administrative assistant career path is advancing to executive assistant. 

Many of the duties of an AA and EA overlap. ​​The main difference is that an executive assistant provides dedicated higher-level support to a single executive or the executive team rather than the whole company. An EA also helps with more crucial business-related tasks and is expected to have greater business insight.

An executive assistant is the natural upward progression from an administrative assistant. As an AA, you develop many of the skills necessary to become an EA. It’s also common for AAs to get promoted to EAs within a company. This promotion often happens after an executive grows to trust and rely on you.

Office Manager

As an administrative assistant, one of your key responsibilities is making sure the office runs smoothly. Whether it’s maintaining the filing system or tracking inventory, people rely on you to keep everything organized and functioning efficiently. These skills make office manager another common step on the administrative assistant career path.

Office managers are responsible for:

  • Designing and maintaining organizational systems
  • Implementing and adjusting office policies
  • Tracking inventory and ordering supplies
  • Organizing office events and conferences
  • Overseeing all other administrative staff
  • Recruitment and continuous staff training
  • Recording office expenditures and managing the budget

Human Resources

Administrative assistants work with all departments within a company and employees at every level. A human resources role can therefore be another suitable career advancement opportunity.

A human resources role may include: 

  • Maintaining and updating employee records
  • Recruiting and interviewing staff
  • Resolving employee issues
  • Conducting disciplinary action 
  • Processing payroll
  • Supporting employee health and wellness

Moving from an administrative assistant role to an HR position requires more planning and training than other options on this list. If you’re considering this career move, it’s worth asking your company for any relevant training they might offer. 

There are also different roles within HR departments — particularly at larger companies. It’s essential to figure out which area interests you most. Do you want to work on the recruitment side of HR? Or are you more interested in company policies?

Event and Convention Planner

If organizing meetings and events is your favorite part of working as an administrative assistant, an event and convention planner could be the career move for you. Planners are responsible for coordinating events such as corporate lunches, conferences, and media events.

The role of an event and convention planner includes:

  • Communicating with vendors (venue, caterers, etc.)
  • Planning event itineraries and overseeing schedules
  • Organizing and managing event staff
  • Managing event budgets
  • Ensuring events go seamlessly and clients are happy

Other Opportunities on the Administrative Assistant Career Path

The positions mentioned above are not the only roles open to administrative assistants. The career advancement opportunities for AAs are endless.

Some other possible AA career moves include:

  • Personal assistant
  • Customer service representative
  • Sales associate
  • Project manager
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Accounting clerk
  • Medical assistant
  • Paralegal
Two woman sitting having a conversation with laptop  on the table

How to Advance Your Administrative Assistant Career

Advancing on your administrative assistant career path isn’t as simple as just waiting for a new position to become available. It requires hard work and the right know-how. Below are some of the steps you can take to advance your AA career.

Set SMART Goals

If you want to advance in any career, you need to set goals. SMART goals to be exact. Setting SMART goals can help you develop the necessary skills and experience to take the next step on your AA career path.

Show You’re Ready for More Responsibility

To be trusted with more responsibility, you need to show that you’re ready for it. Think about ways you can step up in your current position. You should also focus on the areas and skills that are most desirable in the role you want. 

Ask for Development Opportunities

If it’s possible to make your desired career move within your current company, don’t be afraid to ask for development opportunities or training. You could volunteer to shadow someone currently in the role or department you want to move into. Or offer to take additional training in your own time. Show that you want to learn and grow. If you’re a valuable and hard-working team member, your company will want what’s best for you and your career.

Seek Out Placement Agencies

Placement agencies such as LifeSquire can help you take the next step on your administrative assistant career path. Placement agencies take the hard work out of job searching by using their industry knowledge and experience to connect you with relevant opportunities and employers.

Take the Next Step in Your AA Career with LifeSquire

Working as an administrative assistant is a great entry-level position that can open doors to a broad range of career opportunities. If you work hard to develop your skills and gain relevant experience, there’s always room for career advancement.

At LifeSquire, we’re looking for hardworking assistants to join our candidate pool. We also want to help those interested in advancing on the administrative assistant career path with dedicated training through the LifeSquire Academy

Contact us today to find out more.

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