Assistants are the heart of a business or organisation. They are strategic partners working alongside their manager, proving invaluable with support and ensuring the smooth running of the day-to-day running of the business with administrative work.
An assistant’s job can be categorized into four; managerial, administrative, personal and social. They perform all sorts of tasks from handling the boss’ calendars, planning a trip, arranging their boss’ personal life, planning events, and so much more.
Organizations watch out for proactive, disciplined, and tenacious assistants that can be trusted; an assistant should be able to multi-task, network, possess negotiating skills and handle the challenges of their position.
These are some of the qualities organizations look out for in an assistant:
- Ability to Work without Supervision: As an Assistant, you are expected to manage, coordinate and execute day-to-day tasks without waiting to be told by your boss. Working diligently and fulfilling your boss’ professional needs efficiently will give you an edge over your colleagues.
- Communication and Interpersonal Relationship skills: Written and verbal communication should be part of your strengths if you want to have a successful career as an assistant. Knowing when to communicate and how to do so is essential.
You must possess the ability to correspond with your colleagues, handle the company’s social media accounts, compose emails, receive phone calls, and communicate with clients, friends, and your boss’s family either in person or via email.
- Assertiveness: You should be on top of all situations and remain calm under stress and unpleasant situations. However, this doesn’t mean you should let everyone walk all over you, be assertive when needed.
- Tech Savvy: This is an essential skill needed to handle social media accounts, compose emails, and carry out research. With the use of some tech solutions and apps, you will get your work done faster, it could be in planning that trip for your manager, setting up appointments, or planning a You are also able to stick to deadlines when you set reminders using an app.
- Maintaining Confidentiality: As an Assistant, you will be privy to private information. Therefore, you are expected to show discretion in information dissemination, learn to keep a secret and be trustworthy. Nobody wants an Assistant who can’t keep their mouths shut.
- Be a Problem-solver: There will always be challenges and situations that may overwhelm you but having quick problem-solving skills is a valuable trait every assistant must possess.
- Time Management and Paying Attention to Details: Meeting deadlines, punctuality, and paying attention to even the smallest details is another crucial skill you need to excel.
- Organizational and Multitasking Skills: Be confident in your abilities because you will have to simultaneously manage and organize several tasks.
- Reliability: A good assistant must be reliable, trustworthy and should be able to manage contingencies and the manager’s professional, personal, and social life.
- A Great Sense of Humor and Thick Skin: this will get you through the tough days as the job could be demanding and frustrating.