Stepping Up To The Mark
The Professional Administrator, Spring 2010
Jo Tomazou, Joint MD at Gordon Yates, is a regular contributor to The Professional Administrator, the magazine of The Institute of Professional Administrators (IPA). In the latest issue, Jo was asked to write about secretaries and PAs ‘stepping up’ ...
‘Stepping up’ is usually associated with promotion, but I think this definition is too narrow. Over the years, I’ve seen many superb PAs transform their role by taking on new responsibilities. Stepping up is just as much about self development as moving up the job ladder.
Secretaries today have to be very flexible to meet the needs of the business. In Gordon Yates’ latest SecsLife report, we were amazed to see the enormous variety of new responsibilities taken on by secretaries. Staff cutbacks have given remaining staff a valuable opportunity to fill the gap by taking on new areas of work as diverse as PR, finance, project management and training. This presents a golden opportunity to develop their career.
If you want to progress to a new role or through self development, the following tips may help:
• Consider what people you admire have done to progress their careers. Can you learn from this?
• You may aspire to a particular role, but be unsure how to get there. If you want to be a top PA, for example, why not ask somebody already in this position how they got the job.
• If you show responsibility and commitment, take ownership and always go the extra mile, others will notice. Consistency is key to building a reputation for reliability.
• Employers prize a great attitude almost above all else. They are looking for the ability to propose solutions and a willingness to learn new skills. Loyalty is also hugely important.
• Consider how could you support your boss more or help your team work more effectively. The opportunity to expand responsibilities can be endless.
• If training or coaching would help strengthen your role, highlight to your boss what you need. Actively seek feedback on your performance.
• Be clear about what you want to achieve in your career. Do what you want, not what others think you should do and don’t be afraid to be ambitious.
• Make sure your boss knows what you are working for – both at your annual appraisal and by reminding him and other key decision makers throughout the year.
In summary, be open about your goals and show a lively interest in developing. If you take ownership of your career, are driven to succeed and take pride in your work others will notice and be impressed.
For information on the Institute of Professional Administrators, visit www.inprad.org.