On The Job - Move Up From Administrative Entry Level
1. Stuck opening the mail? This could put be your first step out of entry-level. If you open the mail for everyone, get into the habit of reading it instead of just passing it on. Read everything that lands on your desk. You are in a position to gain insight and knowledge of the company's goals, strategies, and objectives. Never divulge anything you have read. Read the information and tuck it away. You won't be surprised when internal changes are made.
2. Be realistic in your expectations. If you are asked to make coffee and your first thought is "this is not my job," you may be wrong. If your job description states "and other related duties" or something similar, coffee-making is probably one of the "other related duties." What can you do? Be gracious and realize it's no big thing. Plus you have the benefit of getting to know the executives by name. Turn this minus into a plus by greeting the exec by name, and introducing yourself (Good Morning Mr. Brown, my name is Mary Jones, I am Ms. Snow's assistant. Would you like a cup of coffee?) You may be surprised to hear "Thank you Mary" as the execs leave the office.
3. When you are asked to perform a task, whenever possible attach a note or send an e-mail to let your supervisor know that the task has been completed. Sign your first name and date the note.
4. A lot of e-mail now comes with automatic signatures attached. If your title is not the one you want, don't use it. Don't identify yourself with it. Instead of Susan Brown, Clerk II, Office of the Vice President; your automatic signature should be Susan Brown, Office of the Vice President.
4. Dress for the job you want. It’s important to build the image you want to project. Watch the movie Working Girl, with Melanie Griffith as the secretary and Sigourney Weaver as her boss. There is a lot of truth in this funny 1988 comedy.
5. More unspoken advice from WORKING GIRL - if you have an idea to help improve something in your office, put it in writing. Pass your idea on as a friendly e-mail or short memo. "Ms. Brown, I think it would be helpful to use colored folders for filing. This would help to identify subjects quickly and efficiently. Please let me know what you think." If you send a memo, be sure to date it and make a copy for yourself. Whether you get a response or not, it is your idea.
6. If your company offers workshops or other training take advantage of what is offered. The advantages are twofold. It shows your supervisor that you are serious about your job and therefor promotion worthy. More importantly, knowledge once gained can't be taken away; if you do decide to leave your job you take your advanced skills with you.
7. Join a professional organization. It's well worth the money. See the related article at your right for a short list.
Hone your skills for work and family and you hone them for living life to the fullest
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