The Innovative Admin’s Guide to Self-Development
Create a Strategic Administrative Career Plan
We’re all only a business decision away from having our careers turned upside down. And when that moment comes, those who have a plan will fare far better than those who don’t.
Creating a strategic administrative career plan isn’t difficult, but it does take some soul searching and the ability to be honest with yourself. While you can include anything you want, there are three crucial components you should address:
Document your answers to these questions and revisit them often. Remember, none of this is set in stone! While it’s important for you to hold yourself accountable to the plan, there is absolutely nothing saying you can’t modify it as your career goals, skills, and job prospects change!
Develop Your Professional Network
When you’re facing a problem outside the office, you probably call on your personal network – your family and friends – for help and advice. You need this same kind of support in your career.
Building a strong professional network is a necessary component to your self-development. Regular interactions with like-minded, career-oriented people can have an immense benefit on your own professional life. You’ll hear about training opportunities, develop a sounding board for work-related problems and frustrations, and get answers to your questions about career paths and positions from people who have been there.
Participating in social media discussions on LinkedIn and Twitter is also great, but to get the full benefit of your networking strategy, you need to get out from behind the keyboard. Join professional associations (both admin-specific and interest-based). Attend conferences and workshops, and mingle during the social portions. Make plans to meet for coffee with your online contacts. In a tech-savvy world, internet networking is important – but there is nothing like face-to-face networking to build your career!
Increase Your Skill Set
You probably already know all there is to know about your current job, but your current job may not be your forever job. Increasing the skills in your admin toolbox now (before you need them) will make it easy to step into a new position when opportunity comes knocking.
Whether it’s technical skills (website developing, software programs, HTML, etc.), soft skills (communication, leadership, and problem-solving), or simply taking a course in public speaking or event planning, adding more skills to your professional portfolio and resume is never a waste of time!
Draft Your Personal Advisory Board
Your personal advisory board should be made up of people who know you well, support and inspire you, and challenge you to achieve your goals. They can be other admins, mentors, trainers, former executives, current co-workers, or even members of your professional network with whom you’ve really clicked.
These are the people in your corner who back you when you have a great idea, and who are honest enough to tell you when your “great” idea isn’t so great. By surrounding yourself with your most trusted advisors, you’ll benefit both your personal and your professional life!
Develop Your Business Acumen
It’s crucial for you to know your job – but do you know what the other members of your team do on a daily basis? Would you be comfortable showing a visiting executive around your company and explaining the responsibilities of each department?
Your business acumen means understanding how the company functions as a whole, and how your “piece” fits into the puzzle.
What can you learn about your company that you don’t know right now? Is there a committee you can volunteer for, a continuing education class you can take, or an industry magazine lying around the office that you can peruse on your lunch break?
Developing your business acumen makes you a strong, valuable, well-rounded employee – and that won’t go unnoticed within your company!
Taking a proactive approach to your career allows you to quickly navigate unexpected changes – welcomed or not – and prepare yourself for whatever comes your way. When you make self-development a priority, you don’t just open doors – you create them!