Executive secretaries and administrative assistants support departments, management and company executives. Some typical duties include customer service, written and oral correspondence, database creation and data entry. Executive secretaries may also coordinate travel, events and meetings, and schedule and prepare for visitors.
Executive secretaries and administrative assistants help a small or large business run smoothly. Some employers may need you to work in the office, while some companies may let you work virtually.
If you are interested in working from home in this field, consider a career as a virtual assistant, which can go with you as you move. A virtual assistant works with a variety of clients, from individuals to large companies. Some examples of administrative duties that clients outsource include the following:
- Correspondence — from email to thank-you notes and more
- Scheduling and booking for meetings, travel, events and appointments
- Data entry
- Analysis and preparation — review material and provide a summary for client briefs
- Presentations of material through PowerPoint or similar software
- Transcription of dictated material
- Telephone answering service
You can learn many transferable skills you can take with you to your new duty station and use as you progress through your career. Examples of administrative transferable skills include the following:
- Clear communication — write and speak effectively
- Critical thinking — analyze situations and base decisions on what is best for the client
- Problem-solving — produce creative solutions for the client
- Customer service — have a friendly, accommodating and patient manner
- Strong organization — plan well to meet deadlines
- Attention to detail — find errors and correct them in correspondence and deliverables
- Computer experience — have advanced knowledge of popular software
Join a professional organization to learn current industry practices and policies surrounding administrative work. Continue your education through workshops and conferences when you join a professional organization, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move. Network with other professionals in your industry to meet the right people to connect you to an interview at your new location.
To gain experience as a secretary or administrative assistant, consider volunteering as a secretary on a committee or for an organization in your local community, church, school or nonprofit organization. Volunteer jobs often lead to paid positions and can provide you with valuable experience and potential references for future job. Start your search for paid positions on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search.
Establish a clear career path, personalized for your situation, by creating your individualized career plan, or MyICP, for the administrative assistant track. Click the Manage My Individual Career Plan quick action link to get started, or speak with a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 for a specialty consultation. For more help, use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website.