Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants support departments, management and company executives. Some typical duties include customer service, written and oral correspondence, database creation and data entry. Scheduling and preparing for visitors, travel and event and meeting coordination are other typical duties for executive secretaries.
Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants are necessary to keep a small or large business running smoothly. Some employers may require you to work in the office, while some companies may offer opportunities for the work to be performed 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 summary for client brief)
- Presentations of material through PowerPoint or similar software
- Transcription of dictated material
- Telephone answering service
For more tips related to working virtually, read the article Virtual Work: Separate Job and Home.
Administrative positions offer a wide variety of 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 — be aware of all deadlines and plan work to ensure they are met
- Attention to detail — identify errors and correct correspondence and deliverables
- Computer experience — possess advanced knowledge of popular software programs
Consider joining a professional organization in your chosen field to gain a better understanding of current industry practices and policies surrounding administrative work. Professional organizations are great ways to continue your education through workshops and conferences, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move. Networking with other professionals in your industry will give you an edge in meeting the right people who may have the connections you need to obtain an interview at your new location. Read The Value of Professional Associations for more information on how becoming a member can help enhance your career.
If you are looking for ways 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. Volunteer jobs often lead to paid positions and can provide you with valuable experience and potential references for jobs you seek in the future. 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 executive secretary and executive administrative assistant track. Click the Manage My Individual Career Plan quick action link to get started, or call a career coach at 800-342-9647 for a specialty consultation.