Dissatisfaction and career plateaus happen when you’re no longer seeking to grow into your role, which can admittedly sometimes be challenging. Working in administrative roles doesn’t often include rigorous training- but instead competency of general office procedures and largely your personality and attitude fill the role.


Working in a position that requires little trained knowledge is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door. Administrative employees have the advantage of having great variety in their work and being savvy to the happenings across departments. What you choose to do with this pivotal role can make or break your work experience. If you want to answer calls, file expense reports, and manage calendars you can and this job will pay the bills- and that is okay. If you choose to approach this work with a career-oriented mindset than your approach will be that of learning the ins and outs of how and why your company operates the way that it does. This will put you in a unique position to understand different processes and how they might be improved and more importantly- where your company has a need for growth. You can take that assessment and bring it to your management- if you were able to identify the problem, no one is more suited to handle the problem. Initially this might be more work without a title or pay increase- but the best approach is finding marketable skills and cultivating them. Very few administrative employees stay in purely administrative work for the duration of their careers, opportunities will arise out of this kind of work.

Beyond identifying problems and taking them on- make yourself available to teams that need additional assistance. As you develop into your duties things will gradually take less and less time as you develop efficient systems to complete your work. When you reach this stage find opportunities within your company. Is a project having trouble getting off the ground? Volunteer to help manage the timeline (apply your administrative expertise to assist in a big picture situation) and become important to the operations of the project at hand.

Finally, if there is an opportunity to learn specific technology (typically software) JUMP ON IT. Nothing makes you more marketable than being savvy with different software. In charge of making flyers for the company holiday party? Instead of printing out a word document that took 6 minutes and some Word Art- spend some time on the project. Not only will you improve your own skills- but the extra effort that you are putting forward will be noticed.

Utilizing these strategies will not only improve your skillset- they will make you a valuable resource to your company. Within a few years you should be looking at career advancement within your current firm, or the skills to put together a killer resume for your next career move.