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Career Story: Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant

Job Title: Senior Admin

Type of Company: I work for a company that is very active in the US mortgage industry.

Education: High School Diploma

Previous Experience: I have worked since I was 16. Each position I held helped me develop skills and experience.

Job Tasks: I am an administrative assistant to a corporate vice-president who presides over a department of eighty-five people. My duties are varied: I'm part event-planner, part logistics manager... mother, maid, psychologist, mail carrier, referee and office manager, all rolled into one. My job isn't always challenging, but one day's always different from the next.

Of course, my primary role is supporting the v.p. who heads our department. He has a busy calendar and I have to have a thorough knowledge of his activities and the people he meets with. And it helps too if I can anticipate his needs and responses.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I get disappointed when people take my services for granted or won't take the time to read instructions. Some people just assume you're stupid if you're making less money then they are.

The best part of my job is the people I work with, or anyhow the people I work with who don't look down on me.

Job Tips:
1.) Showing your appreciation is never ever a bad thing.

2.) Organization is the greatest skill you can cultivate. Especially if you're a dolt. Practice it now. You will need it in everything you do, from making match-sticks to license plates.

3.) Show respect for people at every level.

4.) Don't preface a sentence with "I hate to ask you to do this, but..." Learn how to change a toner cartridge, clear a copier jam, make coffee. Throw away your own trash and wipe up your own spills.

5.) Befriend the grumpiest person in the office, unless you are the grumpiest person in the office.

Additional Thoughts: One hard lesson I have learned is about office gossip. Keep confidences and be very discreet. If you observe something, keep it to yourself. If you cannot keep a secret, tell a spouse. They can typically keep a secret. Also, stay out of office arguments. Do not take sides. People tend to remember stuff like that and it can only hurt you in the end.

Be approachable too. No matter what's happened that day, keep a smile on your face. People tend to remember the negative before they remember the positive and they will form a bad opinion of you.

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