The International Association of Administrative Professionals
(IAAP) suggests that a true administrative professional should
have most or all of the following qualities...
Is skilled in new and emerging technology. This includes a
strong working knowledge of a wide variety of integrated
computer software applications, Internet and Intranet
communications and research.
Acts autonomously. This means having less direct interface
with bosses and more with clients and internal departments. Is
able to make decisions independently, and manages his/her own
work and schedule.
Provides broader skills beyond the traditional scope of the
secretary. Brings greater value to the workplace through skills
in such areas as accounting, interviewing, hiring and training,
and coordinating activities with outside vendors.
Demonstrates strong interpersonal skills. These can include
effective listening, good writing, strong negotiating and oral
Uses educational opportunities provided and finds new ones.
Attends relevant educational and training sessions offered by
employers or pursues them independently. Never stops learning.
Makes like a sponge and learns as much as he/she can on the job.
Is flexible. Shifts gears effectively and goes with the
flow if things get hectic.
Gets results. Meets deadlines and always sets personal
goals and meets them.
Takes the initiative. Doesn't wait to be asked to do
something. Stays one step ahead of the boss.
Innovates. Comes up with new, more efficient ways of doing
his or her job. Offers assistance, ideas, and recommendations
for making things work better in the office.
Can set priorities with little guidance.
Can juggle several assignments at once.
Works well with other employees at all levels and from
Asks intelligent questions about the business.
Participates in group discussions, meetings, work teams -
not just as a scribe.
Thrives with a fair amount of chaos!
Keeps an open mind. Realizes that what we thought was right
yesterday, may not be true today...and vice versa. Is willing to
look at new information in a new light to make new decisions to
keep fresh and up-to-date.
In short, administrative professionals are those who master
technology, have top-notch interpersonal and
communication skills, are able to manage projects, track and organize
and be creative in solving problems, and most importantly,
have the willingness to learn and grow, and accept challenges.