Administrative professionals have not up to now got a clear design on the options for them to progress their careers. All too often someone working in administration or a PA or Secretary will not have set out a clear career path that enables them to pursue an end goal that involves both gaining more responsibility, training and developing more skills.
Naturally, following this career path will result in better job opportunities, wider job options, increased employability and more money. If I were to ask Legal, Finance, Medical, Marketing or Human Resources professionals and other such job types that boast long established professional associations they would point straight to the career path of an association. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear route and this article aims to give PAs a clear understanding of how to make progress in their career.
Beginner or Foundation Level in PA / Secretarial Work
Many of us have been in this situation, we find our first jobs in this type of junior position. We aim to make a move up in a few years, but for now, we are keen to get a foothold in the job market. These types of roles include Office Junior roles, Administrative Assistant (junior level), receptionists and other such jobs. Each requires some office and IT skills but does not have a clearly defined set of skills. It can be enough to rely on your school qualifications, but sometimes it is not enough and an element of training in foundation Level office skills is needed.
At this level, you are most likely to need to have Microsoft Office Proficiency in at least Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel. You may also need a reasonable ability to type, but this can often improve on the job. However, knowledge of touch typing would be advantageous. You also may need some administrative skills, such as planning, organising, telephone skills, client care and other such foundation-level skills. To find out more about training to gain foundation-level office skills, please go to:
The most difficult transition is often to get a good PA job and developing this skill set requires some experience in an administrative environment and relevant training. At this point, you need good Microsoft Office Skills in Outlook, PowerPoint, Word and Excel. You will need to develop a good and accurate touch-typing speed. It is true that many PA jobs do not require much typing now, but having the skill will make it possible for you to apply to all PA jobs, those with typing requirements and those without.
Careers for PAs
Now you will also need to develop good Administrative Skills as well. We will look at this on the blog. Also, how to make the necessary move onto more advanced Executive Assistant work.