Administrative assistants are talented people and are inarguably the backbone of any Washington, DC office environment. Some people love their administrative career, while others eventually want to leverage their experience and move into something new.
However, it’s not always easy to know where to start, and that’s where professional recruiters can help.
A recruiter can help you tailor your resume to the job you want, highlighting transferable skills that a potential new employer would be looking for.
Why Is An Administrative Career A Good Stepping Stone?
Any administrative job can lead to higher-level job opportunities at top companies in DC and Northern Virginia. Why? Because the skills that make you an adept admin are extremely in-demand in other positions and industries. This includes “hard” skills like specific computer software, light accounting skills, budgeting skills, etc. But it can also include soft skills like organization, attention to detail, office diplomacy and self-motivation.
Determine Your Next Step After Your Administrative Career
You can’t end up with a great new job if you don’t know what you are pursuing. Before you set out to change your administrative career, you’ll need to set your sights on a target job.
Admins often move into fields like:
Wherever you want to go, do your research on the types of jobs available and what the entry-level requirements are. From there, you can start mapping out a plan to take the next step in your career.
Transferable Skills You Likely Picked Up in Your Administrative Career
Let’s examine some of the transferable skills you should highlight as you think about changing from an administrative career to a new career.
It is impossible to thrive as an administrative professional without exceptional organizational skills. And this is one of the most important skills of any job in any industry. Not only do admins have to keep on top of their own tasks, they often have to ensure that other people in the company are staying on top of theirs. This is an invaluable skill that should be highlighted on any resume.
Multitasking is another skill admins must possess to be successful. Admins have to juggle many balls, managing multiple projects, handling various communications, and meeting more than one deadline at a time. Being able to multitask – and prove it – is something that will turn future employers’ heads.
Administrative professionals must be able to communicate well in writing and in person. They have to be able to handle difficult people with grace, and they often have to explain technical concepts to their bosses, who might not be so technically savvy. Admins are extremely good at both talking and listening, and these are skills that are often hard to come by in other fields. That’s why communication is such a transferable skill.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Admins have to hear a lot of complaints during the day. They may have to deal with difficult bosses, they may have to deliver bad news on behalf of their boss, they may get stuck dealing with frustrated clients or vendors – the list goes on and on. The only way to deal with these types of situations effectively is to demonstrate empathy and high emotional intelligence. In recent years, employers have focused much more on finding people with high EQs because they tend to make better employees and coworkers.
You’ll want to include these types of transferable skills on your resume. Think about any other skills you’ve acquired that might lend themselves to your target career.
Identify Skills You Need to Pick Up To Change Your Career
Administrative assistants have a lot of transferable skills, but any time someone moves into a new career field, they need to develop new skills. Depending on the job and field you want to move into, closing your skill gaps may involve any number of approaches.
Anymore, you can find a class on anything online or in person. Many places like Coursera and LinkedIn offer certifications in skills and jobs affordably and from the comfort of home. In some cases, you may find that you need to (or prefer to) attend classes in-person at a local college or university as well.
Another great way to close skill gaps is to volunteer within the industry you want to work in. Volunteering can help you gain experience and learn the skills necessary to perform the work in a paid setting. You will also further expand your professional network by volunteering within the field you are interested in.
Dip Your Toes into the Field With Temp Jobs
The barrier to entry into temporary jobs is lower than full-time jobs. Employers expect to train temporary employees on the job, and short-term jobs are a great way to build skills and get exposure to different types of work environments.
Lean On Your Network
When you’re thinking about moving into a new career, share your plans with key people in your network. You never know who might be able to help you find a great opportunity.
If you choose to work temporary jobs to gain experience, use those jobs to continue to build your network, as well. By putting forth a great effort on the job and working well with your direct supervisor and your teammates, you will come away with even more people who may be able to help you in your career advancement.
Partner With A Recruiter in DC
Changing careers can be stressful, which is where a professional recruiter can help. Rather than spinning your wheels on job boards and spending hours applying to jobs manually, a recruiter can put you in direct contact with employers looking for candidates like you.
Recruiters can help you polish your resume and other hiring materials before sending them to potential employers to highlight your most marketable skills. When it comes time to schedule an interview, your recruiter can also prepare you for that so that you know about the employer, the role and what to expect. .They can go over preparation questions, discuss the company culture, and give you a summary of who will attend your interview.
Ready To Leverage Your Administrative Career to Find A New Job in DC
If you are trying to find jobs in DC, NRI is an employment agency that is ready to help you. Our recruiters have decades of experience in placing candidates in administrative jobs, accounting jobs, and other professional positions in DC, Virginia and Maryland. Browse our open jobs and apply today!