Self-Promotion for Administrative Assistants is Essential for Career Success

Administrative assistants, like many employees, often undersell themselves when it comes to self-promotion. Unfortunately, if they don’t do it, no one else is going to do it either. On the bright side, if you’re an admin, it’s not that difficult to make sure your work is acknowledged. Furthermore, you can put your name in the minds (and on the lips) of the movers and shakers in your company by using a little bit of marketing magic to pump up your “personal brand”.

Many admins avoid self-promotion for different reasons. They don’t want to come off as bragging about themselves … they fear rejection … they’ll be laughed at … yelled at … suffer backlash from coworkers—or maybe even their own boss! Most of the time, they just don’t think it’ll do any good as they come up with a million excuses not to do it.

But, overriding all the excuses is the only thing that matters … it will be great for your career! This may sound strange to some people, but it is perfectly fine for you to be RECOGNIZED FOR WHAT YOU DO!  Shouting aside … it’s more than fine, it is crucial to your physical and mental well-being!

So … whether fear, inexperience, or lack of knowledge on the fundamentals of self-promotion is holding you back, here are the steps to ask for—and get—the recognition you deserve:

Step 1: Decide why you want recognition

Are you shooting for a raise in pay? Do you want to feel more appreciated? How about more responsibility? Or, do you just want your accomplishments chronicled somewhere? Whatever your reason, make sure everything you do revolves around your ultimate goal.

Step 2: Put it on paper!

You may be the only person in your company who knows exactly what you do around the office. And if you assume that your boss knows just because you’re his admin, guess again! Establish—on paper—your duties and overall value to your company, by documenting all the work you do—even something you may consider trivial or menial.

The best place to start is by getting a copy of your job description from your boss or your HR department and going from there. Once you’ve taken care of documenting what’s on that job description, you can start filling in the blanks (and there are always blanks), which leads us to step 3.

Step 3: List your duties that aren’t on the job description

It’s amazing how few people have seen their official job description. And, if you’ve been in your position for any length of time, you probably wouldn’t recognize the job that’s described on that little piece of paper. Add in the fact that an admin’s job can change on the boss’s whim, this is something you have to keep track of constantly.

But that paper is what the rest of your company uses to grade your performance, give pay raises, brand your position, etc. On the same piece of paper you used in step one, identify everything you do around the office … everything!

Step 4: Put a price tag on your head and a value on your potential

Whenever possible, put a dollar figure on what you do. Spell out your accomplishments with a dollar sign attached. If part of your job is to find lower-cost vendors, or if you come up with ideas that make department processes cheaper, tell your boss. Tie this into your future potential. What are you working on now and how do you anticipate this will affect the company’s bottom line? Emphasize your skills, abilities, and good work habits and your willingness to go the extra mile.

Step 5: Practice your self-promotion pitch before talking to your boss

Once you’ve got everything documented, make an appointment with your boss to talk. Make sure you let your boss know the reason you want to talk. There’s nothing that will blow your presentation more than a boss caught on the defensive. Tell your boss that you want to review your work and get feedback on how you’re doing.

Before your talk, practice your self-promotion pitch with a friend, relative, or a trusted coworker who knows the players involved. It’s common to be cool, calm, and collected until the boss’ door shuts and you become nervous and flustered.

(We here at SkillPath Seminars and National Seminars Training would like to wish all our admin friends, family and customers a very happy Administrative Professionals Week!  Thank you for making lives better in offices around the world, and for letting us be a part of your career path!)


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