What is an Administrative Office Assistant?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2019
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Becoming an administrative office assistant is often an excellent way to learn about an industry or business. With basic office skills, even a novice employee can gain valuable experience while making him or herself a vital part of the office team. Administrative office assistant jobs usually allow potential for growth within a company, and may be an excellent first step toward a more prestigious position.

An administrative office assistant typically has duties that involve the day-to-day running of an office or business. Basic requirements for almost all office jobs require a professional demeanor, good organizational skills, and computer literacy. Knowledge of the industry may be helpful when applying for an administrative office assistant position, but for an entry level job interviewers are often more concerned about hiring a person who can work the copy machine.

The daily duties of an office assistant will change depending on the type of company, but often involve a few basic skills. Candidates should be comfortable answering phones, working basic office machinery such as fax machines and copiers, and be familiar with most computer operating systems. For people unsure of skills in these areas, many community colleges offer training courses meant to improve skills for office workers. Consider taking courses to better prepare for the job market, and be certain to include any relevant courses on resumes.


Administrative office assistants are often very important to the efficiency of the entire business. For this reason, attention to detail and regular attendance are important habits to cultivate. Even after establishing friendships with co-workers and supervisors, it is important for office assistants to avoid grumbling or complaining about the job. A cheerful attitude can go a long way in defining the mood in an office, and an assistant who is consistently pleasant will be greatly appreciated by many.

Some experts suggest that an administrative office assistant should take any available opportunities to learn more about the business or industry, as this knowledge can be extremely helpful. Office assistants have remarkable opportunities to improve the efficiency of the office, as they are a fresh mind and voice. After working at a company for a few months, do not hesitate to suggest policies or systems that could improve the workplace and benefit the business to a superior. Even if the suggestion is not taken, a supervisor or manager may be pleased to know that his or her assistant is concerned about the welfare of the company.

While an office assistant job is hardly a cushy position, it can be vitally important to establishing a reputation and career in a specific industry. Being known as a responsible, respectable employee can lead to positions of greater prestige, or at the very least, result in genuinely thankful references for future jobs. Working as an administrative office assistant allows a person into industries that can be notoriously difficult to enter, such as entertainment or law. By having knowledge of how an industry functions on the basic level, a savvy former office assistant will almost always have an advantage in finding better jobs later in life.


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I am thinking of offering my service as a personal assistant (privately) to someone who needs his paper work sorted, bank/building societies, investments, filing, make appointments, organize the diary, liase with repairmen, pay bills, etc. I have an accountancy background, and I can also do some ironing and do floral arrangements. -- cauk

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