We’ve heard so much about the “Great Resignation” and all the jobs that are going unfilled right now. We know that many people who held those top jobs have either retired or left the job they had pre-pandemic as they don’t want that lifestyle anymore. We sometimes get tempted by the thought of that “big job.” The one that looks so prestigious and maybe you even have your own assistant. We want the business card that makes people go “wow” when they read it.
We know those jobs exist, and we know people who have them. But just because you can have that job, do you really want that job? Once you get past that “pinch me” moment of looking at your new business card, do you want all that job entails?
Those jobs are not as easy or as glamorous as it looks. Do you have what it takes to be a “top admin?” Skills are not enough to be successful at the top, but they are part of the equation.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”5b356″ via=”yes” ]Do you have what it takes to be a “top admin?” Skills are not enough to be successful, but they are part of the equation.[/ctt]
To have one of those top admin jobs, you need to balance three qualities: Competency, Passion, and Flexibility.
Competency: This goes far beyond self-taught. You are not new to being an administrative professional and likely have some administrative designation. You likely have a university degree. You can make MSOffice perform miracles and are likely equally competent in GSuite. You can do calendaring and travel in your sleep (and actually have someone who does that for you now). You sit at the table of the Board of Directors and contribute and are not intimidated. You are well educated, highly experienced, and very knowledgeable about the industry you are in. You are well-read, well connected, attend a minimum of one educational event annually, and be a consummate professional in all you do. You are perfectly competent to do your job every day.
Passion: You really love what you do. It isn’t just a job, it is what you were meant to be, and you consider yourself lucky that you figured this out (as most people never do). You look forward to challenges in your job and get bored easily. You have left jobs before simply because they offer no challenge. Your life satisfaction has a lot to do with your satisfaction in your job. You don’t consider work “work,” but enjoy what it brings daily. When people complain about going to work, you shake your head and feel bad for them. You’re part of the elite group that genuinely loves what you do.
Flexibility: You aren’t at the point in your life when you need to be worried about schedules. No carpool that leaves every day at 5:01. No daycare to pick your children up from. You are career focused. That isn’t to say you don’t have a personal life because you do, but you do have the flexibility to travel, work late, or be on call. You don’t mind carting your work cell phone around with you all the time, and don’t think twice about responding to an email or text on Saturday. You have the flexibility. You don’t consider any of the flexibility a chore; you enjoy being able to pitch in whenever needed, regardless of the day or time.
Now that you’ve figured out the parameters and what you have, and what you are short on, we can determine if you are meant to be in those top admin jobs.
Flexibility & Passion – working at the top levels sounds like an incredible opportunity! You get excited every time you see a job posting and want to have that desk in front of the CEO’s office. You are thrilled to be on call 24-7 and consider yourself a “career admin” all the way, but you just don’t have enough experience or knowledge of the company’s function. You understand what pharmaceuticals are but don’t know what they are talking about in meetings most of the time. You generally understand what a construction company does but don’t understand the laws or how the budget works. You have general administrative skills but aren’t the “go-to” source in your office for doing things. You need more experience and above-average skills to really make it at this level, and you aren’t there yet.
Passion & Competency – you can do the job; you know you can. You love your job when you are there, but you can turn it off when you get home. You don’t want to work weekends (even if you are paid for them), and you don’t want a cell phone where the boss can contact you 24-7. You may say things like “I’m too old for that anymore” or “I don’t want a career like that. I want a well-paid job instead that allows me to go home at a reasonable time at night”. It would be best if you made a choice not to work in this high-demand area as you will resent it when you are contacted outside hours. That resentment will build, and you’ll begin to dislike your job, which increases your stress. It isn’t worth it to you.
Competency & Flexibility – You can work at the speed and depth the organization needs you to work at, but you don’t have the passion. You have the time, the ability, and the willingness, but other things may distract you. “I don’t mind working on a Saturday, I have to do something, but if I go to work, then I can’t go to the beach.” You’re bored by the job; it doesn’t necessarily add challenge. It’s a paycheque, and you are sure that you “should” be doing something else with your life—time to move on.
Competency, Passion, and Flexibility – YES! You are the right person for this level of admin support. You can manage others, and you won’t burn yourself out. You have the skills, the desire, and the lifestyle which allow you to have a high-end career.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”Z29Xy” via=”yes” ]Can you work at the top levels? Do you want to?[/ctt]
Can you work at the top levels? Do you want to? Now that you know where your competency, passion, and flexibility lie, you can direct your energies to finding that job, or not. There is nothing wrong with either decision.