With the transformation of the workplace, the role of administrative professionals will continue to evolve. Following a trajectory that began within the last 20 years as secretaries turned into administrative professionals, careers within this field will become increasingly complex and specialized. Many positions will require sophisticated skill sets and experience in specific areas such as technology, human resources and business processes. Here are several key trends that administrative professionals can expect:
- Entrepreneurial approach — Administrative professionals will take an increasingly entrepreneurial approach to their jobs and careers. Those most successful will possess knowledge of business management principles, technical aptitude, sophisticated interpersonal skills (or "emotional intelligence") and an almost intuitive understanding of the needs of an organization. As more functions become automated, the importance of using interpersonal skills to anticipate needs, respond to concerns and provide a "human touch" that computers lack will be paramount.
- New skill sets and responsibilities — To advance their careers, administrative professionals will pursue business-focused training that emphasizes negotiation, delegation, budgeting, supervision and planning skills. Other useful knowledge areas include library science, for organizing and storing text and data used by groups; desktop publishing, for the creation of newsletters, presentation materials and other corporate documents; and electronic communications, an emerging field concerned with ensuring the security and integrity of electronically transmitted information.
- Specialized roles — The administrative professional will be a specialist rather than a generalist, with job descriptions focusing on the technical and managerial aspects of day-to-day business operations.
- Demonstrated experience — Administrative professionals will need to demonstrate to potential employers concrete evidence of specialized skills and abilities, such as technical expertise and industry experience.