An Admin’s Guide to Career Preparedness

Jun 1, 2020 | Career Development, Procedures, Professional Portfolio

preparednessAs an admin, you need to be prepared for anything the day, your executive or your colleagues throw your way.

But how do you properly prepare for your own career success?

All too often people get caught unprepared when a good career opportunity shows up, or something bad happens. Yet preparing for your career is a choice. You can choose to be ready for these situations or you can choose not to be. And if you choose to do nothing — and an opening for your dream job gets posted or your company is forced into layoffs — you’ll not only be aggravated with yourself but unable to navigate the situation with the same success rate.

When you get thrown a curve ball, it’s important to have a plan on paper you can refer back to. It’s your map to guide you when you hit a roadblock or construction. It helps you navigate the twists and turns, and allows you to course correct more quickly.

Your plan should detail where you want to be professionally in the short- and long-term, as well as how you’ll respond to potential unexpected career scenarios, such as a new job offer, new title/role, or losing your job. It should also include the following career resources to help you make the transitions more smoothly:

Career toolkit: One of the best ways to prepare for these situations is to create your career toolkit. This resource typically includes your updated resume(s), cover letter, business cards, references, and other pertinent professional info so it’s always updated and ready to use.

Professional portfolio: In addition to your toolkit, you also need to create your professional portfolio and keep it up to date with recent and relevant work samples, job responsibilities, etc. Your portfolio can be your biggest ally if you’re looking for a new job, or seeking a promotion because it provides concrete proof of your achievements, contributions, and skills. If you want to take this tool to the next level, consider creating a digital portfolio. It not only demonstrates your tech savvy, but it allows you to share your professional information with people very quickly with a few clicks of a mouse.

Procedures: Having procedures in place can save you a lot of time and hassle if a new opportunity finds you. They make it easy for you to seamlessly transition your position to someone else. Plus, whether you get a new job or find yourself being laid off, the last thing you probably want to do is try and document your old one before you leave.

Professional network: Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? Do you have a nurtured professional network that can support any situation you find yourself in? These are both extremely important components of career preparedness. You should also develop your personal advisory board so when you need advice, you can get it quickly and easily from sources that you trust and who know you well.

At a moment’s notice, you should be able to rely on these career resources and be able to put them to use to remedy or take advantage of any professional situation. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t just let your career happen – take charge and start preparing for where you want to go now!


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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures. 

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