Workplaces have and will continue to evolve over the years, which means roles will also continue to evolve. Case in point: personal assistants or executive assistants. Centuries ago, the role of “secretary” was to serve as an assistant and personal confidant. Their key roles mainly focused on record-keeping and stenographic duties.

Today, PA/EA’s and other administrative professionals have ever-expanding roles. Aside from scheduling and planning meetings, they are also responsible for handling correspondence, maintaining client directories, supervising office staff, as well as procuring office supplies. Many admin professionals nowadays have also taken on customer service and public relations roles, or even social media managers.

In short, if you are in the administrative industry, you need to future-proof your career. While the job title may contain the word “assistant,” a modern PA/EA definitely performs more than this role. You need to formalise your qualifications in order to open up more opportunities. Acquire a certificate for project administration and take project management courses so you can take on more responsibilities in the future. This will help underscore your role as more than “just” an assistant but rather as a business partner to your executive.

For a deeper look at what the future of administrative professionals looks like, and why there’s a need for you to pivot

AI Will Continue to Have a Major Impact in the Field

Over the past decade, artificial intelligence or AI has changed the landscape for PA/EA’s. From the introduction of computers to the workplace to the pervasiveness of smartphones and apps, AI has already replaced many of an EA/PA’s tasks. These include organising meetings, scheduling, arranging travel plans, and managing internal communications, among others.

How PA/EA’s Should Pivot

The thing about AI solutions is that they are computer software, developed by humans. At the end of the day, they still need humans who know what to do. Familiarise yourself with such AI solutions through online training and other learning opportunities. Focus on the efficient management of these tools.

At the same time don’t “forget” how to do automated tasks manually. This way, should something go wrong, you won’t miss a beat. Using AI as a PA/EA means knowing how to maximise your time by boosting your skills with technical knowledge.

Human EA’s Will Be Considered Premium

As mentioned, many PA/EA tasks can now be performed by AI solutions. As such, there may be some executives who may opt to choose technological tools to manage some of their administrative needs on their own.

However, this doesn’t mean that every admin position will be taken over by AI. In fact, skilled PA/EA’s won’t be running out of jobs at all but rather become available at a premium. AI and other technological tools simply can’t provide the all-essential human touch, which makes all the difference in administrative work.

How PA’s/EA’s Should Pivot

If the job comes at a premium price, then it’s only logical to provide premium services to make the investment worth it. As previously noted, one way to do this is to take a variety of training courses. This will help you gain mastery of a variety of technological tools

Besides technical knowledge, however, you need to be able to exercise and exhibit critical thinking. Pay extra attention to the understanding of data. Most AI and technological tools generate a lot of data, which won’t be of any value if you aren’t able to interpret them. Polish your skills in data analytics in order to spot patterns and develop even more efficient ways to work.

Remember: gadgets and software are there to free you of routine and time-consuming tasks. When you use them wisely and efficiently, you’ll have more time to accomplish jobs that are better accomplished by humans.

Virtual Assistants Will Become Even More Popular

Over the years, virtual offices and therefore virtual assistants have become more popular. This change has been driven mostly by technology, but certain events (such as COVID-19) have also influenced the change. The most-affected segment here is the purely administrative-based workers whose main role is to provide transactional support.

How PA’s/EA’s Should Pivot

The key thing for PA’s/EA’s to stay relevant in an increasingly digital world is to stay visible. Take the lead and provide stellar services so that you won’t be easily forgotten. Plan ahead and identify opportunities and business needs, then craft a business plan to share with your executive. In short, you have to make yourself indispensable.

It’s also a good thing to build your brand and network. Digital tools, particularly social media, are useful in this regard. Create a LinkedIn profile, at the very least, and keep it updated. Curate your content as well, populating your feed with relevant news, and then start on building your network. This will help establish your credibility in the field.

No matter the industry, it’s important to grow and change with the times. For PA’s/EA’s, there’s no time to get comfortable. At the same time, there’s no need to be overly worried. Start future-proofing your career by taking note of trends and responding accordingly. With ample preparation and strategic pivoting, you’ll remain relevant and competitive in the world of administrative professionals.

Improve your administrative skills and get certified through Priority Management Australia’s certificate iii in project administration course.