Administrative assistant is a job title often used to describe an individual who is reponsible for a variety of duties. Much more than a secretary, an administrative assistant may start the day making photocopies and end it with an overseas flight. But some tasks are common to all administrative assistants.
Some of the primary duties of an administrative assistant involve taking care of the day-to-day tasks that keep a business functioning. This can include answering phones, greeting clients, arranging meetings, making photocopies, sending out faxes, mailing letters and generally keeping the office running smoothly.
Depending on the specific needs of an office or executive, an administrative assistant may be called upon to deal with a range of organizational tasks. On the professional side, this can include duties such as maintaining a filing system, managing a person or group's schedule and ensuring any professional licenses or subscriptions are kept up-to-date. On the personal side, executives may ask an administrative assistant to remember clients' birthdays or to book restaurant or travel reservations.
An administrative assistant's duties don't end at the lobby doors. Some are also called to help manage other business duties, such as setting the agendas for board meetings or overseeing a project from start to finish. Some administrative assistants even oversee departments.
Administrative assistants are also responsible for a variety of tasks that don't fit into predetermined categories. On one day, they may be called upon to arrange catering for a dinner party. The next day, they may accompany a chief executive on a business trip half a world away.