Is there really nothing out there as "good" or basic as an admin assistant position?

NagaJolokia

Living Hard
Nov 25, 2008
5,907
5
In White Noise and on Whitewater
So, after many instances of research and asking around, I've come to the conclusion that as an admin assistant anywhere, I will not be able to get promoted to anything other than admin assistant II or III or executive admin assist. or supervisory admin assist, or anything that's admin assist. The exception to this is if the person that I'm an assistant to is withdrawn from his position and the employer sees that I had enough hands-on eperience with them to replace them. This is rare, and this will certainly not happen in the program that I"m currently working in, so I'll let this go. However, I absolutely do not by any means whatsoever want to be admin assistant as a career, so no options there. I will have to continue a basic job as this when and as I'm pursuing my bachelor's, but I would prefer something else that may be as good or better to start out with. Then, I can start fresh with the bachelor's as this will most likely, of course, open up much better options. I have people telling me that the admin assist is really it (above and beyond the flipping burgers, cashier, custodian, etc.) as long as I don't have my bachelor's. Anything else?
 

Dawn

seriously?
Moderator
O.G.
Sep 2, 2006
26,292
1,347
United States
i believe it has a lot to do with the company you work for.
i started off here basically as an admin (meeting minutes mostly) and within 2 years was promoted to the manager of the computer training here. all of our other admins have been promoted as well; our company truly believes in promoting from within.
i had an admin work for me and she was just promoted too (now i'm looking for her replacement!)...she does not have her bachelor's degree and while that didn't prevent her promotion (obviously), it did not give her much room to negotiate her salary.
 

NagaJolokia

Living Hard
Nov 25, 2008
5,907
5
In White Noise and on Whitewater
^ That's very surprising to know, and congrats to all of them and you x 5. I mean it. Finding the right comany is very hard; if such promotion was even offered or if I heard of such thing through word of mouth of other employees of a certain company, I'd be all over trying to get in that company as the dreaded admin for a year or two!

My company is very off site, meaning it's located in a different city whereas I work in the DEA HQ along with other contractors of a different company and Federal employees. My company doesn't really come to investigate my work and how I do; they're very hidden about that on their end.
And, I see and have talked to so many admins and people who speak of admins left and right only suggesting higher admin positions.
 
Last edited:

zoeyjoey

O.G.
Jun 1, 2009
366
1
East Coast
I work for a mid-sized construction and development company. About 11 years ago I actually started out as the receptionist (which is lower than an AA here) and later was offered a clerical spot in the finance/accounting department. I excelled there and decided to get a BA in Business Admin. I had already completed a culinary arts program (and worked as a chef, but that's another long story), so I didn't have to start from scratch, but it still took a very long time to complete my degree part-time. I was eventually promoted to the head of my department and then to Financial Operations Manager (CFO's #2). I am going back to school to pursue my MBA/MS in Finance in the fall. I expect to be a CFO myself someday. Even though I already possessed most of the skills I use here everyday, I would never have been seriously considered for promotion without my BA. Hope this helps - good luck!
 

amymaria

housecat
Jan 16, 2009
2,068
6
The wonderful world of LV + H
Depends on the company really.
I started off as an AA too but I am now in more of a business development role. It really depends on who you work for in the company as well. I still am ditching it tho to go back to school.

I've been here about 1.5 years. Previously, I was a receptionist/CSR in different company.
 

lil_peanut

Orange Lotus FTW
O.G.
Jun 17, 2007
1,709
49
It does depend on the company. I started off as receptionist and made my way up the ladder from there. Less than 3 years later I have my own office and am the sole company purchaser.

It's all about attitude and drive. If they see you're working your behind off and are pleasant to be around, you'll get what you want.
 

TygerKitty

~*~ addicted ~*~
O.G.
Feb 26, 2008
16,850
7
Colorado
My mom started as an entry-level bookkeeper and she is now a CFO; all she has is a bachelors degree... she was a VP of finance before becoming the CFO (when she got her degree). Just need the right company and that go-getter attitude and work ethic! You can do it!
 

NagaJolokia

Living Hard
Nov 25, 2008
5,907
5
In White Noise and on Whitewater
Thank you, everyone!

Zoeyjoey, very nice to hear that about what is seemingly a wonderful company in terms of promotion potentail for a an AA. I am in great need of that! Same with you, amymaria! Sigh, I really should ditch my company.

Plain Jane Doe:
OP, have you started college yet? What did you or do you plan to study?
I have graduated from "junior" college with just an associate's in business administration almost 3 years ago. I plan to have my bachelor's in IT if not business admin with a concentration in IT.

lil_peanut:
It does depend on the company. I started off as receptionist and made my way up the ladder from there. Less than 3 years later I have my own office and am the sole company purchaser.

It's all about attitude and drive. If they see you're working your behind off and are pleasant to be around, you'll get what you want.
Lil_peanut, I wish I could prove to you how much I work my ass off almost every day. The workload in the drug deterrence program is enormous enough to to have two or three admins working in it, but I'm the only one. The surrounding admin assistants and a few of the nurses and doctors here have said how much I bust my butt, and I do feel like I'm underpaid for what I do compared to some other admins and even coordinators who seem to have so much more free time and get paid more than I do. The thing is I work as a contractor at the DEA headquarters for a company that's off site in another city, and my company does not bother or cannot observe me in almost every aspect.
 

lil_peanut

Orange Lotus FTW
O.G.
Jun 17, 2007
1,709
49
Oh, I didn't mean to imply you weren't working hard enough, I'm sorry!
Since you're a contractor, is there any way for the employees around you to maybe send an email to your bosses and praise the work you've been doing?
 

NagaJolokia

Living Hard
Nov 25, 2008
5,907
5
In White Noise and on Whitewater
^ Oops, sorry if that sounded like I was accusing you of thinking I was not working hard enough! I wasn't.

That sounds like a reasonable idea. The thing is that my company has already shown a great tendency to not care enough about the employee (at least me) to communicate clearly anything or offer anything worthwhile apart from a large Christmas gift (not a bonus, but a gift card) that I have decided that I will set my mind on leaving the company for another one. I have attempted to straighten things out with them very professionally too many times, such as being forced to go on leave without pay without me knowing when other Federal and contractor employees would be on leave with pay and they wouldn't communicate with me about such vital terms until it was too late. This is among various other problems with communication that I had to very much push for myself repetitively, and they would be very sketchy in their details.

My main focus is to find something else position-wise that's equal or better in a different company while I still need to pursue my bachelor's and then quit for another job that my bachelor would help get me, or be an admin assist in another company that has such wonderful promotion potential as spoken of in this thread.
 

zoeyjoey

O.G.
Jun 1, 2009
366
1
East Coast
NagaJolokia,

I feel truly blessed to have a supportive work environment. Don't get me wrong - I give 110%, but I have many friends who work just as hard or even harder than I do and they have little chance to rise above their junior positions in the long run. Personally, I think many organizations today know how tough the job market is and use this information, unfairly, to their advantage.

Good luck in your future career path (whatever you choose). My only advice is to network diligently to see if you can find another position that better suits your goals. I am not a natural networker, but I have learned to just suck it up and put myself out there because you never know when an opportunity is going to present itself. Role playing/practicing has helped me become more comfortable with networking overall.
 

dusty paws

8.11.2012
O.G.
Sep 20, 2006
17,138
122
36
East Bay, CA
depends on the company, as dawn said. i'm an exec assistant AND receptionist here and have totally hit my ceiling. *shrugs* that's the bad thing with working for a small independent company
 
Oct 26, 2007
2,643
3
Canada
It really depends on the company and on the circumstances. I work in a small office (of a large company, mind you) and I started as an AA. My manager knew she was planning on leaving soon to pursue a career in something completely different so she gave me a lot of her tasks to do and taught me over and above what my job duties were. Then she left and I was offered her position because it is always easier to promote somebody who already kind of knows the job rather than starting over with a completely new person.

I think that being a bank teller is a position somewhat similar to being an AA but with more opportunities to grow (if you like banking, that is). You don't always have to resort to retail or hospitality industries.

OP, good luck in finding a good company to work for! It makes all the difference in the world.
 

pidgeon92

O.G.
Feb 8, 2006
1,495
2
52
Chicago, IL
I worked as an admin for five years in a large corporation.... Never, in those five years did any admin I knew ever get promoted beyond a higher admin grade, and most of them never moved to another department.

Frankly, not many people moved anything but laterally in that company. It was really a shame how they pigeonholed most of the employees. I've been gone from there more than four years now, and most of the people I know are still in the same positions they were when I started working there in 2000.