Being of value to your client or your boss is invaluably important to job security. But how does one go about creating value? You become more knowledgeable and indispensable. Learn as much as you can about what your boss/client does.
Ask questions. Most people are flattered to know that you care enough to ask how they do what they do and why they do it.
By learning more and asking more, you will be able to answer questions about the client/boss to his or her potential clients. If you can help him or her along this is way, you will inevitably become indispensable.
Make suggestions. If you see ways to improve a particular process or task — whether it creates greater efficiency or saves money — you’ll look like the hero.
Offer to save the client/boss money. Everyone — I don’t care how rich or poor they are — likes to save money. Don’t recommend something you know to be a waste. Instead, offer a better, cheaper, more efficient option.
Practice goodwill. It goes a long way. A good example: This week a client asked about finding a particular list for him. No problem, I’d researched something similar for another client. I gave him the contact information, so he could check it out and perhaps buy the list (from another vendor). He asked,
“Well, how are you going to make money on this?”
“I won’t, and I don’t need to — all I did was refer you to someone who could help you out.”
He would have gladly paid me $100 for the referral — even offered to. But, my offer of goodwill in not accepting that $100 will net me a lot more in future business than just $100 one-time. I don’t want him to think that every time I do a favor he owes me money. I want to build up that favor bank, so he owes me favors and has no other option but to pay those favors back in the way of referrals and/or future business. And, because he now knows I’m not going to rip him off, he’ll keep coming back forever!
Let the client/boss know what else you can do. Listen to him rattle on about his thoughts, ideas, and business philosophies. When you hear some little tidbit that you can help with — mention it! You’ll get more work, and he’ll have more faith in your abilities.
Be willing to accept suggestions. Of course, this one’s a no-brainer.
Don’t whine! When a client/boss asks for something, don’t whine about it — just do it. If they think they have a whiner on their hands, they won’t want anything to do with you.
If you work as an admin or assistant of any kind, you need to be able to enjoy serving other people. That’s the basis of your job — realize that use a corresponding attitude.
Improve your skills. If you’re so-so at using Excel, being a whiz will carry you far. Most software programs have tutorials build right in. Use it! In your own time, run through the tutorials and practice, practice, practice. Join a chat group if you need to learn more about the software’s functions. Then let the client/boss know what you can do. It’s always impressive when someone says,
“I know how to do this now, and may I help you?”
A good share of being a good admin is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Ask yourself on a regular basis,
“How would I want this done and what response would I expect from someone working for me?”
Your answer to that question is exactly how you should handle the situation/request.