Weekend Poll: Core Competencies For a Successful EA/PA Career

Last Thursday’s Weekend Poll on Admin. Professionals Day generated substantial feedback on recognition, professional development and more. Some of the related discussion got me thinking about perceptions of the role – and the extent to which colleagues and others understand the competencies required for success as this career evolves.

Defining competencies

What are we talking about when referring to competencies? Put simply, the term implies abilities and skills. Delve a little deeper, and you might define them as a cluster of related abilities, skills, knowledge and commitments required of an employee for effective job performance.

Let’s look at a couple of examples. Communication can encompass oral, written and listening skills. Organisation, in this career and others, encompasses effective management of time, space, tasks and more.

How some employers have articulated competencies

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln offers describes a competency as “The combination of observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities and personal attributes that contribute to enhanced employee performance and ultimately result in organizational success.” That institution identifies core competencies that are key to both its short- and long-term success. It treats the following competencies as applicable to all its “managerial/professional and office/service jobs”.

  1. Accountability
  2. Adaptability
  3. Communication
  4. Customer/quality focus
  5. Inclusiveness
  6. Leadership
  7. Occupational knowledge/technology orientation
  8. Team focus

The Centre for Learning and Development at the Newfoundland Labrador Public Service Secretariat has published an Administrative Support Professionals Competency Framework. Have a look at this resource, and you’ll see six competency clusters as follows.

  1. Organisational
  2. Communication
  3. Service Delivery
  4. Technical
  5. Adaptability
  6. Interpersonal

In the US, the University of North Carolina Wilmington identifies seven required competencies for executive assistants. There, the ” staff/management assistants to highest-level administrators” are expected to possess the following competencies.

  1. Interpersonal
  2. Knowledge – program
  3. Problem solving
  4. Planning and organisation
  5. Communication – written
  6. Information/records administration
  7. Financial administration/budget


 Keeping up With Evolution of the Career

As the admin. professional career continues to evolve, both expectations and opportunities rise. Has your employer articulated competencies required for your role, or your role classification? If so, do the documented competencies align with the reality? This leads us to the focus of this Weekend Poll:

What competencies are critical to success as an Admin. Professional in 2017?

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below. As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say and will publish results on Tuesday.

“Select” whichever responses apply, and remember to CLICK on the “VOTE” ICON AFTER EACH QUESTION.

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