Administrative Assistant 101

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Course Description

Administrative Assistant Fundamentals

 "A clueless boss gives you a wide-open field. Learn what's important to your boss, understand what your company is looking for and help the fool meet those expectations." (John Hoover)

Oh how times, and people, have changed in the world generally over the last few years.  Presently and into the foreseeable future business people will not only have to continue picking up the pace but will need to adapt to methods, systems and responsibilities that would have seemed unsustainable a few years ago or even last year! 

Due in part to the Recession, technology and necessity has amplified the requirements and pace of change.  It's not all bad news though, the truth of the matter is that the recession is providing opportunities to people in certain segments of the business world -- administrative assistants are one of them.  AA's are now, and will in the future, be performing roles that middle managers would have done only a year or two ago.  They are acting on behalf of their boss/s on a regular basis and have full authority to do so.

Whether you are returning to the workforce after a number of years away or you are new to the administrative side of the business world there are some great opportunities out there for administrative assistants, especially the new kind of administrative assistants – i.e. those who are skilled, prepared to take on extra responsibility and don't mind taking a risk or two.

This is a 3 Part Course, which will begin covering some very important basics before going on to deal with the importance of training others to fulfill the role, and then we will focus on the innovative role which has a place both in the present and future – that of Virtual Assistant!

The course will open your eyes wider regarding the choices you have available and open to you in the business sector, the opportunities awaiting that you may have bypassed and not even realized existed.

The course provides a basis on which you can build your new future.

Course Requirements

Anyone who needs this information is welcome to join.  No books will be required.

Course Topics


VIP -    Administrative Assistants are the Backbone of most organizations – be sure in your mind about that! You might not get much (if any) glory or fame but you will be an invaluable asset to the company.




PART 1 — You are the One!



1.              Job Overview
Why might I be needed?    What do employers really want & how to find out what it is    Interview Tips    The importance of an accurate Self-Assessment    Checking the Job Descriptions    Finding that First

2.              Job Duties & Skills
Level of skills    Brushing up on basic skills before you apply    Level of training required & whether to go back to school or not    When training is not required    Going beyond the basics    Computer Hardware    Computer Software   

3.          Doing the job properly
What makes an average AA?    What makes a good AA?    What makes for an excellent AA?    When ‘familiarity’ can turn into ‘contempt’

4.          Be on Top of Daily Routines
Your office/workstation    The Boss’s Office    Time Management    Special business/financial information you need to be up on   

5.          Be prepared for Diversity
What planning, preparations and arrangements could you be expected to undertake?    Travel    The use of checklists    Managing Multiple Roles & Switching “Hats”….Specialization   



PART 2  Training others to be Administrative Assistants



6.          Translate “Doing” into “Teaching” those Administrative Assistant skills
Preparing a Job Description    Choosing People suitable for the Job    The Importance of Appropriate Training    Job Orientation    Company Orientation

7.          Teaching those VIP Skills
Communication generally    Phone skills    The basic business letter    Language usage and styles    Common language problems

8.          How to develop appropriate working relationships
Some big Workplace “No No’s”    Prioritizing    Supervisory Challenge    Getting on with difficult people or those that aren’t liked

9.         Changing Workforces
New Administrative roles    Watch out for changes due to Demographic/Economic shifts    Job Search in the Information Age   

10.       Building Self-Esteem, Self Confidence and Assertiveness

What’s the difference between “Self-esteem” and “Self-confidence” and what to do about it    Increasing self-esteem    Increasing self-confidence    Assertiveness    Guidelines for developing Assertiveness & Self-



PART 3 — Being a Virtual Assistant – AAs of the present &



11.      What exactly is a Virtual Assistant and How do I become one? 
Being clear about what a VA really is – i.e. a Temp without an Agency or a Partner in the business?    How do I start - How do I become a VA?    Does it matter where I live    What particular skills, if any, do I need    Will I need to join an agency or association? Do I need accreditation or certification    Agree on the Processes – i. e. get clear guidelines and instructions

12.       Just another job or is the VA really self-employed?
What types of people/businesses needs assistants who are not in the office 40 hours per week?    The advantages to you in being a Virtual Assistant    What should I charge  
13.    Necessary Marketing, Tools and ‘bits & pieces’
What are some of the initial steps I should take?    What type of clients should I look for?    Do I need a Website    Putting together a marketing package    Is there any specific hardware/software I should have    Some ways to ensure clients come “knocking at your door” (so to speak)

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz and an assignment designed to highlight lesson topics. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Identify the role and responsibilities of the Admin Assistant.
  • Know the job duties and skills of an Admin Assistant.
  • Identify ways of doing the job properly.
  • Create routines and prepare for diversity.
  • Be able to train for the position.
  • Identify self-employment opportunities, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
An Introduction1
Lesson 1 : Job Overview10
Lesson 2 Assignment2
Lesson 2 : Job Duties & Skills10
Lesson 3 Assignment2
Lesson 3 : Doing Your Job Properly9
Lesson 4 : Be On Top Of Daily Routines10
Lesson 5 : Be Prepared For Diversity5
Lesson 6 Assignment2
Lesson 6 : " Translating "Doing" Into "Teaching" Those Administrative Assistant Skills7
Lesson 7 Assignment - Improve Your Communication Skills2
Lesson 7 : Teaching Those VIP Skills6
Lesson 8 Assignment2
Lesson 8 : How To Develop Good Working Relationships7
Lesson 9 Assignment2
Lesson 9 : Changing Workforces10
Lesson 10 Assignment2
Lesson 10 : Building Self-esteem, Self-confidence & Assertiveness In Yourself & Others10
Lesson 11 : What Exactly Is A Virtual Assistant & How Do I Become One9
Lesson 12 Assignment2
Lesson 12 : Just Another Job Or Is The Va Really Self-employed?10
Lesson 13 : Necessary Marketing, Tools And "Bits & Pieces"10
The Final Exam75
Total Points:205

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