We’ve spent 2014, the International Year of the Secretary and Admin Assistant, discussing ways you can advance your career and the administrative profession. We’ve focused on everything from mentorship to generational differences, but one of our primary focuses has been on creating your new and improved job description.


A detailed description of your job is essential to your admin career – not only if you are looking for a new job, but also if you want to move up within your current company, keep your executive and colleagues up to date on your responsibilities, and track your professional progress and performance. Every admin who wants to be successful in his or her career needs one.


But what do you do once you have your updated job description in place?


You keep working on it.


Updating your job description is an important exercise not just this year, but every year. It’s not a one-and-done task – it’s an ongoing exercise that you need to make time for regularly.


So why is it important to regularly revisit your job description?


Now is the time of year when many companies hold their annual reviews, so hopefully a lot of you have been able to share your updated description with your executive. However, even once you’ve shown your executive and possibly even submitted it to your HR department, your work isn’t done. Your job description shouldn’t be a static document – it’s something that should be regularly reviewed and revised.


Updating your job description is a great way to prepare for your review, and it can help you state your case if you’re looking for a promotion, raise or new title, especially when paired with a professional portfolio. If you’re learning and growing in your position, your job description is going to constantly evolve. And you need to keep your executive and HR department apprised of these changes. Regularly revisiting your description is a great way to do this.


But what do you do if your executive, manager or HR department won’t get on board with your new job description?


If you encounter some static when it comes to your new description, the most important thing is to not get discouraged. This is a frequent occurrence at a lot of companies, and while it’s unfortunate, a “no” doesn’t always mean what you think it does.

If you run into a roadblock in getting someone to accept your new job description, here are some things you can do to address the situation:

  • Ask the person why he or she is refusing to accept the description, and respectfully listen to the answer.
  • Ask again in a different way or at a different time.
  • Ask what you can do to get the new description acknowledged.
  • If revising your job description isn’t acceptable, ask how you can keep the person up to date on your job responsibilities and changes.
  • Ask what you can do to improve the way you’re asking.

When it comes to your updated job description, it’s important to understand that a “no” now doesn’t necessarily mean “no, never”. Keep revising and sharing it, regardless of the feedback you receive. Even if it’s never accepted, regularly updating your description will provide you and your executive with valuable information on your professional progress.

If you haven’t already completed your new job description, it’s definitely something you should put on your 2015 to-do list! The process isn’t difficult, especially if you break it down into small steps.


Whether you’ve completed your new job description already or you plan to tackle it in 2015, make updating yours a regular habit. Keeping your job description current may feel like a neverending task, but it’s a best practice for having a successful career. And it will help you, as well as your executive and HR department, track your professional progress and contributions to the company for years to come.

Julie Perrine is an administrative expert, author, speaker, and all-round procedures pro. She is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, a company dedicated to developing innovative products, training, and resources for administrative professionals ... (Read More)

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