Adding Width to Your Role

blog 2021-06-22 10:36:58

By Jodie Mears, Fellow of the Institute


Adding width to Your Role

I have been working in the realms of administration, high-level service support and personal assistant support for the past nineteen years. I currently work in the aviation industry; I took a receptionist job following a much-loved 1:1 personal assistant role that became redundant. The plan was to work as a receptionist until I found “a proper job”. Eight years later from receptionist to senior administrative assistant, with a pit-stop in Bids & Proposals - all at the same company, I am still supporting and coordinating. I love my role and the company I work for, it was never in the plan, but what goes to plan these days?

I recently have been feeling like I have “maxed out” my potential in terms of my internal growth within the Administration Department but absolutely love what I do, so it bought me to think, how can I stay in my role, but do more, be more and grow more if it’s not going to be in my job description? Working for a large multi-national corporation, there is limited scope for adding or changing a job description as they tend to be standardised.

After much thought of how I can show, earn, and prove my way forward in my role, it led me to this.

Speaking with experience from a corporate environment, these ideas have been applied successfully but it could also be adapted to small and medium sized business too.


Wellness Committees! – the buzz word and hot topic for the last couple of years. Let's talk about how to BROADEN our worth and add even more VALUE to our current role and job description. I hear you say “I am busy as it is! How am I going to manage this”?

Adding WIDTH to our roles is a game-changer, going the extra mile is what we do right? So adding this WIDTH is for our own self development, which leads to more worth inside your organisation, which will then in turn lead to being happier at work = fulfilment = noticeability. This comes easy to us….right? This is who we are? Assistants who can turn their hand to most things and are willing to help and push new initiatives forward. So let's apply what we already do to something that's not expected of us and stand out, while actually helping others.

We don’t, however, need to do it alone and to make it inclusive, diverse, meaningful and to gauge uptake and suggestions, I found it helpful to put the message out to the wider office to see who wanted to join in from many different departments and form a committee.  

We met once a month to discuss ideas, decide on dates, hot topics and identify national & international health promotions, and to split the jobs between the members.  Some stayed, some left due to workloads elsewhere but it did leave the few that were genuinely interested and had time to make a difference and drive the initiative forward.

We engaged with local businesses and our HR team to establish package benefits from external agencies to communicate out. This, in turn, also adds your worth to the HR team, who are usually stretched and very busy. They always welcome a hand rolling out company messages and updates concerning health and wellness package reminders.  

This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content, ideas and the actual “how to” but the same can be applied for starting an Events Team. Managers and the hierarchy always leave it to the Assistants to bring teams together, to organise Christmas parties etc., not to mention the team building, away days and internal recognition awards. The point is you don't need to do this alone - recruit helpers, get a broader understanding of what the team/office like and want to see.

Guide, lead, organise, manage and show how valuable you are by adding WIDTH to your role.


Many thanks to Jodie for being the first in our new blogs from members. If you would like to contribute please contact us through