4. Maintain a realistic view of your promotion potential. There's nothing wrong with aspiring to a higher job title. But often, Brewer says, lower-rung admins are so focused on moving up the corporate ladder that they miss the bigger picture. "You're not going to walk out of college and be at an executive assistant level. And if you do, it's not smart [to begin at a higher level if you're new to the field]," he says. In Brewer's view, beginning at a lower level is the best way for administrative professionals to succeed because it gives them ample time to grasp the mechanics of the profession. "You have to start out somewhere. And starting as an office clerk, an office manager, or an administrative assistant—that's the level where you're going to learn."