I work for financial advisors. I was hired as "help" in answering the phones and other receptionist duties. I have been doing this for over a year. I have moved into the Client Associate role, but am still viewed as " just the receptionist.".

I have asked and suggested to receive more tasks to help out the other assistans in the office. I'm given other duties and yes at times the other duties are more meaningful than others, but at the end of the day I'm still viewed as the receptionist.

I'm told to be proactive, but how can I be proactive if I don't know what needs to be done? In my office, I sit in the front. We have a door that leads to the advisors offices and that is where the " other" assistants desks are. Since I'm upfront and can't hear what goes on in the back I'm left not knowing what other things I can learn to help out more.

I have asked if I can take a desk in the back with the more seesoned assistants, but I was told "NO" because I'm the point of contact when a client should come in.

I'm eager to learn more and take on more responsibility, but the advisors don't want to give me complex tasks because I have never done anything more than basic front office duties.

  • 3
    At your workplace, what do you feel would be the major differences between 'receptionist' and 'client associate'? If someone was brought in to officially be the 'receptionist', what would they do different from you?
    – user34587
    Jun 14, 2018 at 13:15
  • Do you want to be something other than the receptionist?
    – Keltari
    Jun 15, 2018 at 6:12
  • By the way, welcome to the workplace. feel free to stop by chat (the water cooler) to introduce yourself in a more informal way, if you wish. Jun 15, 2018 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


The best way is to listen, observe, ask questions, and then start doing things on your own. Start with very minor tasks where you can do little to no damage and branch out from there.

Find a mentor and ask if you could learn a few things on your breaks or during lunch or after hours if need be. Show the will and determination and people want to help you.

After hours do your research in the industry, look into obtaining your series six or series seven license. Heck, even mention series six or seven in the office and watch people's ears perk up.

In short, you need to show some hunger. The financial industry is a full-contact sport and to get attention you need to demonstrate extraordinary interest and drive. Start doing that, and you'll see doors open up for you.

  • Thank you so much for the advice. I will definitely use it. You are absolutely correct about "doing little to no damage" as I start branching out. That is my number one fear. I know it can't be avoided, but I would like to minimize the possibility. Again, thank you.
    – Ceci
    Jun 14, 2018 at 13:55

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