Fans of the cable hit show Mad Men recognize just how much office life has changed in the past few decades. Perhaps most notably gone are the multiple secretaries who toiled over many (many) tasks for the ad men, managers, editors, purchasing agents and many (many) more beneficiaries.
Today — if you’re very lucky — your office has a bona fide administrative pro or two, along with a whole cast of others who take care of duties big and small, each necessary for keeping business moving efficiently.
No surprise that the International Association of Administrative Professionals changed the focus of this year’s Administrative Professionals Week (this week, April 24-30) to Celebrate All Office Professionals.
A bit on their reasoning:
“The recession has hit everyone in the office. Downsizing has forced all of us to pull together and work harder, not just the administrative professionals in the workplace. IAAP recognizes the hard work and sacrifice from everyone. This year, celebrate all office professionals.”
According to labor statistics, there are 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants in the U.S. today along with 8.9 million people serving in other administrative support roles. But few “traditional” secretaries still exist. In fact, only 5 percent of the administrative trade group’s membership still has the title. In their place are a slew of administrative pros that perform complex tasks managing projects, putting together budgets, serving as the staff expert on computer software and more.
Blogging on the Small Business Trends website, Susan Payton of Egg Marketing & Public Relations makes some great points just how much we rely on administrative professionals. In 5 Things an Administrative Assistant is Better at than You, she lists (among other things)
- Organizing your calendar
- Managing travel plans
- Removing the paper pile from your desk
I could name many (many) more. Where would we be, for example, without the office Excel expert, or the one guy who knows how to replace the toner?
We are all, indeed, administrative professionals. Celebrate your success by recognizing the great effort everyone makes pulling together, and take pride in the work you do.
Please share your own examples of can’t-live-without admin duties performed by someone at your office. Happy Administrative Professionals Week to us all!
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