Administrative Professionals is a bit of a catch-all title. It is a very broad job category that covers the entire scope of responsibilities and valuable contributions made by office coordinators, administrative assistants, administrative specialists, executive assistants, office managers, and supportive office employees. Depending on the size of the company, the scope of work managed by an Administrative Professional can be very diverse. Bottom line is – Administrative Professionals are often at the heart of the company, keep offices running and staff organized.
Origin of Administrative Professionals Day – it’s actually a whole week!
Originally named Secretary’s Week / Day in 1952, this official period of appreciation was designated for those individuals counted on for a variety of needs each and every day of the year. In 2000 the name was changed to Administrative Professionals Week / Day. Over the years the Administrative function has taken on many new, challenging and exciting tasks that have significantly expanded the job description. The ‘new category’ title is so much more appropriate because it broadens the spotlight in today’s modern company. Administrative Professionals Day is now one of the largest observances existing in the workplace.
Administrative Professionals Role
Often when the role of Administrative Professional is mentioned, most people think of this position as being female only and primarily performing clerical duties. Not anymore! In nearly every industry, executives, managers and other professionals would be unable to perform at a high functioning level without the professional assistance they require to perform, create, coordinate, manage and distribute high value, confidential and / or time sensitive information.
It is not uncommon for Administrative Professionals to own responsibility for organizing, coordinating and assigning the schedules of several executives, their teams and company customers. In a larger company, the Administrative role can also entail supporting specific departments such as Human Resources, Accounting, Business Development, Sales & Marketing or Information Technology. Conversely, in smaller companies and start-ups, a single ‘Admin’ may be responsible to provide support for every person in the company!
What does it take to be a great Administrative Professional?
Administrative Professionals must be a quick study, have an excellent memory and be the consummate politician. Resolving day-to-day administrative and operational problems is no easy feat! Some Administrative Professionals are even required to be talented event and party planners. An Administrator may be responsible for making most of the decisions on the scheduling of board meetings, luncheons, etc., researching vendor prices, menus and inquiring about participants’ availability among other things.
What’s in a name? In a simple statement – A very broad set of skills, knowledge, personal traits and attitudes – but that is far too simplied! In action, an Administrative Professional is a multi-tasking co-worker who exhibits a vast array of skills, including but not limited to:
- Strong work ethic
- Highly productive
- Developed problem-solving, sensitivity and critical thinking skills
- Deductive and inductive reasoning skills
- Exceptional organizational skills
- Technology skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Well-developed planning skills
- Team player with good collaboration skills
- Resolve conflicts and negotiate with others
- Selective attention and time sharing
- Interpretive, translator who explains many things
- Monitor and manage processes, materials, and / or surroundings
- Ability to gather information from sources
- Customer focused
- Point Person
- Keeper of secrets
It is estimated that there are more than 475,000 Administrative Professionals in Canada. Admins are the glue that holds offices together and bonding us together. Appreciating these multi-talented individuals for one week /day per year is really not asking very much – they help us be successful – plain and simple.
So send them a card, take them out to lunch, buy them flowers or offer the afternoon off. Remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ – even a verbal show of gratitude can go a long way! For those of you looking for the right verbiage, here are some examples of sincere thank you & appreciation in words Who knows, maybe you can even get yourself in the special good books!
If you are interested, below are a couple of YouTube that may help put the Day into perspective.
Happy Administrative Professionals’ Day!
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John F. Kennedy