Appreciating admin professionals

Today is Administrative Professional’s Day! Let’s take some time to really appreciate the administrative professionals in our lives. After all, whether they’re directly connected to your job or not, they make sure your work life runs smoothly.

Don’t know any administrative professionals in your workplace? They come under many titles – admin professional, administrative secretary, office manager, etc., but regardless of title, their jobs will stay relatively similar. You probably know the one in your own workplace as a secretary, but do you really know what she (or he!) does?

There's more to an administrative professional than just typing and filing There's more to an administrative professional than just typing and filing

For those who only ever see the typing and delivering of messages to bosses, this is what administrative professionals do, generally speaking:

They write business correspondence, maintain or improve upon existing working systems, coordinate meetings as well as handle telephone calls, and much more. They might also have to handle office supplies, equipment, and deal with people. That’s just the general description; administrative professionals might have different job scopes if the company is an exceptionally large one, or is very small. Now, take a moment to fully appreciate how much easier life is with such a multi-tasker in your workplace.

Characteristic-wise, you might find that administrative professionals are usually very organised people with a knack for knowing where everything is, all the time. They have to be; being such key figures in an organisation, losing an important document might result in chaos, and with so many tasks in their job scope, being organised is imperative.

The popular movie stereotype of a secretary is one who is either beautiful or efficient, but there is so much more to the modern, real-life administrative professional: Tech-savviness is a must, with the mainstream use of technology in every part of our working lives, as is a deep familiarity with software, from office and beyond.

“People person” is also another adjective that can be used to describe many an admin professional; having to deal with bosses, other employees, as well as guests ensures that those who are naturally reclusive or uncomfortable around people get weeded out fast. They’re generally good communicators who can adapt to situations and deal with work curveballs as well as they can type emails while answering the phone.

Tokens of appreciation

If you’re already reaching for the phone to order a basket of flowers for that administrative professional in your life, continue on and place your order! Here are some other gift ideas for secretaries, by secretaries:

• Gift vouchers for swanky dinners, makeup or perfume;

• Handbags; and

• Lunch.

If it’s in your power to do so, you could also give your secretary the day off (with full pay, of course!). If you can’t, you CAN pay for a spa, or get her a book of motivational quotes instead. The sky’s the limit! Asking around about what your staff or colleagues like would also help on days like this, or for birthdays in the future, as would an observation of what they have on their desks – books, CDs, soft toys, pictures, etc.

What NOT to do: Forget. One secretary shares – on the condition of anonymity – that once, she used some gift vouchers meant for Mother’s Day to send herself some flowers as a hint to her forgetful boss.

Even if you aren’t the boss, wishing the secretary you see every day a “Happy Secretary's/ Administrative Professional's Day” could make her day.

Happy Administrative Professional's Day!

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