67 Admins and a Cruise-No..not a song title..

I just returned home from the 3rd annual Capital Chapter- IAAP Administrative Professionals Week (APW) cruise.

Man! I am beat. But it’s from the buzz-energy letdown. Nothing like being around 67 of your peers, comparing and contrasting job responsibilities as well as companies. I’m fascinated by the LOYALTY these folks show to their company. Many folks had more than 15 years at the same firm. Not that I advocate otherwise, but in this day and age, I believe admins that take on more responsibilities, learn new software, invest more in themselves, sell themselves short by staying at the same company for more than 5-10 years. This only my personal perspective from working in the DC Metro area.

DC Metro is one of the most competitive and prosperous workforce arenas for administrative professionals. CEOs, VPs and other power level types are always on the lookout for a way to distinguish themselves from their peers. What makes their company better or their organization more efficient? Could it be their administrative support staff? My personal conviction is that companies that don’t invest in their admin staff, reap what they sow.

Taking Responsbility

Not so fast though.. In today’s corporate society -do you really expect the company to make the decision that they will invest in the administrative support staff a part of their strategic goal plans, short or long term? A small percentage of companies are truly loyal to dedicated long time staff. W
ake up.. and smell the coffee. Inherently, it is the individual’s responsibility to communicate what they need to be successful and happy at a company, whether it is increased pay or flex-time, etc..

Will another company be the solution? Think long and hard.. and make good lists for pros and cons before you turn in your keycard. Make certain your expectations are realistic. (Of course, this applies to outside our workworld, too.)

Early in my administrative career, I lacked the maturity to ask the right questions and really look at the position, not personalities. I sought a promotion to another department, received it and three months later came crawling back to my boss, asking if I could have my old department job back.

My issue? Trying to get away from personalities on the job rather than approaching it as a professional position meant that my problems traveled with me from one position to the next. Until I learned with great humility that jobs are jobs, keep my personal life out of work and do the job for which I was hired. Some bosses will cut slack.. but many won’t. Make certain the reasons for changing positions are fact-based and well researched.

DC Metro is an area with a vast need for qualified, responsible admins…Keep this thought handy when you realize you really cannot go in to your office another day.. Cut the dread short..and look at the options DC Metro provides.

Lastly, as I think about the many folks I met today, I pondered the role of personal responsibility each of us has in progessing in our career field of choice. The cruise left the dock, toured and returned to the dock. It was my responsibility to get up, get a plate from the buffet, eat, network with peers and resolve a few treasurer duties. It was up to me to get the most for my ticket money. Same goes for my career. I invest my being every workday. I can sit at my PC and zone out when I am bored or I can take time to help others in my office, or better yet… focus on the background work I need to do. I feel better at the end of the day. No resentment about my co-workers or boss develops… simply because I take charge of my day.. and my workday.

And to all my fellow cruisemates- Happy Administrative Professionals Week. Don’t put your life on cruise-control.. take the wheel and turn in the direction that leads you to a happy career.

A Day in the Admin Life

Typical Day….. in the admin life
I thought it would be a good opportunity to kind of check in on the typical task-filled day. Here’s what was on my list today.

  • Follow up on A/R
  • Seek out vendors for cubicle panels
  • Customer Service tickets follow up, including webmeeting and calls
  • Find restaurant and schedule reservation for luncheon for a staff member’s send off party
  • Order supplies for two new staff members
  • Request IT equipment and additional network cords
  • Update new client and contact information in database and contacts system
  • Review project list with one of our project managers to make certain our client is receiving followup and communication on tasks as they are resolved
  • Attend staff-wide projects meeting
  • Search internet for going away gift for staff member leaving
  • Reschedule marketing meeting to review new tradeshow exhibit design
  • Pull promo catalog items for tradeshow order
  • Start gathering information and set up for the company newsletter for this quarter..
  • Contacted Assoc. of Professional Office Managers for vendor resources
  • Make list of client admins – I want to send them an acknowledgment for Administrative Professionals Day. (4/26/06)

.. I’m sure I’m forgetting at least one or two things ..but you get the gist.

What about you? If you take the time to jot a list of what you accomplish .. it’s a good feeling to validate why you are tired after your workday..but also to say, “Hey! I got alot done today.”

And you know what? I did get alot done today. Tomorrow’s Friday.. Yeah!

Taking Pride in Getting the Jam Out…..

It’s April. Almost Easter. My brain has been full of thoughts of.. Administrative Professionals Week and the annual cruise brunch that my chapter (Go Capital Chapter!) sets up, the Saturday before Administrative Professionals Day.

I must admit to being disheartened at friends and family who believe that being an admin is below me. What does that mean really? I have to pester my husband to no end to recognize the effort and work put in by the two administrative staffers at the company where he works. Some people call it doing the sh.. work no one else wants to do.

That’s partly true I suppose… very few folks like to do collection calls, copy and collate books for board meetings, order the catering for the next staff meeting, or the big one.. replace the toner cartridge on the printer. I guarantee they are glad there is someone who finishes the job for them.

I swear, there ought to be a degree (some sort of Associates in engineering) for admins.. earned by years of a) clearing paper jams, b) replacing toner parts c) salvaging pda’s -post coffee spill. Seriously, one time, my husband (in a company of engineers and sales) told me that they couldn’t find a paper jam in this huge copier and no one had used it for 6 Months!! Naturally, I showed off.. drove with him to the office, pulled open every single nook, cranny and tray… lo! and behold! there it was… Can you imagine.. not using a major piece of equipment because of that? I gloated.. (I guess I still am..)

What’s my point? The admins who are willing to take on adminstrative stuff.. fun, not fun and sometimes downright tedious.. keep the machinery moving… the company, the cash flow, the morale..

Think about that the next time the admin in your workplace lets you know the color printer is up and running again. Odds are .. the admin fixed it….

Rosanne Badowski.. One of us….

In Managing Up- Rosanne Badowski-Executive Assistant to
Jack Welch former CEO of GE.. tells what it takes to work for the top honchos..
WARNING… reality check.. if you’ve got kids.. or other time /family commitments.. it’s pretty tough to squeeze all the work in at that level… but.. hey.. I think anyone with enough caffeine might be able to do it.

check it out.. interesting read………and frankly.. you know she earned every penny…

How do successful admins survive change?

Organizational Change- It’s a given…. How do successful admins survive change?

Experience does matter. Attitude matters. Approach matters.

Here’s why it matters:

Experienced admins know when to pick a battle, intuitively knows when to stay away from the boss and /or co-worker who is pre-postal…

Attitude.. griping..begets griping.. if you are that miserable.. leave.. if not, shut up… and be happy you have a job

Approach.. better come with a potential solution to your beef.. ..don’t waste time by expecting a frazzled boss to solve your problems.. they are your boss.. NOT your parent. You.. are an adult (disappointing, no?) Take care of your own business!