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.
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. Wake 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.