So you’re an administrative professional, huh? Your job is to assist administratives, whatever those are. And to much of the world, your job sounds like an easy one. After all, how hard can it be to assist people at things?
Ridiculously hard, which is why you people are incredible. And in case anyone doubts me (or you), here are 8 reasons why:
1. You Are (Apparently) The ONLY PERSON IN THE ENTIRE FREAKING WORLD WHO KNOWS WHERE ANYTHING IS!!!!! I wrote that in all caps not because you brag about that knowledge, but because everyone you work with expects it of you. Without you, nobody would know who to call, what sales were made, when the meeting is or who it’s with – and the list keeps going. But even worse.
2. You’re Never Allowed To Forget Anything – I sometimes forget my car keys until I’m in my car and realize I can’t start it without them. I’ve actually left the house without a shirt before, that’s how absent-minded I am. But you can’t forget anything, can you? Because if you did, nobody’d be there to back you up. How are you so consistently amazing?
3. You Have to Know What Everyone Likes – One year I bought my brother a bottle of scotch for his birthday, and it was only when he opened it that I realized it’s my other brother who really likes scotch. Oops! But as an administrative assistant, you have developed an encyclopedic knowledge of everyone’s needs, wants, quirks, habits, demands, and eccentricities.
4. Booking Travel Is Stupidly Annoying – You know how many times I’ve spent over an hour online trying to book a multi-city flight only to have the website crash 75% of the way through the purchase? The answer is more than five, which coincides nicely with the number of times I have attempted to throw my computer off the balcony. The fact that anyone ever gets anywhere is almost unbelievable – and you’re the reason it happens.
5. People Expect You To Bring Donuts – Which you often do. But then some people are like, “Hey, why can’t we ever have anything healthy around here?” So then you bring fruit, and then the donut-lovers are all like, “Aww, who brought fruit? Where are my donuts?” Why can’t people just be happy to get free food already?!?!
6. You “Get” To Organize The Next Conference – It’s possible that you love event planning. But it’s also possible that conferences are exactly as hard as organizing a wedding without the emotional payoff of seeing your children get married to the love of their lives. I make my living speaking at conferences, and I am constantly in awe of how much work goes into them and how effortless you all make them look.
7. You Always Have To Be Happy – Because you answer the phone, and greet people at the door, and you can’t exactly greet them with a, “So what the hell do you want, huh?”
8. People Think Your Job Is Easy – Which is hilarious. They should try it for a week. Seriously, call in sick for a week, then come back and immediately ask for a raise. You’ll probably get it. And you totally should.
There are tons more reasons, but this should get us started. So today, my administrative professional, please congratulate yourself for being more impressive than you’re often given credit for.
P.S. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that coaching assistants do more than sit there and watch their bosses yell and throw towels. Just in case any coaching assistants are reading this. You guys are awesome too. But not as awesome as administrative professionals – there, I said it!
More posts for Admin Professionals:
7 Reasons Your Administrative Assistant Is the Most Important Asset You Have
3 Reasons to Fire all of Your Administrative Assistants
Can I get your permission to copy you 8 Reasons Being an Administrative Assistant Is A Difficult (And Impressive) Job, published on July 28th, 2014. I would like to post it in my 3rd Quarter ASAP 66 Newsletter.
Hi Kathy! Absolutely! All we ask for is a link to JeffHavens.com in your newsletter and to include my byline. I’ll have someone from my staff get in touch with you.
I think I just found my new boss!!! After reading a couple of your awesome newsletters regarding Administrative Assistants, not only is this hilarious, but your right in touch with your audience! Thanks for the read, I really needed it! Looking forward to reading more of your witty and very familiar insights!
Agree it is on the money. Did make me laugh out loud as each point struck a chord!
I loved the article “8 Reasons Being an Administrative Assistant Is A Difficult (And Impressive) Job”. One of my goals I have set up for next year is to do a presentation about the administrative assistants. Can I use this material and make some changes to to fit my Agency?
Hi Theresa! So glad you liked the article! I’ll have someone on my staff be in touch with you shortly.
Thank you, I needed this support. I always try to keep my sanity by stepping back, take a breath and walk for 1/2 hour or so (well lunch) and go back to working on tackling the workload.
Do you have any openings for an Administrative Assistant?! 😉
This made me laugh because it is so accurate!
Very touching and true.
It is an impressive job, unfortunately it’s like being a teacher: poorly paid and thankless. I have worked as an admin and I despise it. I tried to get away and I’m back at it, although in marketing. It’s still a glorified gopher position. I also blow at it big time because I have a tough enough time keeping myself organized and on track, let alone keeping someone else organized and on track. I need a job where I can be a individual contributor on my own and I’m considering being a professional temp.
This has made my day, especially today since I am working on myself-evaluation. I am going to share this with my managers and peer admins.
Awesome, thanks Annette!
I was out of the office for six weeks. When I came back, it was like I was royalty. There was so much appreciation for me and the things I did. It makes me wonder what happened while I was out.
I am speechless and so thankful for an authentic article about assistants. THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU for this. I am sharing it with my beautiful team of assistants who would agree with all 8. I love what I do and I love leading an amazing admin team who can relate 100%. Happy #AdminWeek to all the assistants around the world.
That’s great Amy! Very glad you liked it and thanks for sharing!