Office Ninja Day AKA Administrative Assistant’s Day
Being an Administrative Assistant is similar to being a parent, with the exception of taking care of a company instead of a family. Instead of dental appointments, I schedule marketing meetings. There are coffee deliveries in place of soccer practice and instead of “mom, mom, mom”, it’s “Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer”. Also like being a mom, there are days when it all comes together in this beautiful serene bubble of wonderful, but there are also days when I want to hide in the supply room while I chug a giant espresso.
“Just another Hallmark holiday”, I heard someone say in passing and I had always assumed that was true. Turns out, it’s not. Wikipedia states, “During World War II, there was a shortage of skilled administrative personnel in the United States due to Depression-era birth-rate decline and booming post-war business. The National Secretaries Association, founded in 1942, was formed to recognize the contributions of administrative personnel to the economy, support their personal development, and to help attract workers to the administrative field”.
One of my first positions after graduating High School was a receptionist for a law firm. On Administrative Professionals day, I received flowers delivered to work, a cash bonus, and lunch out at one of the fanciest restaurants I had ever been to. I was impressed and felt appreciated, but also embarrassed to have such a fuss made about me. Did I really deserve all this?
Administrative Assistant’s day is similar to Mother’s day
This day has been celebrated very similarly at each company I have held an administrative position with and each time I can’t help but wonder if the outward expression of appreciation is necessary. Previously I thought it was just my introverted nature that did not like the attention, but now that I’m a mom I think I truly understand the awkwardness of this day.
Mother’s day is very similar. We give our mothers cards, flowers, and take them out to eat to express our appreciation for all that they do for us. Appreciated or not, the job of being a mom is the same every single day. It is taking care of the people in my life, planning, executing, and improving.
Administrative Assistant’s Day is the Mother’s day (or Father’s day) of the office world, a day of acknowledging the contributions of our office caregivers. A day to appreciate those who drop all self-needs and pick up the needs of those they support when they walk into the office.
Why I like being an Administrative Assistant
No one is looking over my shoulder to check on my work or micro-managing my day. I get to do things my way. This was earned over time by showing that I put forth my best effort on every project. Proactively researching upcoming tasks and analyzing completed jobs to see where it can be improved for the future.
Troubleshooter, translator, help desk attendant, diplomat, human database, amateur psychologist, and ambassador, are a few things I may need to be on any given day switching from one to another as needed. My days rarely look the same. Each day bring its own challenges and I look forward to finding new solutions.
As an Assistant, I am the glue, keeping everyone balanced, on task, and moving forward. This is not a brag, this is my job description, what is expected of me, the sole purpose of being employed. We all have a job to do, this is mine and I take it seriously.
Knowledge really is power. Whatever my VP shows interest in, I am researching. The more informed and useful I am, the better I am at my job. Influence is earned slowly over time by having something valuable to contribute. Accurate information is the key, but it’s also knowing how he thinks and what he needs.
Acts of Service is my love language. “Actions speak louder than words”, “talk is cheap”, are a few inner mantras of mine. Naturally, I am a caregiver taking care of those around me. If I am spending my time, my most precious non-renewable resource, taking care of your needs then you can be sure that I care about you.
Hiding in the closet with expresso
Sometimes the stress of so many people needing me to work on different things can be overwhelming. That is the price for being the person with all the different facets of information, the human database. These are the days that I take a few minutes to breathe deeply and prioritize tasks.
Vacations can also be a challenge. It’s cumbersome to prepare for a week of my absence. Putting in extra hours before taking time off and also when I return, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as keeping my company running smoothly.
On the really bad days, I wonder what in the world I have gotten myself into. Why do I do this to myself? By then the phone rings or someone walks in the door and I am immediately pulled out of my head to answer a need.
The coffee, lunch or any other expression of gratitude are certainly appreciated, but to answer the question, Do I deserve all this?
I am just doing my job. Appreciated or not, this is just what I do and I will continue to do this the best way I know how because it is important to me. Because YOU are important to me.
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