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Apr 19

What do Administrative Professionals Do?

This week is Administrative Professionals Week, and it’s the time of year for executives and other office members to thank their hard working secretaries and other administrative professionals.  But what exactly do these administrative professionals do for you?

The short answer: everything!  Administrative professionals are often key personnel in your office.  Here are just a few duties administrative professionals perform on a daily basis:

  • Answering the phone.  Administrative professionals are usually the first line of contact with your office.  As such, they not only have to answer basic questions but they also usually end up dealing with upset and unhappy customers, too!  They also have to make all of those unpleasant outgoing calls that you don’t want to make, such as canceling meetings or letting your wife know you won’t be home for anniversary dinner.
  •  Coordinating events.  Someone has to make certain all of your guests have registered for an event, and that someone is usually your administrative assistant.  He or she also has to deal with catering, space rental, entertainment, travel and accommodations for out of town speakers, room setup, and much more.  Basically, without an administrative professional, you’d be left to handle all of the small details of an event yourself.  Do you really want to spend your day deciding what color napkins to use for an awards banquet?  Probably not.
  •  Scheduling.  When you look at your calendar and see all of those meetings and appointments you have, you may think it’s a miracle none of them conflict with anything else you have going on.  Well, it’s not a miracle—it’s just the attention to detail and hard work of your administrative professional.  It’s their job to make certain you’re not double-booked and that you have enough time to get from appointment to appointment.  They often have to coordinate schedules for your entire office, which is no easy task.
  •  Fixing the copier.  While it may sound like a small thing, what do you do when you’re copying something and there’s a paper jam or the toner is low?  Chances are, you go straight to your administrative professional and ask him or her to fix it!  Administrative professionals often serve as the first line of tech support, handling small, easy to fix problems with office equipment and even computers.  If they can’t fix it, they know who can, and they make the appropriate calls to get your technology working.
  •  Tracking expenses and income.  Administrative professionals are also often tasked with entering all of your expenses into the ledger.  This means they have to know accounting and the computer programs your office uses.  It also means that they are in charge of telling you when you can’t spend any more money, which is not a fun job!
  •  Doing it all.  Finally, administrative professionals may end up picking up any other odd job that needs done around the office.  This means they have to be highly flexible.  An administrative professional needs to know how to do everything from making coffee to faxing documents to creating large spreadsheets and detailed documents.  It’s not an easy job and when done well, no one really notices.  However, for those who have worked with a bad administrative professional, you know just how important it is that they know their job.  Great administrative professionals take a disorganized, inefficient office and make it into a well-oiled machine!
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