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L in Columbia, SC in Columbia, South Carolina

86 months ago

Is anyone else finding that once you've worked in administrative and clerical positions, that's all employers see you as - no matter what your other potentials may be (i.e., project management, clinical background, event planning, seminar speaking and presentations, trainer, etc.)? A college professor told me that this happens when you don't have a degree, and that bigger and better doors will open when I obtain my degree. How do you break out of the administrative and clerical positions trap when you want higher promotions or career opportunities? I'm not knocking administrative professionals because I am one, but understand that I am trying to branch out and expand beyond typing letters and answering phones. I've actually had a former manager say "Oh, she's just a secretary" to a management candidate that inquired about my position during introductions!

Thanks,
L

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Kelly in Staten Island, New York

83 months ago

Paul Anderson in Kirkland, Washington said: Typically admins don't feel worthy enough. These are created early in

I don't know if i agree with you. Unfortunately admins deal with snide remarks from superiors, which to me is unacceptable. Without turning your life into a litigious hell, there is no recourse, one either work on not internalizing it, and self preserve by quitting. Some people are simply degenerate and stomp all over the golden rule.

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anon in Phoenix, Arizona

82 months ago

I agree with L. However, I have a college degree. I even went through a very good hiring agency, and yet this is the only position I will ever be considered for. I accomplished so much in college, and now I feel like I've entirely wasted $50,000. I can't quit becuase I need to pay my student loans back. I can't go to grad school becuase I can't afford to take out any more student loans. If you are a woman, you'll have to start out as an admin. I f-ing hate it. I don't like helping people with things they could do themselves just to maintain their "image". I am smarter than most of them. They complain that young people move up too quickly, but I've got news for them...I just spent 50K on my education, so YES I do deserve to rank higher than YOU. I have better communication, presentation and analytical skills becuase I've been made to use these for four years straight. I can't subsist on 28K with a 3% per year. They have a management training program, which they won't let me into, but if your dad works here, you get to go. I absolutely cannot stand admin work. It is below me; it is below any human being. I can't fathom how anyone would ever want to do a job like this. I read forums where people are asking advice on how to get an admin asst job. Are you kidding?!?! Why would anyone seriously have that goal? It's insulting and sexist and mind-numbing. I wish I could espcape, but I can't get hired into anything else with a list of admin jobs on my f-ing resume!!!!

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Joyce in Palm Coast, Florida

82 months ago

Maryanne in Hudson, Florida said: I agree wholeheartedly with you! Sadly enough, I do have a degree, and former employers have still referred to me as an "assistant." However, even after having worked in this capacity for 14 years, I still believe management could never reach success without administrators. We are their backbone.

Your right Maryanne, we sure are their backbone of the company, if it wasn't for Admin. Assts. their companies would not be where they are today. We are what keeps the business going and are the voice of the company, because phone calls coming through us are the first impression people get of the company. So there !!!!!

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

82 months ago

L in Columbia, SC in Columbia, South Carolina said: Is anyone else finding that once you've worked in administrative and clerical positions, that's all employers see you as - no matter what your other potentials may be (i.e., project management, clinical background, event planning, seminar speaking and presentations, trainer, etc.)? A college professor told me that this happens when you don't have a degree, and that bigger and better doors will open when I obtain my degree. How do you break out of the administrative and clerical positions trap when you want higher promotions or career opportunities? I'm not knocking administrative professionals because I am one, but understand that I am trying to branch out and expand beyond typing letters and answering phones. I've actually had a former manager say "Oh, she's just a secretary" to a management candidate that inquired about my position during introductions!

Thanks,
L

I would always remind my old boss that I was always some other title such as I called myself Customer Service Coordinator, because even though I was an administrative assistant I was more to other people. So I had this title put on my business cards. Now when I look for a job I seem to get a better type of future employer calling me. Through out my last job I learned as much as I could and got involved into every aspect of the business, this determination helped me out tremendously. Now I have so many things to put on my resume.

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L. Erica Mims in Ithaca, New York

82 months ago

anon in Phoenix, Arizona said: I agree with L. However, I have a college degree. I even went through a very good hiring agency, and yet this is the only position I will ever be considered for. I accomplished so much in college, and now I feel like I've entirely wasted $50,000. I can't quit becuase I need to pay my student loans back. I can't go to grad school becuase I can't afford to take out any more student loans. If you are a woman, you'll have to start out as an admin. I f-ing hate it. I don't like helping people with things they could do themselves just to maintain their "image". I am smarter than most of them. They complain that young people move up too quickly, but I've got news for them...I just spent 50K on my education, so YES I do deserve to rank higher than YOU. I have better communication, presentation and analytical skills becuase I've been made to use these for four years straight. I can't subsist on 28K with a 3% per year. They have a management training program, which they won't let me into, but if your dad works here, you get to go. I absolutely cannot stand admin work. It is below me; it is below any human being. I can't fathom how anyone would ever want to do a job like this. I read forums where people are asking advice on how to get an admin asst job. Are you kidding?!?! Why would anyone seriously have that goal? It's insulting and sexist and mind-numbing. I wish I could espcape, but I can't get hired into anything else with a list of admin jobs on my f-ing resume!!!!

I do feel your pain, it is so hard to go through school work hard and in one comment have someone negate all the sacrifices you've made to get to where you now stand. I too am in the same boat, I got my education, worked to pay my way through school, and could not get any other position, however, on my last job, I proved myself, took on challenges that were not defined in the job description and received numerous awards for my contributions. Hang in there!

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L. Erica Mims in Ithaca, New York

82 months ago

Kelly in Staten Island, New York said:

.....It's not between you and them, it's between you and GOD, Mother Theresa

We have to understand that people are unbelievable small-minded. They take every single opportunity to make themselves feel better by stomping all over the golden rule, however, we have to remember at the end of the day, we always can sleep because we know that we have been excellent in whatever profession we choose to be in.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that we are called to be servants, so that whatever capacity that we find ourselves in, we must be the best that we can be so that the angels in heaven, looking down upon us can say that there is the best administrative assistant on the face of the earth.

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

82 months ago

An administrative asst job is tryly not a bad job. You have to make the best of it. Maybe you are not finding the right type of admin job for you. At one of my jobs I felt I was paid very well, I earned $42,000.00 a year. For working Monday thru Friday that is not bad.

I know it may seem that you went to college and you should be higher but give it time and with your education and degree it will come. Because we are women everything seems to come a little slower for us especially the moving up in the work place. I have found that men that can blow smoke up the XXXX no matter if they are qualified will move up quicker and some how another gain more respect. Oh well I will not lie or blow smoke but I will let the people around me know that I do have skills and I am open to showing my skills.

Hang in there or move to another company.

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Hillari in Chicago, Illinois

82 months ago

I learned recently that my administrative assistant job will be eliminated early next month. My boss decided he wanted a change, and he put in his resignation. As a result, the management decided to close down the office that he and I occupied.

I abhor the idea of taking another administrative assistant job. The disrespect, frustration, feeling put upon, being treated like a third-class citizen in the office and the low pay is not worth it. I've been trying to get out of the "pink collar ghetto" for year. I returned to college and finished my BA degree. Yet, employers couldn't get past all the support staff jobs on my resume.

The only solution I can see at this point is starting my own business.

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Tosh in North Las Vegas, Nevada

81 months ago

I have been trapped in the "Pink Collar Ghetto," for about 15 years now, I have a 4 yr degree in Human Services Mgt but we all know about that field. I earn more as an Admin Asst than in the field I earned my degree in. Now, I am on stress leave because once again I have been disrespected by the higher ups in the office, being inappropriate border line sexually harrassing me. Its so humiliating and depressing. To think that my whole working life is about serving some ignoramous who wants me to make his coffee, send his wife flowers, or pick up his lunch.

I am also a writer, but thats far fetched as well. I am contemplating going back to school racking up more debt to earn my Masters in Human Resouces or maybe what I love in my heart...Creative Writing.

How do you follow your dreams, when you have debt and bills to pay?

Signed---

Desperate to get out of the Pink Ghetto

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

81 months ago

I am sorry that you feel this way. I don't understand how you can make more at being an administrative asst than in human resources. Of course I live in North Carolina, I would love to have your degree. I have a Paralegal degree and the pay around here is not good at all.

If you are not happy with your job you should start searching out a different company, surely there is a job in your area where a boss will appreciate you being an intelligent individual. When applying for your next job make sure you let potential employees know how well rounded you are. Ex Not only can you type the contract but you fully understand the contract.

I am sure that something good will come your way very soon. Good Luck!!!

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Tosh in North Las Vegas, Nevada

81 months ago

Brenda thank you so much for your encouraging words they were much appreciated. I will continue to search for a job, and pursue my dreams.

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

81 months ago

Tosh in North Las Vegas, Nevada said: Brenda thank you so much for your encouraging words they were much appreciated. I will continue to search for a job, and pursue my dreams.

You are so welcome. I love this fornum because I feel that sometimes we need to know that someone out there feels the same way we do or that someone out there is listening to how we feel.

I am sure that there is a perfect job for you.

Good Luck!!!

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Sara in Chicago, Illinois

81 months ago

anon in Phoenix, Arizona said: I agree with L. However, I have a college degree. I even went through a very good hiring agency, and yet this is the only position I will ever be considered for. I accomplished so much in college, and now I feel like I've entirely wasted $50,000. I can't quit becuase I need to pay my student loans back. I can't go to grad school becuase I can't afford to take out any more student loans. If you are a woman, you'll have to start out as an admin. I f-ing hate it. I don't like helping people with things they could do themselves just to maintain their "image". I am smarter than most of them. They complain that young people move up too quickly, but I've got news for them...I just spent 50K on my education, so YES I do deserve to rank higher than YOU. I have better communication, presentation and analytical skills becuase I've been made to use these for four years straight. I can't subsist on 28K with a 3% per year. They have a management training program, which they won't let me into, but if your dad works here, you get to go. I absolutely cannot stand admin work. It is below me; it is below any human being. I can't fathom how anyone would ever want to do a job like this. I read forums where people are asking advice on how to get an admin asst job. Are you kidding?!?! Why would anyone seriously have that goal? It's insulting and sexist and mind-numbing. I wish I could espcape, but I can't get hired into anything else with a list of admin jobs on my f-ing resume!!!!

Your post has a lot of anger but I do understand. It is difficult being a woman trying to get out of the Admin Role. My position paid me 30k a year but I did have salary increases and good bonuses. It was a good job. My title was Receptionist but I worked with all the other departments. I left because I got so irritated after applying to 2 positions at the company and could never get promoted. They only hired new people, had me train them. I stayed for 3 years.

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

81 months ago

Sometimes even with education you go into an entry level position. What you do is while you are gathering your on the job experience you get as much as you can. You try to do as much and get your hands into as much as you can. Then when you apply for your next job you elaborate on all of the extra things that you have experience on and also your education. You talk up your dedication, experience, willingness to expand your horizons.

I am sure there is a job for you but you will have to seek. Get involved with community clubs so that you can start networking.

I wish you the best. Through it all always speak positive, because you never know who is listening to your conversations.

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LEH in Kennesaw, Georgia

81 months ago

I've been there and was there for years.

You all need to emphasize something other than the admin. title and typical calendar, travel, expense reports type of duties. You may even need to change your title on your previous jobs (not deceiving, but something more vague - for instance, if you were doing marketing duties, use Marketing Coordinator, etc.) No one would question that. Also, apply for Marketing Coordinator positions. Your admin skills will translate easily into those duties - and event planning, etc. is certainly one of those skills. While it may not be a step up in some cases, it will get you out of that admin rut - and then you will start accumulating experience in marketing for your next role.

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

81 months ago

LEH in Kennesaw, Georgia said: I've been there and was there for years.

You all need to emphasize something other than the admin. title and typical calendar, travel, expense reports type of duties. You may even need to change your title on your previous jobs (not deceiving, but something more vague - for instance, if you were doing marketing duties, use Marketing Coordinator, etc.) No one would question that. Also, apply for Marketing Coordinator positions. Your admin skills will translate easily into those duties - and event planning, etc. is certainly one of those skills. While it may not be a step up in some cases, it will get you out of that admin rut - and then you will start accumulating experience in marketing for your next role.

I think your comment is wonderful. I try to let potential employers know that I can do so much more than type a letter and put on a stamp.

This site needs more positive comments on what to do instead of I am stuck. We are only stuck if we let ourselves be stuck. We have to go out side of the box to find a job that fits our situation.

Thanks for leaving a good comment on this site.

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Kittys mom in Monroeville, Pennsylvania

81 months ago

Tosh in North Las Vegas, Nevada said: I have been trapped in the "Pink Collar Ghetto," for about 15 years now, I have a 4 yr degree in Human Services Mgt but we all know about that field. I earn more as an Admin Asst than in the field I earned my degree in. Now, I am on stress leave because once again I have been disrespected by the higher ups in the office, being inappropriate border line sexually harrassing me. Its so humiliating and depressing. To think that my whole working life is about serving some ignoramous who wants me to make his coffee, send his wife flowers, or pick up his lunch.

I am also a writer, but thats far fetched as well. I am contemplating going back to school racking up more debt to earn my Masters in Human Resouces or maybe what I love in my heart...Creative Writing.

How do you follow your dreams, when you have debt and bills to pay?

Signed---

Desperate to get out of the Pink Ghetto

Your post sounds like I wrote it myself. I even looked at your name and location just to be sure. I have a BA in a Human Services field as well and have been thinking of going into HR, but I cannot afford to go back to school for my master's. I am stuck being an Admin and don't really know what to do about it. My job does not pay for me to get a degree unless it is related to my current job!

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Me in San Diego, California

81 months ago

Try working for a staffing agency. They money is not bad and if you are good at it, you can make good commission. Then get into HR. They are the most overpaid and underworked in corporate America. Big bucks for lots of meetings, traveling, cheerleading and special projects.

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

81 months ago

I would love to get a job in a staffing agency. Did call one today and sent my resume info to them.

How is the weather in San Diego? I visited twice last year and loved it there.

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MrsScales in Charlotte, North Carolina

81 months ago

I am in the "Admin Assitant" world as well. The last 2 years, I have been contracting through a staffing agency. I didn't chose this field, the opportunity just presented itself. My dream was to earn a degree in early childhood education. Didn't happen. I'm now in the process of opening my own home daycare center. Starting out with the minimum amount of children I can have until I obtain my licensure. Already have my CPR/First Aid certification. So, I continued to do what "I had to do" until I was able to do what "I want to do". Good Luck

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MrsScales in Charlotte, North Carolina

81 months ago

I forgot to mention, Adecco USA is a great staffing agency. The have alot of assignments with Bank of America.

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pau23 in Mission Viejo, California

81 months ago

I completely agree with all the above troubles. I am in the same boat. i have a degree in Communications, in debt from tuition, and currently making $25,000 a year in my admin asst position where all i really do is data entry day after day. I tried branching out away from this title and it is so difficult to be seen as anything else. I have even applied at restaurants for a part time evening job to help financially and have been rejected for not having restaurant experience. I have a college degree and i am being turned away for a minimum pay job for seating people? I don't understand.

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tina4545 in Pembroke, Georgia

81 months ago

Need advice: any free resources on the net to learn admin skills????????????

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

81 months ago

I know that it does not matter if you live in CA or NC you can still have the same problem. All I can say is don't stop trying.

To the lady in GA, here in NC you can go to Good Will site and they offer some courses for free such as Excel.

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tina4545 in Pembroke, Georgia

81 months ago

Thanks very much!!!!!!!!!!

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L. Erica Mims in Ithaca, New York

81 months ago

It doesn't make much sense. I had tried to go back to school to get a higher degree but it would mean taking out more student loans. I just paid off my home and absolutely will not get into more debt. At least you don't have the problem of color to deal with.

But I am an eternal optimist and my degree gives me choices that I would not ordinarily have. I tell my friends that if I am not hired it's not because I am not qualified. On some levels it makes a difference having a degree. But I am finding that being a woman of color means that people negate my professional experience, my degrees. This includes hiring managers and the people that I have had the misfortune to work with. I have to deal with it and it has taught me to have a lot of perserverance and to not give up.

Take heart, it will get better.

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

81 months ago

You may be dealing with the color issue but I am dealing with the age issue. My husband keeps telling me I am not a spring chicken, well I know that, but what I am is a mature individual that has been around the block.

Keep your head looking forward and keep applying for any and every job that you think you want. I don't just apply for the ones society tells me that I am qualified for I apply for what I want. If a future employer can't see how much I have to offer him or her then it is their loss. Keep stretching your wings.

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L. Erica Mims in Ithaca, New York

81 months ago

Dear Brenda,

Thank you for your comments, I am dealing with the age issue along with the color issue. But I appreciate what you said, I continue to strecth my wings and expand every single opportunity I get. It's not easy, but I appreciate people like you who can empathize with what I'm dealing with. Hang in there it does change and you will find an employer who doesn't place emphasis on age or color.

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

81 months ago

It is hard when potential employers only can see the outside and don't see the inside. I think that a lot of retrainning needs to be done with the HR profession. Just because I am old enough to be your momma doesn't mean I want to be your momma. I want the opportunity to prove myself in the work environment.

Also, I think the major concern for wormen is that the younger professionals are now wearing inappropriate clothes to the work place. No where in an office is wearing a low cut blouse and no bra going help you get the job done. It does seem to help some get ahead but it is not for what they know its for what they show.

Hrd work will get you ahead and keep you there. HR professionals should try to find out more about each individual instead of going on their first impression on dress.

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RF Wilson in Columbus, Ohio

81 months ago

Wow! this is funny. Some of these posts could have been written by me-and I thought I was the only one going through (of course you know you aren't, but not until you read things from real people does it put legs to your problems). I graduated last year with my undergraduate degree in HR/Mgmt.

My employer pays 100% for Masters (100% for the first one too) but I can't see myself being a receptionist for another 2 years. The phones are driving me crazy! and sometimes I have a 10 minute break between calls.I don't do anything else really so showering, driving everyday and going to sit for 8 hours has to stop. I'm dealing with the color and age problem too, but chaange is around the corner! I feel it! It's discouraging not being albe to break into the HR field (even as an admin!)but I'll take another Admin position as long as I'm engaged, busy, learning new skills and adding value to whatever my duties are. Some would love to make 30K (with bonuses) doing little to nothing everyday but it goes against my personality not to be adding value. I'm glad I found this site--Good Luck to everyone!

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

81 months ago

Your last sentence said it all. You must see yourself as being able to add value to a company.

I am going on two interviews tommorrow that I cold sold them on me by phone. Both told me they were not hiring and after talking to them for a few minutes I got their email address and sent them my cover letter and my resume. Within a hour they called me and wanted me to come in for an interview.

Wish me luck!!!!

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hillmia in UA, Ohio

81 months ago

anon in Phoenix, Arizona said: I agree with L. However, I have a college degree. I even went through a very good hiring agency, and yet this is the only position I will ever be considered for. I accomplished so much in college, and now I feel like I've entirely wasted $50,000. I can't quit becuase I need to pay my student loans back. I can't go to grad school becuase I can't afford to take out any more student loans. If you are a woman, you'll have to start out as an admin. I f-ing hate it. I don't like helping people with things they could do themselves just to maintain their "image". I am smarter than most of them. They complain that young people move up too quickly, but I've got news for them...I just spent 50K on my education, so YES I do deserve to rank higher than YOU. I have better communication, presentation and analytical skills becuase I've been made to use these for four years straight. I can't subsist on 28K with a 3% per year. They have a management training program, which they won't let me into, but if your dad works here, you get to go. I absolutely cannot stand admin work. It is below me; it is below any human being. I can't fathom how anyone would ever want to do a job like this. I read forums where people are asking advice on how to get an admin asst job. Are you kidding?!?! Why would anyone seriously have that goal? It's insulting and sexist and mind-numbing. I wish I could espcape, but I can't get hired into anything else with a list of admin jobs on my f-ing resume!!!!

Respect is not an entitlement it is something that must be earned. If your negative attitude is indicative of the one you exhibit in your workplace, consider "looking within" for the real reason you are not being considered for the management training program. You can use your energy to play the victim or you can use it wisely to pursue another job elsewhere. It's your choice. You are only a victim if you choose to be.

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Patricia in Ottawa, Ontario

81 months ago

I have to admit I did not read all the replies, but in answer to the initial post, I wrote an article "Thinking Outside the Job Description Box" that speaks about these sorts of things:

secretaryhelpline.blogspot.com/2008/03/thinking-outside-job-description-box.html

Patricia

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George in Narre Warren, Australia

80 months ago

Hi

I am a male with a degree in Economics. I am now a construction worker. I was not able to find a professional position that sent me straight to the top.

I am not able to work my way up from an administrative position, because no one will hire a male admin. I don't think you should be so quick to judge. You have a foot in the door to a better life through administration. As a male I am unable to get land a top tiered job I have nothing.

I have know many women who without first achieving college degrees have worked there way up through administration. I don't think you should judge the profession so harshly.

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L. Erica Mims in Ithaca, New York

80 months ago

Dear George:

It is still hard if people don't see the content of character, and only see the color of your skin. Many people in this area are fearful and distrustful of African-Americans no matter heights they have attained. It still saddens me that in 2008 we still have not achieved the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It's hard to find work here if you are judged solely on the basis of your skin color. In addition the people here assigns criminal tendencies to you just because you happen to have different skin color. They also feel that they have the right to entitlement to all the well paying positions so they often grandfather the jobs for themselves and their family members. And then to top it all off they continually tell you "that you are the one with the problem," and that you should just leave the area instead of trying to get a job. It's not a good situation for anyone with poor health.

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Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina

80 months ago

George,

Everyone has a reason for why they don't get the perfect job. Mine I feel is my age. Not many companies want to hire you if you are over 50.

When you apply for your next position try finding an opening where you boss is a woman. I think that you would probably have more success with a female boss. I don't think women would be as judgemental. Also you could try in your local school system.

I wish you luck in finding a job.

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iva in San Francisco, California

80 months ago

Wow there is a lot of good information here.

George, I've worked with several male admins and while they are few and far between they do exist. I've even seen some of them subjected to the same amount of discrimination as female admins because they were males. But if that's what you really want to do try staffing agencies. They can place you with clients that can see your skills first hand; which may result in you finding the career choice your's seeking.

Anon - I feel your frustration and your anger. However, it's misplaced by taking it out on the admin field. Welcome to the oldest and most obvious of discriminatory situations no matter what industry you're in. While in George's country males may not have an advantage over women in the corporate structure in the US they do. You and a male counterpart could have graduated at the same time with the same degree and if you went to work for the same company you would have been placed in admin work and he probably would have been in lower management.

Make your anger work for you: learn what you can from a company and use that experience to seek out other opportunities. When you apply for other positions try "office manager" positions; they won't balk at your admin experience and it will open other doors in management for you later.

Age discrimination is as bad as color; one of my dearest friends turns 50 this year and she's been having a hard time finding work for the past 3 years. She's even relocated to Texas from California in search of more opportunities; but she's running into the same problems.

Being a person of color myself with degrees I can empathize with being negatated. I've also experienced size discrimination. There are many reasons people don't get the positions they want after college; but you take what you learn and you find a way around them and you will succeed. I am now a corporate trainer & author as well as wirte a blog andesattic.blogspot.com.

Good Luck to All

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Pam Jackson in Chicago, Illinois

80 months ago

anon in Phoenix, Arizona said: If you are a woman, you'll have to start out as an admin. I f-ing hate it. I don't like helping people with things they could do themselves just to maintain their "image". I am smarter than most of them...I can't fathom how anyone would ever want to do a job like this. I read forums where people are asking advice on how to get an admin asst job. Are you kidding?!?! Why would anyone seriously have that goal? It's insulting and sexist and mind-numbing. I wish I could espcape, but I can't get hired into anything else with a list of admin jobs on my f-ing resume!!!!

First, you need to realize the economy is not bursting at the seams with jobs for anyone these days. Those of us who are qualified to work as AA's appreciate being able to feed our families and take care of our own student loans. This 'goal' of AA is not the highest many of us are working to attain. What is truly insulting is the attitude you have towards this position and the work we perform.

Talented AA's have great communications skills, organizational skills and can manage the heck out of an hour. We see ourselves as the spines of the organizations we represent. This position can be the doorway to other opportunites for the prepared person. Maybe you should see this position as an opportunity for the preparations you have made for the past four years and $50,000.

Maybe you should look elsewhere or establish your own company so you can start at the top instead of down here with the rest of us AA's.

PJ

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Geri in Bolingbrook, Illinois

80 months ago

I'm an AA and have been in the field for 30+ years. At times I've felt varying degrees of almost everything discussed so far. HOWEVER, at some point, I decided that no matter what anyone did, said or did not do to me -- It's my choice to react to the experience OR not. I decided that however they may or may not feel about me is their issue not mine and that I wouldn't be signing up for the stress. It's wasted energy that's actually not worth my time. In the meantime, since this type of work is what it is, I have the opportunity to do something entirely different with my life. I still have to work a j.o.b. for a living, but my plan is to have my own business working from home so that I can retire in two years with time freedom to do what I want when I want. The process of building my own business makes me feel in control of my destiny. It gives me something else to think about instead of what a company/boss/co-workers may or may not do.

The key is to take responsibility. Take control. First decide how you want your life to be. Take some time to dream again -- and you can do that for free. Decide WHY you want this particular dream. And just spend time with those thoughts. The more time you spend with the thoughts, the more excited you'll become about the new possibilities and pretty soon you'll start noticing more and more ways of making the dream a reality. (Be sure to write these things down as they come to you.) This is a very short explanation for the LAW of ATTRACTION. And a side benefit is, you will start to gain a confidence that you never knew you had.
Book Recommendations: I have dozens, but these are some to start with - "Feel the Fear and do it anyway", Susan Jeffers, "The power of your subconscious mind", Joseph Murphy PHD and "As a man thinketh", James Allen
Website: Success.com (They have a great magazine too!)

I hope this helps to generate your thoughts in a different direction. Best wishes on your journey!

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George in Narre Warren, Australia

80 months ago

I bet half of you girls majored in the humanities.
What did you expect ?

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Karen in Denver, Colorado

80 months ago

I think you all need to stop crabbing!

I was an Admin III/Office manager,over 50 and have been out of work since 9/07 - company down sizing - I think you all know what I'm talking about. So, if you have a job be glad that you're getting a pay check! I have worked since I was in my teens, was darn good at what I did, got a raise every year and was glad I had a job. Then the mortgage crisis hit and now I'm having a hard time finding a job of any kind.

If you're good at what you do and do the best you can do everyday, I believe your reward will come. Have you talked to your manager or supervisor and let them know what your career interests and goals are? In all of the years that I have worked I have found that most managers will help you achieve your goals, but you have to tell them what you're thinking! Remember the folks at the top are goal oriented they like it when you talk goals and numbers.

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Sharon in Houston, Texas

80 months ago

George in Narre Warren, Australia said: I bet half of you girls majored in the humanities.
What did you expect ?

George, I guess we expected, and got, more than someone with an economics degree.

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George in Narre Warren, Australia

80 months ago

Sharon, it is not acceptable for a male to work in administration. I would rather spare myself that humiliation and focus on either going to graduate school or changing direction completely (labourer --> skilled labourer (electrican)).

I was just trying to point out that you hard done by gals actually have a second chance to work in your chosen field. As it is acceptable and well respected for a woman to be in administration but not for men. Descrimination in this case really does work both ways.

I am a little sick of hearing women complain about this big bad world putting them down - when it is the women putting themselves into submissive jobs for short term gains and en masse making decisions leading to that end.

i.e studying humanities instead of engineering or accouting, and taking on roles they KNOW are female dominated and for a reason.

For the record:
Most of my class got really good jobs I went to a lower tiered school and either wasn't good enough or I was unlucky. I am still hanging out hope against hope for a government job.

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Patty in Ottawa, Ontario

80 months ago

Administration work was once a male dominated field. It was only in the 20s that women started filling this role.

The Chicago Tribune article, "A Job Once Filled by Men Became a Pink Profession" gives a bit of the history.

goucher.edu/documents/MediaHits/Chicago%20Tribune%20news_%20A%20job%20once%20filled%20by%20men%20became%20a%20pink%20profession.pdf

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Susan in Middletown, Ohio

80 months ago

L in Columbia, SC in Columbia, South Carolina said: Is anyone else finding that once you've worked in administrative and clerical positions, that's all employers see you as - no matter what your other potentials may be (i.e., project management, clinical background, event planning, seminar speaking and presentations, trainer, etc.)? A college professor told me that this happens when you don't have a degree, and that bigger and better doors will open when I obtain my degree. How do you break out of the administrative and clerical positions trap when you want higher promotions or career opportunities? I'm not knocking administrative professionals because I am one, but understand that I am trying to branch out and expand beyond typing letters and answering phones. I've actually had a former manager say "Oh, she's just a secretary" to a management candidate that inquired about my position during introductions!

Thanks,
L

After 14 years in the profession as Administrative Assistant, I certainly can relate to your email. Here are a few ideas for you that I have found to be of help.

1. If you have a group of admin. assistants that you work with....start meeting once a month and taking a leadship role with that group. You will find yourself in a position where you can begin to mentor some of the newer employees. This also puts you into a leadership role. We have done book studies and had guest speakers.

2. Be proactive in professional development..if your supervisor sees you in a role of wanting to improve your skills and talents he/she will begin to see you in a different role...more administrator than assistant.

3. If possible, as to take on some supervisory roles. I started supervising a few employees and it has been a learning experience.

I hope this helps!

ps: I do not have my degree either, but have found ways to increase my value in the company. :)

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Anne in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

Tosh in North Las Vegas, Nevada said: I have been trapped in the "Pink Collar Ghetto," for about 15 years now, I have a 4 yr degree in Human Services Mgt but we all know about that field. I earn more as an Admin Asst than in the field I earned my degree in. Now, I am on stress leave because once again I have been disrespected by the higher ups in the office, being inappropriate border line sexually harrassing me. Its so humiliating and depressing. To think that my whole working life is about serving some ignoramous who wants me to make his coffee, send his wife flowers, or pick up his lunch.

I am also a writer, but thats far fetched as well. I am contemplating going back to school racking up more debt to earn my Masters in Human Resouces or maybe what I love in my heart...Creative Writing.

How do you follow your dreams, when you have debt and bills to pay?

Check out books by Barbara Sher -- "Wishcraft" "Getting What you Want out of Life." She's great.

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Cindy in Austin, Texas

79 months ago

L in Columbia, SC in Columbia, South Carolina said: Is anyone else finding that once you've worked in administrative and clerical positions, that's all employers see you as - no matter what your other potentials may be (i.e., project management, clinical background, event planning, seminar speaking and presentations, trainer, etc.)? A college professor told me that this happens when you don't have a degree, and that bigger and better doors will open when I obtain my degree. How do you break out of the administrative and clerical positions trap when you want higher promotions or career opportunities? I'm not knocking administrative professionals because I am one, but understand that I am trying to branch out and expand beyond typing letters and answering phones. I've actually had a former manager say "Oh, she's just a secretary" to a management candidate that inquired about my position during introductions!

Thanks,
L

I know what you mean, you may want to try talking to the temp agency you are doing business with and letting them know you're dilemna. A degree helps, but not always needed for admin jobs. There is really nothing wrong with admin positions. If you have the right attitude and professionalism, you certainly can have a handle on future position with the company you are temping with. Sometimes temping is the best way to find other start up positions within the company you are temping with, you have a good relationship with the company, you're in. You leave your resume at their doorstep. Don't let the temp jobs get you down, you have your foot in the door. Good luck you, you're on the right path.

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Gail in Gainesville, Georgia

78 months ago

L in Columbia, SC in Columbia, South Carolina said: Is anyone else finding that once you've worked in administrative and clerical positions, that's all employers see you as - no matter what your other potentials may be (i.e., project management, clinical background, event planning, seminar speaking and presentations, trainer, etc.)? A college professor told me that this happens when you don't have a degree, and that bigger and better doors will open when I obtain my degree. How do you break out of the administrative and clerical positions trap when you want higher promotions or career opportunities? I'm not knocking administrative professionals because I am one, but understand that I am trying to branch out and expand beyond typing letters and answering phones. I've actually had a former manager say "Oh, she's just a secretary" to a management candidate that inquired about my position during introductions!

Thanks,
L

Hey L,
I was an Executive Admin for over 20 years and always yearned to be in management. Finally got that chance in 1996 and it wasn't what it was cracked up to be. I managed 2 groups of 9 people over a 5 year period and it was like babysitting people in their 30's. Then there is the "mission impossible" of the day such as lay off two people but the employees you have left have to take on a new responsibility as well. I got fed up. I was fed up with the company I worked for too so when I started job hunting I decided to go back to where I was happiest, supporting one executive and just TYPING the mission impossible memos and not having to actually IMPLEMENT them on the management end! I make more money and life is much, much less stressful. If you cater to an executive and your lucky enough to get a nice one, a real gentleman like I did, it's great. My boss for last 7 years just retired so that is the only reason I am looking now.
G

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K in Denver, Colorado

78 months ago

G-Right on! Right on! Being in that supervisory/mid mgmt level is not all it is cracked up to be! Life is way to short to not enjoy what you do!

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