Escaping the Female Ghetto that is Administrative Work

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Admin. in GA in Decatur, Georgia

68 months ago

As mentioned in a previous post I too am tired of doing administrative work. I've been an admin. for sixteen years and I am fed up with the high volume of work and responsibility for low pay. I'm tired of being expected to know it all but not be allowed to advance in position or pay.

You are pretty much looked down on, talked down to, treated like an office maid, and expected to handlde more and more responsibilites as if you are a robot. People don't respect you or your space and just rattle around on your desk when they need things instead of asking for it. One day my boss asked for some staples. I gave him a strip of staple to put in his staples, he throws it at me and tell me to put the staples in it.

I've noticed in other threads from women in my same position that the commonality among most of us is the lack of a degree. I also notice that once they do get a degree, it is in something that will steer them back into office servant positions.

I've thought about getting business degree but I know that with my background I will still end up in this same trap. So I decided to take extreme measures and go in a way opposite direction that will get me out of this female ghetto position.

I am thinking of going back to school to be either an engineer or a pharmacist.

Have any other admins here considered going this kind of route?

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

67 months ago

That is a good title - The Female Ghetto

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28 yrs of that stuff - a great title!

67 months ago

After working in this field for years and being especially a great typist - I now have Carpal,Fibro,IBS w/Const,Cervical muscle spasms, numerous disc problems - Osteoa, etc.
An aging female is constantly being thrown out by the punks of today's work society and ethic - there is no respect - being denied disability, and pushed out of a sweet 30 hr a wk receptionist job that began with a hostible work environment -the punks are out there - to secure their beginning life style too bad they all have trust funds and I don't!

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LindaM in Barrington, Illinois

67 months ago

After working in this field for years and being especially a great typist - I now have Carpal,Fibro,IBS w/Const,Cervical muscle spasms, numerous disc problems - Osteoa, etc.
An aging female is constantly being thrown out by the punks of today's work society and ethic - there is no respect - being denied disability, and pushed out of a sweet 30 hr a wk receptionist job that began with a hostible work environment -the punks are out there - to secure their beginning life style too bad they all have trust funds and I don't!

Its like we are all on the Titanic. What a happy thought!

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LindaM in Barrington, Illinois

67 months ago

28 yrs of that stuff - a great title! said: After working in this field for years and being especially a great typist - I now have Carpal,Fibro,IBS w/Const,Cervical muscle spasms, numerous disc problems - Osteoa, etc.
An aging female is constantly being thrown out by the punks of today's work society and ethic - there is no respect - being denied disability, and pushed out of a sweet 30 hr a wk receptionist job that began with a hostible work environment -the punks are out there - to secure their beginning life style too bad they all have trust funds and I don't!

Its like we are all on the Titanic. What a happy thought!

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LindaM in Barrington, Illinois

67 months ago

LindaM in Barrington, Illinois said: Its like we are all on the Titanic. What a happy thought!

I keep forgetting to hit the reply button. LOL

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Michelle in Charlotte, North Carolina

63 months ago

Ha ha ha that's too funny, female ghetto job.
I understand perfectly where you are coming from. Lots of responsibility with low pay and no authority, crappy workspaces and environments. I believe all admins should have their own office where they can shut their doors to get some work done.

I received an A.A. degree in Business Administration about 10 years ago and all it got me was a load of debt to pay back--a better position or salary increase never happened. I have been pondering a career change for quite a while but it seems like it's a brick wall and I can't seem to figure it out. I am not in a situation to rack up college debt, but I believe an engineering degree or pharmaceutical degree would get you better opportunities and a higher salary. You are on the right track if you have figured out what you would enjoy doing and pursue it.

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saraf3m in Los Angeles, California

63 months ago

I'm working a job even worse then my past admin position due to a relocation and poor employment opportunities...I'm now in a call center. I'm working on looking into RN schools at this time, and strongly endorse education if you are looking for a career change. If you have the discipline, the means and the desire to learn Medical Terminology and want to work from home eventually by typing - CareerStep is a highly recommended online course for Medical Transcription. It is TOUGH material, but you have plenty of time to complete it. I've started it and I've called SEVERAL companies who will AUTOMATICALLY HIRE you to work from home once you've established certification. Sallie Mae gives loans for this, but will stop soon due to education budget cuts, but it's another option. Hope this helps!

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trappedadmin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

63 months ago

I feel the same way. I am drastically underpaid for this hellish admin to exec job and don't see any way out. I am overeducated with a masters, and here it comes, in the Fine Arts, which haunts me now for over 10 years. I started out teaching college art, part time, and needed benefits so "fell into admin work temporarily". Now with this depressing economy, I have no idea what to do to get out, I hate this work, it's the complete opposite of where my talents lie, and I still do it well. I get zero respect, stupid snobs snub me every day, and this job will kill me. It's caused anxiety attacks and my high blood pressure. No one will hire me for anything other than more admin clerical crap, I've been trying for years, growing more unhappy, old, (I'm 41) and disgruntled and JADED.

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ilikai2002@yahoo.com in Saint Augustine, Florida

62 months ago

saraf3m in Los Angeles, California said: I'm working a job even worse then my past admin position due to a relocation and poor employment opportunities...I'm now in a call center. I'm working on looking into RN schools at this time, and strongly endorse education if you are looking for a career change. If you have the discipline, the means and the desire to learn Medical Terminology and want to work from home eventually by typing - CareerStep is a highly recommended online course for Medical Transcription. It is TOUGH material, but you have plenty of time to complete it. I've started it and I've called SEVERAL companies who will AUTOMATICALLY HIRE you to work from home once you've established certification. Sallie Mae gives loans for this, but will stop soon due to education budget cuts, but it's another option. Hope this helps!

What companies are willing to automatically hire you to work from home? Can you provide a list? Thanks!

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PimpSkirt in Longwood, Florida

61 months ago

Well, I am a very organized/detailed and professional person, and i am LONGING for an office/administrative job. I have had a job that was titled, "Office Support", but I have never been an admin assistant, and for someone like me, this I think is the EASIEST job to do WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A DEGREE. I have been stuck in a call center job since January, and I promised myself I would never go back to a call center. BUT EVERY DERN TIME I SEE AN AD FOR AN ADMIN ASST JOB, THEY WANT YOU TO HAVE A DEGREE, OR HAVE 2,000 YEARS EXPERIENCE AS ONE ( or better yet, bilingual)!! why do some of these positions require a degree ? they most likely won't even look at my resume/app without one

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Admin. in Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

PimpSkirt in Longwood, Florida said: Well, I am a very organized/detailed and professional person, and i am LONGING for an office/administrative job. I have had a job that was titled, "Office Support", but I have never been an admin assistant, and for someone like me, this I think is the EASIEST job to do WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A DEGREE. I have been stuck in a call center job since January, and I promised myself I would never go back to a call center. BUT EVERY DERN TIME I SEE AN AD FOR AN ADMIN ASST JOB, THEY WANT YOU TO HAVE A DEGREE, OR HAVE 2,000 YEARS EXPERIENCE AS ONE ( or better yet, bilingual)!! why do some of these positions require a degree ? they most likely won't even look at my resume/app without one

If you don't have a degree already, the best solution would be to earn a professional degree in something like engineering, law, medicine (to be a doctor or dentist),pharmacy (to be a pharmacist, not a pharmacy tech), nursing, dental hygiene or physicians assistant, science and research, accounting, finance, human resource management, or information technology. Basically, you’d want to get a degree in something technical and/or specialized that will pay you good money when you coming out of school and does not leave room for you to be parlayed in to administrative work.
You could get a good-paying job as an executive admin with a banking or investment institution if you get a degree in business or finance but you are typically on call 24/7 or won’t have a life. It all depends on your idea of a good quality of life. My suggestion to you would be to get a degree in one of the above professions and avoid that administrative assistant trap all together. You will most likely be sucked into demanding, low-paying jobs with lots of responsibility where you are not appreciated and often demeaned, insulted and degraded.

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Admin. in Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

PimpSkirt in Longwood, Florida said: Well, I am a very organized/detailed and professional person, and i am LONGING for an office/administrative job. I have had a job that was titled, "Office Support", but I have never been an admin assistant, and for someone like me, this I think is the EASIEST job to do WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A DEGREE. I have been stuck in a call center job since January, and I promised myself I would never go back to a call center. BUT EVERY DERN TIME I SEE AN AD FOR AN ADMIN ASST JOB, THEY WANT YOU TO HAVE A DEGREE, OR HAVE 2,000 YEARS EXPERIENCE AS ONE ( or better yet, bilingual)!! why do some of these positions require a degree ? they most likely won't even look at my resume/app without one

If you had a job as "office support" in the past, put administrative assistant on your resume anyway. Even if you don't have the title and you still do that kind of work, you are still an admin. Unless you can get into a big, private company, you will not make good money as an admin.
The Feds, mid-size business and major corporations pay more for admins, particularly if you can get an executive admin position with a big company, but you have to have a degree for that. Private universities pay a little more as well. Speaking as an admin with experience, I will tell you that if you want to earn a half-way decent salary as an admin, stay away from city, county and state government admin jobs; and stay away from small businesses and non-profit organizations, as those areas pay the least.

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melanie6613 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

Girl, I have been doing administrative and clerical support work for over 20 years. I worked in a call center for nearly 10. Just go to pharmacy school and make the money. You can get a pharmacy tech job in a hospital part time and once you finish your prereqs in college,the hospital may help pay for the rest of your education. If not, you will come out of school with a great salary and could pay back your loans fairly quickly if you want to work that hard. Like others in admin work, I have cervical radiculopathy. Not trying to type that much anymore. Tired of knowing more than everybody and making nothing salary wise. The part about the degree is B.S. If you want a management job you better get a degree in management take that kind of job. Forget about being promoted. It won't happen because you are good at your job and your boss won't want to lose you. Start taking classes now and get moving. Just take one class at at time if you have. You will feel so much better about yourself.

Believe me, the pharmacy thing is the way to go. A lot of women are coming into the field now. I'm single and guess what? You do not know how long you are going to live. therefore, you had better get a good paying job to support yourself as soon as you can. You might live to 90 years old. What are you gonna live on with a retirement from an admin. asst job? Girl, please. Nothing.

You can do this. Get out and get some new training!!!! Just do it, like Nike. You'll only have yourself to blame if your career stays stalled.

Think it over.

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melanie6613 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

If men had this job we all know it would pay more. Am I right or what?

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Admin. in Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Not only would they get paid more but they wouldn't be talked down to, degraded or verbally abused like female admins.

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Nanlisa in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

Admin. in GA in Decatur, Georgia said: As mentioned in a previous post I too am tired of doing administrative work. I've been an admin. for sixteen years and I am fed up with the high volume of work and responsibility for low pay. I'm tired of being expected to know it all but not be allowed to advance in position or pay.

You are pretty much looked down on, talked down to, treated like an office maid, and expected to handlde more and more responsibilites as if you are a robot. People don't respect you or your space and just rattle around on your desk when they need things instead of asking for it. One day my boss asked for some staples. I gave him a strip of staple to put in his staples, he throws it at me and tell me to put the staples in it.

I've noticed in other threads from women in my same position that the commonality among most of us is the lack of a degree. I also notice that once they do get a degree, it is in something that will steer them back into office servant positions.

I've thought about getting business degree but I know that with my background I will still end up in this same trap. So I decided to take extreme measures and go in a way opposite direction that will get me out of this female ghetto position.

I am thinking of going back to school to be either an engineer or a pharmacist.

Have any other admins here considered going this kind of route?

Go for it! You're never too old to go back to school and change your career. Find out what other fields interest you and go check them out. But don't quit your job until you find another one. If you do decide to go back to school, try to find something to work around your schedule, or even check out some online courses.

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Nanlisa in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

Well anyway, I know what you're going through. Back in the early 80's, I got sick and tired of being a nursing home food service worker, and I decided to change my career. I took some courses in general office procedures, travel agency work, typing, bookkeeping, Italian, and psychology. I worked them all around my schedule so that I couldn't continue to work and further my education as well.

In 1994, I found it very hard to get a job because I didn't have any computer skills. Therefore, I took a PC Specialist course through ICS (now Penn Foster), while I continued to work as a telephone market research interviewer. I took it because I wanted to get a better-paying job. Even at that time, they were just screaming for computer skills.

Four years ago, I took up freelance writing. I am thinking about taking a writing course from the Long Ridge Writers Group up in Connecticut, but right now, I am still out of work; and I can't do anything until I find me another part-time job.

My computer skills have paid off in a way, because I have been able to use them in a few of my jobs.

I would love very much to write full time, but I can't. I need that steady second income to supplement my Social Security Disability, and I cannot make a whole lot of money. I just cannot do the other fields were the jobs are at such as high-tech, healthcare, finance, insurance, hospitality, and retail. As much as I hated some of my call center jobs; this is the best that I can do.

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Kay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

61 months ago

I would love very much to write full time, but I can't. I need that steady second income to supplement my Social Security Disability, and I cannot make a whole lot of money. I just cannot do the other fields were the jobs are at such as high-tech, healthcare, finance, insurance, hospitality, and retail. As much as I hated some of my call center jobs; this is the best that I can do.

I admire your decision, Decatur. Each year that goes by doing this admin work, I have less hope, less confidence that ANYONE will ever look beyond the title. Meanwhile, like most of you, being an admin, we truly have a ridiculous amount of talent, intelligence, and USEFUL EXPERIENCE for a higher paying field. The big trap is that I'm single, middle aged, and have to support myself, and I have zero money, ZERO to pay for schooling. With recent paycut, it's worse than ever. I tried everything to get a job before the disastrous economy fall last year, with the best resume I could prepare highlighting my transferable skills. They all see "ADMIN" equaling no value.

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Lisa in Elmont, New York

60 months ago

I can't tell you how much being an Admin is one of the most thankless job there is. When your boss needs you, you than become the greatest thing with all the answers for the moment of a weak and fast “Thank you”. But two seconds later you go back to being treated like yesterday's trash when they don't need you anymore. Most of the time they forget your name until you’re needed again.
Plus, when raise time comes around that’s another time you’re forgotten. That’s when your boss starts to ask themselves “WHAT DO YOU REALLY DO”!!! How soon they forget!!!
Not to mention the fact that being an Admin your job is so easily replaceable. So if you start to make any noise about not being treated fairly or wanting more money, you may find you butt suddenly out the door.
There is no really promotion from this position because everyone needs you to be their phone operator, caterer, house keeper, record keeper, dispatch, announcer, errand girl, therapist, travel planner and problem solver. Also you have to take abuse for the other office employees. I won’t even go into all the other office crappy duties they put on you, like doing work for the bosses pets and other lazy employees without complaining.
So for all this when the Maddoff scandal happened, I got laid off. Now, I’m looking into a high demand medical field. But if you could get a Degree, Please DO! And make a serious career change ASAP!

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melanie6613 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

60 months ago

Girl, do not let that deter you from educating yourself at all. That's what they want. They want you to be so desperate that you will put up with anything. You getting laid off might be a blessing as you may have never left any other way. Trying to go to school and working is hard as hell. The classes you need are never offered when you can take them. As far as online training, there is only so much you can do unless your entire degree is online. I was in the secretarial/administrative field for years. It sucked to high heaven. Especially when you see co-workers who do nothing and are basically stupid make more money for doing less.

As far as the medical field, be aware that depending on what you choose to specialize in that a lot of the classes are offered during daylight only which may make program completion rather difficult. So try to find a job that may let your days be free so you can complete your degree or program. Maybe work some evenings and weekends so you can graduate. I have been working in healthcare in different capacities for nearly 20 years. If you are going to school for something medical be aware that a lot of jobs need you to work weekends, evenings, and holidays. Be on the lookout for that.

As far as administrative asst. work, it will always be there. If you need to go back to have a paycheck while you are in school, take a simpler job so you won't be stressed out and pissed off. Trust me, it makes a difference on your grades in school. Medical field is very competitive so your GPA has to be stellar.

I wish you luck. By the way, I'm going back to school yet again so wish me luck too.

Hopefully, you will be saying GOOD RIDDINGS to office work and hello to something that makes you happy.

See ya!

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Kay in Orange Park, Florida

60 months ago

If you're being treated that way, it's the boss and Company environment, not the job/job title. You should look elsewhere. I am an Admin. Assistant for a mid sized company and love my job. The difference is that the folks where I work respect the person and the position. That makes all the difference in the world.

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Renee Webb in Waxahachie, Texas

57 months ago

I've been in this line of work for 18 years and have suffered abuse of all types including sexual. For anyone who is thinking of this as a career path, please think again. It is not a career it is a dead end, stresful job to no where. I'm now 48 and I have no more respect today from my employer then I had in my twenties. I lay awake at night pondering my escape route but not sure how to execute the plan as I am single and need a steady income to make ends meet. I'm certainly open to suggestions as to how to get out of this hellish rut I'm in at my age. Please feel free to respond.

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L. in Brookfield, Wisconsin

57 months ago

I've been reading the comments about being an administrative assistant and I think I have figured out why your coworkers/bosses have been treating you like they have....you need to learn how to spell and use proper grammar! (then for than; butt for but, etc.) Drives me NUTS!

For the person that was speaking about learning medical transcription - that isn't the best choice either. Sure, the agencies will hire you out of school, but you won't make any money until you have loads of experience and can produce like you wouldn't believe! I've been in the field for more nearly 30 years. I decided to try an agency. I applied and was offered a job, but had to turn it down because there was no way I could be fast enough to make more than a file clerk would normally make. You really need hospital transcription experience for a couple of years before trying to work at home where there is no one to help you. The majority of doctors these days are ESWL (English as a Second Language). It seems the worse their English is, the faster they speak.

At any rate, if you're going into medical transcription, try to get work in a hospital before trying to go out on your own. It will save you an ulcer and may just save a patient's life.

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Carolita in Ringgold, Georgia

54 months ago

As most people know, a company can fall into chaos when a good admin. takes vacation, quits or is out temporarily. A good admin. is the glue that keeps a company together. They make excellent office managers. Yes, a 4 yr degree helps but ANY degree will be enough to get you into an Office Manager position and higher salary with more responsibility. BUT, you must present yourself like a professional in attitude and appearance. If you do not see yourself in the position you want no one else will either. Forbes Woman has a lot of good articles for professional women.

Admin. in GA in Decatur, Georgia said: As mentioned in a previous post I too am tired of doing administrative work. I've been an admin. for sixteen years and I am fed up with the high volume of work and responsibility for low pay. I'm tired of being expected to know it all but not be allowed to advance in position or pay.

You are pretty much looked down on, talked down to, treated like an office maid, and expected to handlde more and more responsibilites as if you are a robot. People don't respect you or your space and just rattle around on your desk when they need things instead of asking for it. One day my boss asked for some staples. I gave him a strip of staple to put in his staples, he throws it at me and tell me to put the staples in it.

I've noticed in other threads from women in my same position that the commonality among most of us is the lack of a degree. I also notice that once they do get a degree, it is in something that will steer them back into office servant positions.

I've thought about getting business degree but I know that with my background I will still end up in this same trap. So I decided to take extreme measures and go in a way opposite direction that will get me out of this female ghetto position.

I am thinking of going back to school to be either an engineer or a pharmacist.

Have any other admins here considered going this kind of route?

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Staying Positive in Hartford, Connecticut

54 months ago

Thank you Carolita in Ringgold, L. in Brookfield, and Kay in Orange Park for your positive posts!

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Fed-Up!!!!!!!! in New York, New York

53 months ago

I have been an executive assistant since I was 21. I am now 33. I never got respect and never will get respect. This is the biggest dead-end job ANYBODY can get!!! The only progression you can make in this job is leaving one dead end admin job for another to make more $$$. 95% of the times if you ask for a raise they will tell you no... or give you something extremely insulting like $500 a year... so then you will have to just leave the company to get better money and start getting treated like crap from scratch somewhere else. I am now working for snot-nosed grads from Harvard and MIT who are younger than me who basically bark out orders to me all day long. These guys are all CREEPS to the highest degree!!! I truly wonder to myself if they teach these guys to be a-holes in these fancy ivy-league schools. Everyone has a superiority complex. I do the GRUNT work for everyone and get ZERO thanks or recognition. The amount of work is overwhelmingly unbearable at times yet they really think you do nothing because you are sitting at a desk. This morning my boss told one of the analysts to check my work... yet again, insulting my intellegence! I've always been very diligent and articulate. I have no degree that is the problem.. but I am in the same boat as people with a degree.... point blank-- degree or no degree-- if you are an admin you will be treated with the same level of ABUSE!!!

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Kay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

53 months ago

Yep, that's been my experience. No one will take your resume seriously if you try to apply for anything other than another executive or admin job. I feel branded with an iron since getting into this "temporary job situation" 10 years ago. Same lack of respect, and no bargaining at all for raises like my "more important" coworkers can do. The work you and I do, and I bet you agree it is equally hard, challenging, and important, just will never be considered valuable. That is, until you leave if you've been excellent. They never realize unless you leave the dang place.

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Renee in Dallas, Texas

53 months ago

My feelings exactly. I have resigned from my position as an EA and had my exit interview today. What a joke! My soon to be ex boss told me that I had a great skill set but that he could tell my heart just wasn't in it. I was like what was your first clue? Could it have been being chained to my desk for 2 years without a lunch break or perhaps never being told what a great job I've done or perhaps I'm just tired of lying for you and putting up with your narcissistic ways. To top it off, he's trying to say that the vacation days I've taken to date do not coinside with what he has on his outlook calendar. Funny, he didn't question it before I resigned and all of the sudden there's a descrepancy. Please!! I'm 48 and have been doing this work for nearly 20 years. I'm really sick of being treated like this but I don't know what I can do to escape this circus life. It's very depressing.

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Kay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

53 months ago

I give you so much credit for having the bravery to quit, economic circumstances for me make me a slave to my position. How horrible and sick for your boss to treat you this way after resigning. I am 41, and know I have transferrable skills to succeed in jobs NOT INVOLVING admin asst.

I know a lot, including for sure my own comments, are stuck in negativity, but having this place to rant and express does provide some relief when we feel strong about ourselves and our abilities and even our own self marketing skills as we try to search for better jobs, yet still feel defeated by the current and prospective employers who look at ADMIN ASST or Executive ASST and it's like the scarlet letter, you are marked forever. It's self destructive, but I fight with my self work every single DAY, I know I am talented, but don't have the resources to go back to school to get a degree that may wipe off the decade of my past job history. Rah, sad. But best of luck to you in your job search.

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Bridget in Dallas, Texas

53 months ago

Admin. in Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia said: If you don't have a degree already, the best solution would be to earn a professional degree in something like engineering, law, medicine (to be a doctor or dentist),pharmacy (to be a pharmacist, not a pharmacy tech), nursing, dental hygiene or physicians assistant, science and research, accounting, finance, human resource management, or information technology. Basically, you’d want to get a degree in something technical and/or specialized that will pay you good money when you coming out of school and does not leave room for you to be parlayed in to administrative work.
You could get a good-paying job as an executive admin with a banking or investment institution if you get a degree in business or finance but you are typically on call 24/7 or won’t have a life. It all depends on your idea of a good quality of life. My suggestion to you would be to get a degree in one of the above professions and avoid that administrative assistant trap all together. You will most likely be sucked into demanding, low-paying jobs with lots of responsibility where you are not appreciated and often demeaned, insulted and degraded.

I really enjoyed my past experinces as a admin. I felt I was helping someone without having deal with the deathly ill. I am sorry I dont like sick people. I know. I would gladly take one of those thankless admin jobs you guys dont really want. Any day of the week.

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Sick of my job in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania

51 months ago

I have been an admin for 18 years for a small company. For a good majority of those years I really liked my job. I say "like" because I just cannot say "love". I do want to say that the people I work for and with have always been nice to me. I have experienced nothing like I've read in some of these posts. However, at 41 I realize I DO NOT want to be doing this for the rest of my life. I drag myself to work everyday just waiting for my next holiday or vacation day. I want to wake up everyday excited about my job....even if I have to take a cut in vacation time or even pay. I just want to "love" going to work everyday. I, too have been thinking about going back to school for something totally different. I just don't know what. My options are limited where I live as far as schooling in certain careers. Like a previous poster, I've thought about freelance writing because that has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I need to do something soon before I crack.

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Melanie in Houston, Texas

50 months ago

Look, I agree with most of your postings about the job itself. It's boring, repetitive, mostly busy work, too many responsibilities and underpaid (for most). It also seems that the longer you are in one admin position, the more tasks you get assigned. But no job is perfect, and although it's certainly not my dream job, I am very grateful that in this economy I have a steady paycheck. I also have a great boss and my group respects me because I respect them.

My question is, what IS your dream job? Do you think if you were doing something different that you wouldn't have any complaints at all about it? Sure you would. There are ups and downs in any type of work.

I have to agree as well with Carolita's post. Some folks shouldn't worry about going back to school to find another position; some folks should take some fundamental courses in spelling and grammar.

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rredding@fuse.net in Cincinnati, Ohio

50 months ago

Admin. in GA in Decatur, Georgia said: As mentioned in a previous post I too am tired of doing administrative work. I've been an admin. for sixteen years and I am fed up with the high volume of work and responsibility for low pay. I'm tired of being expected to know it all but not be allowed to advance in position or pay.

You are pretty much looked down on, talked down to, treated like an office maid, and expected to handlde more and more responsibilites as if you are a robot. People don't respect you or your space and just rattle around on your desk when they need things instead of asking for it. One day my boss asked for some staples. I gave him a strip of staple to put in his staples, he throws it at me and tell me to put the staples in it.

I've noticed in other threads from women in my same position that the commonality among most of us is the lack of a degree. I also notice that once they do get a degree, it is in something that will steer them back into office servant positions.

I've thought about getting business degree but I know that with my background I will still end up in this same trap. So I decided to take extreme measures and go in a way opposite direction that will get me out of this female ghetto position.

I am thinking of going back to school to be either an engineer or a pharmacist.

Have any other admins here considered going this kind of route?

I understand fully, I am in the same boat. I am now degreed and still can not find a job.....what is a girl to do.

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rredding@fuse.net in Cincinnati, Ohio

50 months ago

I understand fully, I am in the same boat. I am now degreed and still can not find a job.....what is a girl to do. I have been applying for everthing you could possible think of, considering into the cleaning business, there I will be my own boss and will not have to be mistreated during business hours by the man

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cobi in Elmsford, New York

49 months ago

PimpSkirt in Longwood, Florida said: Well, I am a very organized/detailed and professional person, and i am LONGING for an office/administrative job. I have had a job that was titled, "Office Support", but I have never been an admin assistant, and for someone like me, this I think is the EASIEST job to do WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A DEGREE. I have been stuck in a call center job since January, and I promised myself I would never go back to a call center. BUT EVERY DERN TIME I SEE AN AD FOR AN ADMIN ASST JOB, THEY WANT YOU TO HAVE A DEGREE, OR HAVE 2,000 YEARS EXPERIENCE AS ONE ( or better yet, bilingual)!! why do some of these positions require a degree ? they most likely won't even look at my resume/app without one

But when you have a degree and are over 40 you are overqualified. I went to Library School in response to what I heard was a shortage. What a big mistake that was. There is no shortage and they won;t hire anyone out of school anyway. Shoulda saved my money. Grad school is a big waste of time now that the economy is in the crapper because they all want you to have "post graduate" experience (because they believe the 4 years in a library prior to that didn't count). Do lawyers come out of school having tried cases? Do Doctors come out of school having practiced medicine? No! You are supposed to learn this in school.

In my last job I managed to crawl back to something not terribly demeaning but was thwarted by a micromanager who just couldn't stop interfering with my work and this I had to work weekends to make up for all the time they wasted during work hours. This person turned everyone in the whole organization against me after it became increasingly difficult to choke back my desire to strangle this person. Then I got sacked anyway.

Up shot is I would be damn glad to get a call center job except that they are all in India now. (i have done a lot of telemarketing in my life but that avenue of quick bucks has been outlawed). A

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Angie in Charlotte, North Carolina

47 months ago

Admin. in GA in Decatur, Georgia said: As mentioned in a previous post I too am tired of doing administrative work. I've been an admin. for sixteen years and I am fed up with the high volume of work and responsibility for low pay. I'm tired of being expected to know it all but not be allowed to advance in position or pay.

You are pretty much looked down on, talked down to, treated like an office maid, and expected to handlde more and more responsibilites as if you are a robot. People don't respect you or your space and just rattle around on your desk when they need things instead of asking for it. One day my boss asked for some staples. I gave him a strip of staple to put in his staples, he throws it at me and tell me to put the staples in it.

I've noticed in other threads from women in my same position that the commonality among most of us is the lack of a degree. I also notice that once they do get a degree, it is in something that will steer them back into office servant positions.

I've thought about getting business degree but I know that with my background I will still end up in this same trap. So I decided to take extreme measures and go in a way opposite direction that will get me out of this female ghetto position.

I am thinking of going back to school to be either an engineer or a pharmacist.

Have any other admins here considered going this kind of route?

I have read the comments posted and it sounds like alot of whinning. If you don't like your life, you are the only one who can change it. Yes it will be hard but the benefits of going to a job you love far out weigh the debt or the dead end job. I know what you are saying and it's easier to complain than it is to change but I bet most of you just have a high school diploma instead of going on to college like your mother or teacher told you to. I am 41 years old and finally got tired of the rat race and I've decided to recreate myself and go back to school. Pray, God ble

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AdminRckStr in Brooklyn, New York

45 months ago

trappedadmin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: I feel the same way. I am drastically underpaid for this hellish admin to exec job and don't see any way out. I am overeducated with a masters, and here it comes, in the Fine Arts, which haunts me now for over 10 years. I started out teaching college art, part time, and needed benefits so "fell into admin work temporarily". Now with this depressing economy, I have no idea what to do to get out, I hate this work, it's the complete opposite of where my talents lie, and I still do it well. I get zero respect, stupid snobs snub me every day, and this job will kill me. It's caused anxiety attacks and my high blood pressure. No one will hire me for anything other than more admin clerical crap, I've been trying for years, growing more unhappy, old, (I'm 41) and disgruntled and JADED.

What about your art? One of the positives of admin work is that it's 9-5 with free weekends. Can you perhaps do something that feeds your soul when you are not working?

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AdminRckStr in Brooklyn, New York

45 months ago

Sick of my job in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania said: I have been an admin for 18 years for a small company. For a good majority of those years I really liked my job. I say "like" because I just cannot say "love". I do want to say that the people I work for and with have always been nice to me. I have experienced nothing like I've read in some of these posts. However, at 41 I realize I DO NOT want to be doing this for the rest of my life. I drag myself to work everyday just waiting for my next holiday or vacation day. I want to wake up everyday excited about my job....even if I have to take a cut in vacation time or even pay. I just want to "love" going to work everyday. I, too have been thinking about going back to school for something totally different. I just don't know what. My options are limited where I live as far as schooling in certain careers. Like a previous poster, I've thought about freelance writing because that has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I need to do something soon before I crack.

You don't need a degree to embark on a freelance writing career. You can start by blogging and writing for sites like associatedcontent or examiner. I've been an admin off and on for about 16 years and a freelance writer for 20.

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melanie6613 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

45 months ago

AdminRckStr in Brooklyn, New York said: What about your art? One of the positives of admin work is that it's 9-5 with free weekends. Can you perhaps do something that feeds your soul when you are not working?

You have a masters degree. Why can't you teach? Try a community college or something. They always need instructors. You need to be around people who feel what you feel about art. You are an artist by nature trying to cope by becoming technical. I get it. You have to make ends meet. There's no reason you can't find happiness in spite of all that. Find a teaching job at maybe a high school at night. Lots of cool classes for art are offered during the year at night school. Start there. Trust me when you start following your heart again, your everyday job won't feel like absolute drudgery. Just my 2 cents.

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Sherl in Chicago, Illinois

45 months ago

Admin. in GA in Decatur, Georgia said: As mentioned in a previous post I too am tired of doing administrative work. I've been an admin. for sixteen years and I am fed up with the high volume of work and responsibility for low pay. I'm tired of being expected to know it all but not be allowed to advance in position or pay.

You are pretty much looked down on, talked down to, treated like an office maid, and expected to handlde more and more responsibilites as if you are a robot. People don't respect you or your space and just rattle around on your desk when they need things instead of asking for it. One day my boss asked for some staples. I gave him a strip of staple to put in his staples, he throws it at me and tell me to put the staples in it.

I've noticed in other threads from women in my same position that the commonality among most of us is the lack of a degree. I also notice that once they do get a degree, it is in something that will steer them back into office servant positions.

I've thought about getting business degree but I know that with my background I will still end up in this same trap. So I decided to take extreme measures and go in a way opposite direction that will get me out of this female ghetto position.

I am thinking of going back to school to be either an engineer or a pharmacist.

Have any other admins here considered going this kind of route?

Yes you are so right. I have experienced some of the same things when I had a job. Now with no job for 2 years I am willing to get those staples thrown back at me. What ever else you go for as far as another career, make sure you are willing to learn all it is, and hope you are not as old as I am trying to start on a new career. It's not that easy to comprehend. Good luck. Bird in hand is better than two in the tree.

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Astralwolf in New Berlin, Wisconsin

42 months ago

I know this is an old, old post, but I just have to put my thoughts here. I came out of the glamorous world of health care to work as an administrative assistant and it is the most tolerable job to date.

You think by working in health care you won't have rude people snapping at you and disrespecting you? That's all health care is when you deal with the sick. It's not the wonderful world of constant job demand, high pay and ultimate authority the nursing school commercials want you to think it is.

Someone I know has a nightmare boss, can't get a pay raise, gets more and more work heaped on her and is having trouble advancing. She's a registered nurse and a manager. Crappy co-workers are a workplace thing, not an admin thing.

There are also a lot of people with degrees that have trouble getting jobs and advancing (I am one of them- I have a Bachelor’s degree).

In admin work, you don't deal with germs constantly, you usually have off weekends and you are not constantly lifting things. My mom has worked in it for 40 years. She's had great jobs, she's had terrible jobs and she makes over double what I do.

I just resent people that think running off to college will solve all their problems. It leaves you with debt, stress and being bypassed for jobs because you are overqualified.

Also, freelancing writing is something that people are most succesfull at if they worked in writing full-time and then went solo. And the full-time jobs all dried up. Private client are where they money is and to have those you need conacts.

Freelance writing is a lot of hard work and many times clients will cut your work last minute and you don't get paid. Many times you just get rejected. The big payers take months to review your work and many times you have a 1% chance of acceptance and therefore a paycheck. You need a lot of readers and you need to able to write about what is trending and makes money.

I would take the stapler man any.

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Another Admin in Baltimore, Maryland

41 months ago

Admin jobs can be very demeaning. It's not only a female ghetto; I'm male and there are other male admins where I work (though there is clearly a female majority).

People are always asking for things last minute. You schedule appointments and deal with rude admins when trying to set up appointments for your boss with people who are over-protective of their bosses' calendars. They lose receipts from their travel and you get the blame at reimbursement time ("I know I gave that to you"). I've been reprimanded because return envelopes I printed up had addresses that were slightly off-center (we're talking like a quarter-inch).

I've been asked to go downstairs to the snack machines to pick up a soda and a candy bar. Probably the most demeaning thing in my office is getting coffee, ice water, and soda for the bosses, then washing their coffee cups. It's sad that you could spend so much money, time, and effort getting a college degree just to be subjected to this kind of stuff. You get very little credit for things that go well, but you get yelled at for every little thing.

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Fed up in Bothell, Washington

39 months ago

I hear you!

I was in a call center and now I am an admin. The worst job in the world was the Customer Service Rep role. I HATED IT WITH A PASSION.

Now that I am an admin, I have become an office maid. It's funny how the bosses expect admins to take the blame for everything that goes wrong, and at the same time to have a competent professional when it comes to writing minutes, solving computer problems, anticipating needs and meeting last-minutes requests.

I hope I can get out of this sad circus some time soon. My current admin position is low pay but it's also low responsibility. The previous posts are right, you don't get much respect or recognition for your hard work as an admin, yet the job is totally indispensable for the office to run smoothly.

I agree that getting an education would be the way to go, but there are so many things to consider before getting in debt just to have a degree..................how about your own business???? Just a thought.........

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peggy birch in Tampa, Florida

39 months ago

Please.
Ad/min assistants are some of the worst jobs ever. I've done this, and I've worked at Walmart & Dunkin' Donuts, and I can tell you which job I preferred. My boss at DD thought I was the cat's pajamas, and never hesitated to sing my praises. On the other hand, you can do 50 things perfectly in an office that will go unnoticed, but make one mistake, and see what happens. Everyone within a 10 mile radius will know about it by the end of the day.

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Renee in Whitney, Texas

39 months ago

Wow! You couldn't have said it better. I've been an office slave for 20 plus years now, and in those 20 years I've actually only had two wonderful bosses that I enjoyed supporting. The rest were absolute jerks. I have recently enrolled in community college pursuing a nursing degree. The thought of going back to the corporate world makes me ill. Good luck everyone! There is hope, you just have to make the decision to make the change and follow through.

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msshane2002@yahoo.com in Chicago, Illinois

39 months ago

You are sooooo....right! Never satisfied.

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Destined4More in Houston, Texas

38 months ago

I know this post is old but I had to vent even if no one reads this. I started in the high school work program. I went to class in the morning and had an "office job" in the afternoon. No one told me this would be the beginning of my life sentence. For the past 13 years I went from position to position being an admin assistant. Yes, my salary has increased and currently I'm working for a large investment bank but I hate the mindless work I do. I make 60K a year and I have a finance degree but no one will let me get into another role. I've been with my company for 5 years.

I have made the decision to find a manager that will let me take on extra work at my desk when I am not busy just to add other skills to my resume. My next job will not have the admin title attached to it.

I hate getting coffee for people, making travel arrangements just for them to call me and make changes while they are at the airport, doing expense reports when they are not staying within the company policy and I have to work magic to get them reimbursed, binding presentations when your meeting starts in 30 minutes and you could have told me the day before.

Suggestions I would give to others: Volunteer somewhere just to get more skills, help a friend with small business keep track of paying his bills and tracking checks. Your next job could be bookkeeper. If you want to be a writer, do it at your desk on the company dime if you have a lunch break or down time. Going back to school may not solve all your problems. I have a finance degree and do the same work as my coworkers with a high school diploma. But they don't have the college debt. Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed that I can provide for my family and collect a paycheck but there is nothing worse than knowing you’re a hard worker and no one will give you the opportunity to prove yourself. When I spoke with HR she said it is hard to go from a “personal assistant” to a banking role? PA – Are you serious???

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EAequalsBS in Portland, Oregon

36 months ago

@Destined4More ~ I am right there with you. I have a bachelor's, I make a very nice salary, and I've been doing this for 13 years now. I have always worked in the finance sector and currently support the president, but half the time I feel more like her PA as she has me book her personal vacations, etc. I've caught her shopping Saks online and at least 1-3x per week, she gets her Saks shipments coming in to the office.

She also has a mini-me who worships her and kisses her ass and treats me like crap, which I have very little control over other than pretending not to care. I just realized this week that, between the two of them, it's like I work in Satan's Lair for she-devils. I know I produce quality work, I'm attentive and proactive, I'm efficient and problem solve, and I do all that I can to stay one step ahead and anticipate what's coming down the pike. But no matter how much I try to stay on top of things, I am tripped up with constant changes and blamed if anything goes wrong. I hit the wall this week. I finally realized I will never please my boss (or her dumb minion), I will never be as perfect as she expects me to be, and I've never felt so insecure about my every little step - as if at any moment I will be called out on something so damn trivial. It just erodes one's confidence. I don't need this. It's exhausting! I realized they cannot pay me enough to sit there and take the daily mental manipulations. I know her last EA left for the same reasons!

I know people are still out of work in this recession. I feel torn about how to get OUT of the administrative field (which is how I found this board) and still be able to pay my mortgage. Nobody supports me - I'm on my own and I'm mid-30s and cannot fathom doing this another 30 years with more narcissistic crazymakers! I will not just quit - I'm not stupid. But reading these posts/rants brings me a little comfort.

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Adverse to Administrative Work in Burlingame, California

34 months ago

trappedadmin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: I feel the same way. I am drastically underpaid for this hellish admin to exec job and don't see any way out. I am overeducated with a masters, and here it comes, in the Fine Arts, which haunts me now for over 10 years. I started out teaching college art, part time, and needed benefits so "fell into admin work temporarily". Now with this depressing economy, I have no idea what to do to get out, I hate this work, it's the complete opposite of where my talents lie, and I still do it well. I get zero respect, stupid snobs snub me every day, and this job will kill me. It's caused anxiety attacks and my high blood pressure. No one will hire me for anything other than more admin clerical crap, I've been trying for years, growing more unhappy, old, (I'm 41) and disgruntled and JADED.

I'm just reading this a little over two years of your posting.

Since we're the same age, I feel your pain!

Hoping you've been able to 'escape' this profession and find something you love!

As for me, I'm on that path now, looking for something that's more befitting for me.

The thought of being an admin of any shape or form makes my stomach turn.

However, I've got a ton of debt, an now unemployed, and while I would love to finish out my BA, I don't see how it is possible to do so and survive? College financial aid has been cut, and I need to survive.

I don't blame the economy for my (previous) 'emotional spending' habits.

At 43 (44 in a couple of weeks), I'm feeling super depressed and stuck.

Trying to stay positive, I'm now looking up resources I can utilize in order to get myself out of this hole I dug for myself.

Reading that others detest being an administrative person, has helped me realize I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings about it at least.

Hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season!

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