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Angelique in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

91 months ago

For those willing to take a moment to answer a few inquiries,

I am soon to enroll in an administrative assistant program and would greatly appreciate feedback and experiences from those who are/have been employed as Administrative Assistants.

If there was anything you wish you had known when entering this field, what would it be?

Describe your experiences and obstacles as an entry level applicant.

What industry did you end up working in or enjoy the most?

What would you say would be the key traits of the "perfect" Administrative Assistant?

What do you find employers look for the most in an Administrative Assistant?

Any other input would be most helpful, thank you all for your time and consideration =)

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Bubba in Fullerton, California

91 months ago

I've never been an administrative assistant, but I occasionaly hire them.

I can't imagine any "program" that would teach you how to be a good administrative assistant.

The primary objective is to keep track of, and organize information, so the other members of the team can focus on their core specialties.

The most important, non obvious trait, is emotional and functional compatability with the rest of the team. Particularly the "boss".

I would expect at a minimum, a candidate to kick ass with Word, Excel, and whatever Email system the office uses.

Being tech savvy enough to fix a paper jam in a printer is a must.

Beyond that depends on specific companies or fields. Light duty database or accounting work is common, as is Powerpoint for presentations. We do design, so it's a lot of Visio or Smartdraw for diagrams and charts. Photoshop, Quark, and Acrobat for a publishing house. Salesforce, or maybe peachtree for a small retailer. Medical has specialzied billing software. Big international firms would want multilingualisim. Law has so many requirements, I can't think of them all.

I would actualy consider picking an industry in your area that you know is big, and targeting your skills towards that.

Good luck, and remember me if you ever make Vice President.

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Donna in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

91 months ago

Angelique said: For those willing to take a moment to answer a few inquiries,
I am soon to enroll in an administrative assistant program and would greatly appreciate feedback and experiences from those who are/have been employed as Administrative Assistants.
If there was anything you wish you had known when entering this field, what would it be?
Describe your experiences and obstacles as an entry level applicant.
What industry did you end up working in or enjoy the most?
What would you say would be the key traits of the "perfect" Administrative Assistant?
What do you find employers look for the most in an Administrative Assistant?
Any other input would be most helpful, thank you all for your time and consideration =)

There is no Perfect admin - you have to go with what you are familiar and comfortable with. If you have an affinity for numbers: CPA firms, accounting, construction, etc. However, look at the financial status of these type companies in your area. I run from construction, engineering, etc. However, would take a chance on non-profits. If you like legal - look at those frims, etc. Talk with friends about their attitudes about their jobs. If you need a structured 8-5, look for that type field.
I enjoy the team atmosphere and working directly with 1-2 managers. I am excellent with that. Sometimes you are directing everyone - that's just the way it is. And your direct "boss" may expect or not like that. You have to find that out first.
Last note: the more responsibility, usually the more money. Don't sell yourself short or that's what you'll get. Improve your speaking and MS skills.

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anonymous in Arlington Heights, Illinois

90 months ago

Loved being an AA and EA, but moved on because they were dead end jobs. Could not support my family on the pay. Unless you are an Administrative Assistant to a celebrity, the money will not allow you to be self-sufficient.

If you are a compulsive enabler of needy, abusive people, it's a great career. If you can work with such people without being negatively affected, it could be a great starting point. Even appreciative employers who endlessly praise their Administrative Assistants will remind them at raise time they can "only make so much". Praise and recognition doesn't pay bills, but it can help you get a better job eventually.

That said, an Administrative Assistant position can be a next step up and an excellent way to learn about a business from the bottom up, while gaining and maintaining important skill sets. I've worked for a ridiculous number of executives who could not spell, balance a check book or coordinate flight arrangements. Who knows how that can happen, but it does.

The ultimate purpose of an Administrative Assistant is to be the glue that brings a team together. To make a work flow flow, despite personal shortcomings or those of co-workers and management.

What doesn't work needs to be prioritized and possibly fixed. What works as it is without negative impact on anything associated with it, should be left alone. Critical thinking combined with experience should grow an ability to recognize these differences and learn appropriate problem solving.

If an Administrative Assistant is fortunate to be in an intelligently progressive work environment that rewards initiative, integrity and solid work ethics, that would be an excellent opportunity all the way around.

These considerations aside, very few Administrative Assistant positions will allow a person to be self-sufficient and very unlikely to support a family.

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anonymous in Arlington Heights, Illinois

90 months ago

I recommend switching to medical insurance claim coding or medical billing. Coding pays very good money relative to the certification training. Even entry level CCS pays $10-$12 in lower income areas. $15-$18 entry level in the Chicago area is what I'm currently finding. CCS lends itself well to working with a group of people or alone as a contractor after building some experience in the field. With a few years of experience, contracting coders are currently making high 5 figures annually and better. If you can change courses, research "certified coding specialist" jobs.

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ken from alaska in Soldotna, Alaska

86 months ago

I,m going to be going back to school to get rehab because of back engery.rehab told me AA would be a good job to start out in. reading these peoples reports makes me want to rethink what i might want to do for my future job.I only get two years of rehab.Should i think about medical coding or stay with AA.I would appr some feed back.Ihave to let them know on 6/11/07 monday thanks ken.?

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Surprised in Stamford, Connecticut

86 months ago

The admin assistants were I live make big bucks ($45 to $70) but I would never want the job. They do all the work and their bosses get all the credit. I compare the job to being maid, servant and baby sitter to adults. You have to take a lot of crap and be a miracle worker.

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Jobless Female

86 months ago

Having been an Admin for over 25 years, I am seeing that most of these positions are being contracted out -- in other words a lot of companies want a workhorse without giving them the benefits from their company. They are the glue that keeps the companies together, when the person knows what they are doing, but they also get little or no respect because companies don't consider Admins 'career people'. You will be the fall guy for anything that goes wrong, even though it is not your fault your boss didn't inform you of a specific event that went bad. However, when it comes to scheduling appts. NEVER delete a calendar event in Outlook but change it to an open timeslot and note in the appt. that the boss decided not to go and the date that they stated so, as if they don't go & they should've they will blame you. However, let the boss be the only one who does the deleting because in this position CYA is critical. Make notes of everything the boss says so you have record and can go back to them if needed. I had a happy go lucky delete boss who always tried to pass the buck - needless to say, my CYA, didn't get my contract renewed because I outsmarted the one who was supposed to have his act together. He hated the fact that I kept notes of every conversation along with the dates and times in which he said them. They hate someone with a memory when they make the mistakes and try to blame you. Just my experience, is all.

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Joseph in Mason, Michigan

86 months ago

Recemtly started class in medical billing and coding. Will finish on 01/2008. What are the job prospects in CA, TX, Also compentsation and benefits?

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Elizabeth in San Lorenzo, California

86 months ago

I have been an administrative assistant for 3 years. I don't like it very much. Mostly because I can't live with the fact that all I am asked to do is arrange lunches, arrange meetings, and on rare ocassions buy tickets for the engineering department outings. Every company is different. For me, I enjoy being part of a team. As an admin. you may or may not experience that. Either way, admin. is a broad category. You just need to find the right company that will fit your interests/needs/style. If it does, then why not? As stated in previous posts, career path can also be limited. But if you are lucky, it can also be a door into various departments. There's also the idea that admin jobs require little brainpower and lots of freedom/security - ideal job for mom's. That could be true and also untrue. For me, I do not want to be an admin. any longer. Mostly because I cannot live with myself in this type of role. I want to travel. I am 25 years old and make $45,000/year. While I can say this job pays the bills, I really despise it. To me, travelling and a 2 week vacation is not the same thing. But as an admin, I do not have this flexibility. So I guess you should do not only what pays the bills but also what makes you happy. To me, admin. was a great starting point. But now it seems to be tipping the scales and getting closer to the "not worth it" side.

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Jobless Female in Washington, District of Columbia

86 months ago

Yes, some companies make their Admins feel left out & are not grateful for their existence. Some, however, do & it is a matter of finding the right fit for you. I have been in both spots, not liking the ungratefulness & feeling so appreciated. I disagree with Elizabeth on the little brainpower, because it is the role of the Admin to know who to call, how to get the crises eliminated, & basically having the skills to ultimately juggle several balls at one time & being efficient about it. There are those positions they call Admins that are do-nothing - no-brainer jobs, but I stay away from those for the most part. I like being busy, the day passes quickly & if you are in the right position of being the bosses right arm, you get to travel. Again, learning as much about what it is your boss does & going above & beyond CAN and DOES get you into another position other than the Admin role. It means you have to actively do the research to see what role you want to really play & when you find it, you need to communicate with your boss in regards to your goals -- hence, annual reviews. Admin roles have been the stepping stones for many people by a) getting their foot in the door b) by showing the boss how dependable and efficient you are c) by giving your input into how your skills in the Admin role could be more effective in a different role by providing a more efficient way of getting a key task completed and saving the company money. The Admin role is what "you" make of it & where you are willing to go with it. They always say, be careful what you wish for because you could go from having the freedom to have a life outside of work now, & if you choose to go another route you may lose yourself in your work with no freedom at all. I personally don't want to be 'on call' 24/7, & the reward I get for that is -I get to have a life. You may see it differently, & from what you wrote you do - but if all you do is what you wrote, then ask your boss for a key project.

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Professionally Speaking in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

85 months ago

With over 20 yrs, I've seen the Admin roles of "glorified clerk and maid" to respected project lead. This career - and yes it is a career - is very challenging in many ways, and can be very rewarding. I have had my mix of 20/80 good/bad bosses and groups of 15-65. The 80% bad are what can make your life a continuous nightmare and most of the time all you hear about. The 20% made the job all worth while. Two work groups: one of 45 (5 mgrs) and one of 25 (4 mgrs), as their Sr Admin, I was held with the same respect as managers - because I proved myself.
You are the everything: communications, info/process gatekeeper, caterer, "shoulder to lean on", the fall guy (if you allow yourself to be), etc. The job can be what you make it.
I love my profession and I am definitely not a brainless twit-as some seem to think an admin is. However, don't expect to just walk into a job and be handed the critical responsiblities. With any company and any job, 3 yrs experience is not enough to have the critical jobs just handed to you. You have to earn that respect and trust. Most of us have college degrees and advanced training. All jobs have parts that we'd rather not do.
However, if you think you can find an easier, more rewarding position and still get that $45K and 2 weeks vacation - more power to you. This sounds very commmon of the 20 and 30 somethings - the work ethic of "I'll show up for 40 hours and do 25 hours of the things I want to do. Somebody else will have to pick up my slack". I've seen enough of this. So, if you don't want to do the small things to get to the big things - you do need to look elsewhere.
A good admin is the boss's right arm and the glue of the group.

As for the comment above from Arlington Heights, who sees admins as a "compulsive enabler of needy, abusive people" - this is such a deplorable description. It is comments like these that degrade us - even if they are an AA or EA. I will continue to look for that great job/location.

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Valerie

85 months ago

Not all admin jobs are created equal. There have been jobs where I enjoyed being an admin and others where I hated every minute. What makes the difference in who you work for and the defined job duties. If you're going to be a top assistant and work hard only work for C-Level executives. As in many things - it's just better at the top. People drving the company forward need high level assistants and they don't have time to entertain the crap that bottom-wannabees bring. Avoid supporting groups, working for middle managers with poor leadership skills and anyone who is not at the top of their game either in the company or in a particular industry. The worst admin jobs are supporting the losers that crowd out the bottom level. There are plenty of low quality admins to support the low end people. Get to top as soon as you can. You will have better responsibilities, be more appreciated, have more rewarding work and learn so much more (don't waste time supporting people from whom you can't learn anything or who are not going to help you advance). There are Great Admin jobs, there are okay Admin jobs, and there are more than enough Admin jobs that just plain lousy (yes- like being a corporate maid/servant). After a few job changes you'll learn the difference. Good Luck!

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Jobless Female in Vienna, Virginia

85 months ago

AND if you really don't like it quit, get another job that you find suitable for your needs and let someone who would really appreciate that $45K/year and be grateful!

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Bobbie in Whitestone, New York

85 months ago

Valerie hit it right on the head. Avoid supporting groups and middle managers. Right now, my primary responsibilities are supporting the EVP and SVP of my team, but I schedule client meetings for the entire group. A total nightmare working with these people. While my boss (the EVP) is great, and pretty self sufficient, it's the rest of the group that irk me, because they are so inexperienced. Most of them just graduated from college less than five years ago, so this is their first "real" job. They have no respect for the client's calendar, and expect me to make a miracle happen when they demand a meeting with the client in the next half hour-ridiculous.

I have had a series of admin jobs over the past seven years-it's time to make a move as an EA supporting C-Level executives. I want to work with seasoned professionals, not recent college grad psuedo "know it alls" who are wet behind the ears.

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Small Town near Big Town in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

85 months ago

Bobbie said: Valerie hit it right on the head. ...
I have had a series move as an EA supporting C-Level executives. work with seasoned professionals, not recent college grad psuedo "know it alls" .. wet

Who you support directly can make/break you. Three "top dogs" I've worked with were awful. No leadership or communication skills, consequently, clueless managing people, needy, and absolutely no respect for the admin's role. This attitude and chaos echoed all the way down. Don't think that being top level equates to professional-doesn't always happen.
If you don't want to assist the younger ones, don't. One response you can give, is just simply say, this is the time available - and leave it at that. If the client directs the time, then the others have to follow. As an exec and senior admin, it was my responsibility to "assist and educate" those who didn't know any better - but not with a sledgehammer. They are just inexperienced, maybe you could give them direction. Some could even be thankful. No one knows the whole job just stepping into it. Supportive communication may be just the key. That will make yours - and your boss’s life, easier. I've also had some fabulous execs and I learned that it take all levels of people for company to be successful.

As for supporting middle "C-level" (that's a new term to me), after over 20 years admin, most of the exec positions I've had, you were on call 24/7, 50-60 hr/wk, and your job came before family. I'll take the senior level. Worked with 1-4 directors and their groups (15 - 65 at one time). They were professional and appreciative. I'm into the teamwork, not the power. Each to their own. Your remarks seem to degrade the "middle" admins. Some of us have college degrees (mine's a BS in a science), proficient in MS and other softwares, and just enjoy our job.
Good luck with the higher level. Please don't be snooty about others in the same profession, takes all of us

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Small Town near Big Town in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

85 months ago

Jobless Female in Vienna, Virginia said: AND if you really don't like it quit, get another job that you find suitable for your needs and let someone who would really appreciate that $45K/year and be grateful!

Dear Jobless - Ditto and thanks !!! I'd be grateful for that $45K. Here the median salary for exec is about $40K - and that is usually 50-60 hr week and hour commute.

I'm still pushing forward.

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Jobless Female in Washington, District of Columbia

85 months ago

Small Town near Big Town in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina said: . Your remarks seem to degrade the "middle" admins. Some of us have college degrees (mine's a BS in a science), proficient in MS and other softwares, and just enjoy our job.
Good luck with the higher level. Please don't be snooty about others in the same profession, takes all of us

AHHHHHHHHH-- the Power-tripping Admins with the uptight attitudes are the worse. I've worked with all levels but I refused to be a snob. The ones with the holier than thou but know less than you act that way because they fear you might take their position. I am with you in regards to the just want to work with those who respect what I do and are grateful that I am there to make their life easier. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you -- because when your time to come off of that throne comes -- guess what you fall right into the category of admins that are considered worthless. And then it doesn't feel that good. I work with a grp of college hires that think they know it all; treat everyone like crap and I am just thankful that I have the experience to know that everything comes full circle.

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Bobbie in New York, New York

85 months ago

Small Town near Big Town in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina said: Who you support directly can make/break you.

Well, first off I'd like to clear up "C-level"..I'm thinking CEO, etc. In other words, Senior level executives, not middle managers. Furthermore, I am a middle admin myself at this point, so by no means am I downing anyone in this field. My distaste for my job comes by having to work with a group as a whole-I agreed with Valerie on that aspect. You seem to be suggesting that I coddle these younger, inexperienced folks. Well, I'm sorry, my friend, I guess 20+ years in this field has given you a lot of patience-something that I have yet to possess. I don't have the time nor do I get paid enough to aid someone else through their job besides my respective Sr. level execs who I am PAID to support. That beings said, your other suggestion about standing firm with the client's time is something that I have to fight with them about everyday. I work for an ad agency where production schedules change daily; and there's always a sense of urgency for things to be approved before an air date. While understanding their initial plight, a lot of the chaos is also a result of their poor planning-why should I have to suffer the reprecussions of that? Not only does it make us look unorganized on a whole, but it frustrates the hell out of the client to have last minute meeting requests. I don't expect every job to be easy, but if I can avoid working with nonsensical folks like these by coasting to higher level, seasoned execs, then I'm all for that.

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Small Town near Big Town in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

85 months ago

Bobbie in New York, New York said:

As I said before, the client is who directs the meeting time. If someone wants to meet with a client and don't give you enough time, tell them, professinally of course, that out of courtesy to the client, meeting requests (I'm avoiding saying "you need to do ...") need to be made within X amount of time. If they can't handle that, that's their problem - you're actually telling them that THEY have to plan better. Maybe even suggest that they call directly to schedule - that might dampen their mood.
I agree, there is not enough time to coddle and coo with "youngsters". My response to some have been, "excuse me, but, I am working on a deadline." If they still want attention, you may have to repeat yourself. I have had someone my age act like those you are talking about. So, my point? They are at all ages, not just the young.
If you really like the exces you support, I'd try to find a way to work this out. May sound silly, but, they are seminars to help you learn how to handle these situations. I'm not being demeaing, this is just a suggestion.
Good luck with this.

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Debbi Mununo in Sarasota, Florida

85 months ago

Just stick to being a receptionist, it's easier, you don't need to "run around" and can eat candy,talk to your boyfriend and put makeup at your desk. Thats what I do, and why I would never want to be a adminstrative asistant.

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Bobbie in Whitestone, New York

85 months ago

Debbi Mununo in Sarasota, Florida said: Just stick to being a receptionist, it's easier, you don't need to "run around" and can eat candy,talk to your boyfriend and put makeup at your desk. Thats what I do, and why I would never want to be a adminstrative asistant.

Ha..too funny. No, I'd prefer being an admin..I'm afraid I'd get a fat fanny from too much sitting and munchy on those candies (;

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Jobless Female in Clinton, Maryland

85 months ago

Me too! I prefer being busy opposed to gorging myself. I have too much of a brain to be satisfied with answering phones all day - you can only put on so much makeup, if my bf has that much time to talk to me then he isn't goal oriented, and eating candy all day -- well, I like my teeth. Different strokes for different folks....

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Nambrosia in Attleboro, Massachusetts

85 months ago

Being ridiculously jobless for way too bloody long, I'm about ready to take one of those mindless reception jobs. I have years and years of experience, but a cruddy employment record (due to many different reasons that are hard to explain in an interview). I just want a job that I don't utterly despise, which pays enough so I can survive and support my daughter - single mom- that I never have to leave. this job searching stuff is far more difficult than any actual job I've had.

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Jennifer MeLano in Bradenton, Florida

85 months ago

Debbi Mununo in Sarasota, Florida said: Just stick to being a receptionist, it's easier, you don't need to "run around" and can eat candy,talk to your boyfriend and put makeup at your desk. Thats what I do, and why I would never want to be a adminstrative asistant.

I agree Debbi! I am a receptionist too. And yes, I'm not afraid to admit I do all those things too. I always put my makeup on at my desk. When it's slow, I like to read one of my favorite novels, usually from William Burroughs. My boss doesn't mind me reading my favorite books either as long as I wear VERY low cut dresses! Then he hangs over me saying, "oh, what are we reading today?" I know what he's doing...hey, it's $14 and hour and I am not complaining!

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Frustrated Admin in Orlando, Florida

84 months ago

I think the comments that have been made on here have summed up the irritations that I have had with my current role as an administrative assistant. I don't work with people who know how to treat someone in my position, and for the longest time I thought somehow I was either 1) just imagining these things or 2) being picky about my new role!

The people I've been working with recently are constantly aggrivated by the down turn their industry is taking and are creating a lot of high pressure situations within the office because they're struggling to get back on top - or at least even out in their field. As thus I've gotten blamed for mistakes I didn't make, asked to work overtime because the big dog in the company didn't schedule his own time correctly in regards to a project and needed me to come in early (or stay late) to fix his mistakes, and most recently I have had a doctor tell me that they could no longer see me as a patient because I constantly had to reschedule appointments because of the afore mentioned situations! It's nuts! I've also had people that I "support" tell me that all of their previous administrative assistants have been "stupid" and that they fully expect that I am too. I think that the company I have found myself in thinks little of the administrative assistant position - and that is something that you really have to look out for. If you co-workers don't respect you right off the bat because of your title, then it's time to find a new company!

So, the statement "who you support can make or break you" is definitely, definitely true in regards to this position. It is absolutely vital.

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Suzette in Littleton, Colorado

84 months ago

Angelique in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia said: For those willing to take a moment to answer a few inquiries,

I am soon to enroll in an administrative assistant program and would greatly appreciate feedback and experiences from those who are/have been employed as Administrative Assistants.

If there was anything you wish you had known when entering this field, what would it be?

Describe your experiences and obstacles as an entry level applicant.

What industry did you end up working in or enjoy the most?

What would you say would be the key traits of the "perfect" Administrative Assistant?

What do you find employers look for the most in an Administrative Assistant?

Any other input would be most helpful, thank you all for your time and consideration =)

Why do you want to limit yourself by being an administrative assistant? It's dead end, boring, repetitive and doesn't pay very well. Do you like serving others?

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trojangirl in Atlanta, Georgia

84 months ago

It's always good to get the skills but I recommend legal secretary, never boring and pays very well. I stumbled into it early in my career but left after burn out -- I thought administrative and executive would be better. I got good experience but my main challenge was always pay.

The mistake I made (burn out) was that I didn't take vacations away like you need to. So instead of vacation, then return to law, I just jumped into administrative/executive, which is easier but not fulfilling.

If you can get legal secretary training, then do it. Try to get into good firms but make sure your skills are top notch or your open to in-house training and you have good attitude and they will always consider you valuable.

I know a legal secretary who was asked to work for a lawyer on superbowl Sunday for $50.00 an hour. She made a killing that day.

Best Wishes.

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Amanda Harding in Pontefract, United Kingdom

84 months ago

I have been an admin assistant for a couple of years, and am currently doing my NVQ in business admin. I think you have to have the right sort of mind to be an admin assistant, the way you think has to be creative and imaginative. Most employeers look for independance. there is nothing worse than you asking your boss every five minutes what you can do.you wont last a day!You have to use initiative and find work round the office that needs to be done, even if its for example some files are in the wrong place, sort them out or you dont know any staff names or contact details, so make a contact directory list. e.t.c. You either love admin or hate it. I love it, its what im good at and its what i enjoy. Im an organisation freak, but being just thats make me very good at what i do. admin is straight forward if there is something to be done, you do it!

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Amanda Harding in Pontefract, United Kingdom

84 months ago

I have been an admin assistant for a couple of years, and am currently doing my NVQ in business admin. I think you have to have the right sort of mind to be an admin assistant, the way you think has to be creative and imaginative. Most employeers look for independance. there is nothing worse than you asking your boss every five minutes what you can do.you wont last a day!You have to use initiative and find work round the office that needs to be done, even if its for example some files are in the wrong place, sort them out or you dont know any staff names or contact details, so make a contact directory list. e.t.c. You either love admin or hate it. I love it, its what im good at and its what i enjoy. Im an organisation freak, but being just thats make me very good at what i do. admin is straight forward if there is something to be done, you do it!

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Amanda Harding in Pontefract, United Kingdom

84 months ago

you can go on admin courses. I am doing an nvq in business admin. and im finding it very usefull. It is improving my skills. It is free to anybody under 25!

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Valerie

84 months ago

The term C-Level is commonly referred to the group of executives holding the titles of CEO, CIO, COO, etc., as each of these titles begin with the letter C.

I don't subscribe to ever playing the game of 'power-tripping.' I do however know that any group of people, holding any job title, performing any type of work will fall into one of three categories - excellent, average and poor. That's true for the person who cleans the office after hours as well as it is for the CEO and anyone in between. And in any large company there is usually a place for people in all categories. I just think excellent workers should work with other excellent workers to utilize the talents and reap the rewards of the best.

In my earlier comment I was merely stating that top teams are made up of top individuals. Any leader needs quality followers. Quality followers need a quality leader. I don't think any quality admin should resign herself/himself to working with a team that does not bring the same level of quality in performing their own individual jobs, especially if it results in the admin's skills, knowledge and hard work being under-utilized and under-appreciated. The hard work and benefits of excellent admins should not be wasted supporting people who earn higher pay, have a higher propensity to be rewarded and promoted but who routinely exhibit a lack of remedial job skills, communication skills, have lousy attitudes and character, and have poor work ethics.
Regardless of education level attained or years of experience, an excellent performer is excellent because of what they bring to the game, how they play the game, and the level of respect they have for the game. Excellent people rise to the top - Excellent admins need to rise to the top.

Don't mar your excellence by hanging around losers! And losers cluster at the bottom of any organization.

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Bobbie in New York, New York

84 months ago

Valerie said: The term C-Level is commonly referred to the group of executives holding the titles of CEO, CIO, COO, etc., as each of these titles begin with the letter C.

I don't subscribe to ever playing the game of 'power-tripping.' I do however know that any group of people, holding any job title, performing any type of work will fall into one of three categories - excellent, average and poor. That's true for the person who cleans the office after hours as well as it is for the CEO and anyone in between. And in any large company there is usually a place for people in all categories. I just think excellent workers should work with other excellent workers to utilize the talents and reap the rewards of the best.

In my earlier comment I was merely stating that top teams are made up of top individuals. Any leader needs quality followers. Quality followers need a quality leader. I don't think any quality admin should resign herself/himself to working with a team that does not bring the same level of quality in performing their own individual jobs, especially if it results in the admin's skills, knowledge and hard work being under-utilized and under-appreciated. The hard work and benefits of excellent admins should not be wasted supporting people who earn higher pay, have a higher propensity to be rewarded and promoted but who routinely exhibit a lack of remedial job skills, communication skills, have lousy attitudes and character, and have poor work ethics.
Regardless of education level attained or years of experience.

Once again, I completely agree with you. I KNOW that I am worthy and credible enough to support a quality leader and to expand in growth accordingly.

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Unemployed in Austin, Texas

84 months ago

I've had issues lately with being an admin -- I'm good at it, I have a great work history, 2 college degrees, and I've been unemployed for 3+ months b/c my stupid company laid me off (and now realize that they made a mistake!!!). However, no one seems to want to hire me! I either have to make too little money than what I'm worth, or don't have enough "experience" for the jobs that pay what I was getting before. Admin work is tough b/c if you lose your job, it's scary to have to start at the bottom again, and then your last 3 years are a big fat waste of time... bitter, eh? But overall, admin work -- when working at a company with mutual respect (you are respected AND you respect those that you work for/with) -- can be REALLY rewarding! It's nice to be the go-to gal or guy who knows everything in the office :) Good luck to everyone looking for admin jobs right now!!

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Valerie

84 months ago

Bobbie in New York, New York said: Once again, I completely agree with you. I KNOW that I am worthy and credible enough to support a quality leader and to expand in growth accordingly.

Bobbie, success is out there for those who choose to go after it and work hard. We all have to avoid negative environments and negative people.

You absolutely deserve to work for and 'with' great people. I wish you all the best!!!!

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Bobbie in New York, New York

84 months ago

Valerie said: Bobbie, success is out there for those who choose to go after it and work hard. We all have to avoid negative environments and negative people.

You absolutely deserve to work for and 'with' great people. I wish you all the best!!!!

Thank you!

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Cat in Austin, Texas

83 months ago

After working as an Exec Admin for almost 10 years, I find myself "laid off" - the reason, my "position has been eliminated". I was well paid (75k+) and definitely part of the "inner circle" up to the day this happened last week. My serverance package is reasonable and part of me is relieved, but fear and trepidation is setting in. I'm shocked that my boss, who confided in me her own plans and every little personal detail from her credit report, etc. gave me no warning this was going to happen. The staff of Directors I worked with are all upset and shocked and have no idea how to proceed because I was the "glue that kept the office running". A few other Admins at my level were also laid off and nobody asked us what we did, although I know for a fact that nobody in the office remains to pick up the job duties that were so "mission critical" from just the day before. I don't get it.

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Small Town near Big Town in Charlotte, North Carolina

83 months ago

Cat in Austin, Texas said: After working as an Exec Admin for almost 10 years, I find myself "laid off" - the reason, my "position has been eliminated". I was well paid (75k+) and definitely part of the "inner circle" up to the day this happened last week. ... A few other Admins at my level were also laid off and nobody asked us what we did, although I know for a fact that nobody in the office remains to pick up the job duties that were so "mission critical" from just the day before. I don't get it.

I had my job for well over 15 years, top level for 11 - and the bottom line was $$$'s. I was in the middle zone, not in the lower paid positions to keep (I was replaced by two 20 somethings)or upper age position. That is, the "kept" people were >50 and protected. Why? If laid off, could sue for age discrimination. Within 5 yrs, most of these folks (~85%) received early retirement packages. Not fair, yep, but that's business.
Take this time to relax and regroup. Don't be anxious about not finding another job. Take advantage of keying up your skills, solidifying your networking, and getting a resume that gets attention.
I was laid off over 5 yrs ago. Since then I have been "laid off" again 3 times. In the interims, I have tried temp-perm positions to find the wonderful job I had. I am still not discouraged in finding "that permanent job" again. The three layoffs: job funded by grant, grant cancelled - no permanent positions, administrative tasks recentralized to corporate office in 2K miles away, position "realigned" (position level/$ lowered) for the third time.
- RESEARCH the job, the company, and history of position you're pursuing. Get the full picture of ANY job you're going into. As the saying goes, if it sounds to good or the job is being presented too rosy - ask more questions. My last position, the job seemed wonderful, great company-boss and I did not click after 3 wks. Found out last day, the prev persons didn't either.
Good luck.

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Karen in Lake Forest, Illinois

82 months ago

Hello...I have been in the Admin field on and off since 1968. Been there, done that. I've worked for many, many companies and many different types of managers. I don't care if the manager is needy or can take care of himself as long as they show me respect.

Others have mentioned that it takes a certain type of person to be an admin and support others..I agree with that. You must be willing to "give, give, give." And you don't always get much back.

I love supporting people and helping them be successful and happy, so I have always enjoyed being an admin.

As an admin, one of the most important qualities needed is that you be approachable! I have seen way too many divas who would snarl at people who asked for help hoping they would never ask again.

You can make some pretty good bucks being an admin nowadays. You must really be organized and flexible to do well. I wish you well.

Karen

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Maryanne in Hudson, Florida

81 months ago

anonymous in Arlington Heights, Illinois said: Loved being an AA and EA, but moved on because they were dead end jobs. Could not support my family on the pay. Unless you are an Administrative Assistant to a celebrity, the money will not allow you to be self-sufficient.

If you are a compulsive enabler of needy, abusive people, it's a great career. If you can work with such people without being negatively affected, it could be a great starting point. Even appreciative employers who endlessly praise their Administrative Assistants will remind them at raise time they can "only make so much". Praise and recognition doesn't pay bills, but it can help you get a better job eventually.

That said, an Administrative Assistant position can be a next step up and an excellent way to learn about a business from the bottom up, while gaining and maintaining important skill sets. I've worked for a ridiculous number of executives who could not spell, balance a check book or coordinate flight arrangements. Who knows how that can happen, but it does.

The ultimate purpose of an Administrative Assistant is to be the glue that brings a team together. To make a work flow flow, despite personal shortcomings or those of co-workers and management.

What doesn't work needs to be prioritized and possibly fixed. What works as it is without negative impact on anything associated with it, should be left alone. Critical thinking combined with experience should grow an ability to recognize these differences and learn appropriate problem solving.

If an Administrative Assistant is fortunate to be in an intelligently progressive work environment that rewards initiative, integrity and solid work ethics, that would be an excellent opportunity all the way around.

These considerations aside, very few Administrative Assistant positions will allow a person to be self-sufficient and very unlikely to support a family.

SO true, and VERY well stated!

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Zorra in Saint Louis, Missouri

81 months ago

It all depends on finding the right fit. A company and coworkers that suit you make all the difference.

I was lucky enough to start out as the admin for the most profitable group of the company where I work. All of the people within the group are intelligent, very nice and appreciative of the work I do for them.

I definitely feel included in things where I work. In fact, I feel almost like a team leader in some ways. I do the little things that help everyone else feel a sense of community within the group. I arrange the birthday parties and organize little extras like keeping the calendar for Friday breakfasts (everyone takes turns bringing in donuts and bagels on Friday mornings). I'm the one with the candy bowl on my desk and a smile and ready ear when someone needs to vent.

People turn to me when they need help -- they have a last-minute meeting and need a conference room, they're having a conference call in five minutes and can't remember what the number to dial was, there was a symposium they heard about and wanted to attend but don't know the details on how and when to register -- and when I'm able to help them solve these little crises, they're very grateful. It allows them to free up mental power that can be devoted to concentrating on their areas of specialization.

Luckily, where I work, an admin position is only as dead-end as you want it to be. There is another admin here that is content to just do the mail and pass out paychecks, choosing to read the paper and browse the Internet in the down-time and having no further career ambitions. However, for people who choose to dedicate themselves to being the best at what they do and proving their dedication and competence, there are opportunities for advancement. The admin who held my position previously was promoted to another project, and another girl who was the admin for this same group a year or two ago has gone on to be a marketing coordinator for another group.

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Zorra in Saint Louis, Missouri

81 months ago

Also, never sell yourself short. If you feel like you've earned a raise, don't take no for an answer. Just be willing to state your case and back up your opinion with some proof. Try to keep a log of all the responsibilities you handle, and make notes of especially challenging situations you've successfully conquered. You'll be glad when it comes time to have some examples ready (because it always seems that we forget those sorts of things down the road), and if they persist in keeping you down, discreetly start looking for a new position where the work you do will be appreciated AND compensated. And your list of real-life examples of your greatness will then come in handy during interviews with prospective employees.

People can only want you to succeed as much as you want to succeed yourself, so if you don't set high expectations, no one else will expect much of you either.

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SGEA in San Jose, California

81 months ago

You work at a car repair place?

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SGEA in response to... in San Jose, California

81 months ago

Debbi Mununo in Sarasota, Florida

4 months ago

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Working Mom in Huntsville, Alabama

81 months ago

Jennifer MeLano in Bradenton, Florida said: I agree Debbi! I am a receptionist too. And yes, I'm not afraid to admit I do all those things too. I always put my makeup on at my desk. When it's slow, I like to read one of my favorite novels, usually from William Burroughs. My boss doesn't mind me reading my favorite books either as long as I wear VERY low cut dresses! Then he hangs over me saying, "oh, what are we reading today?" I know what he's doing...hey, it's $14 and hour and I am not complaining!

Dear sweet girl,

There are those of us who have worked our a*!@# off for many, many years and actually EARNED the respect of our bosses by actually doing our jobs well and exceeding expectations. In doing so, we have been promoted and are revered as a necessary and RESPECTED part of the team due to our job performance - which does NOT include showing our breasts to an ogling boss. We have achieved our success while being tastefully dressed, professional, and above all else - CLASSY! And before you have time to think it or suggest it - I am a VERY attractive 40-year old Admin who has successfully achieved executive admin-level status by providing valuable contributions to the company. Looks do not have any significance in my commentary. I simply choose to have more self-respect than to EVER think it appropriate for a boss or co-worker to "hover over me to look down my dress."

I continually strive to teach my children that education and hard work will pave the road to success. I sincerely hope that I have set a better example to them that they don't EVER think it appropriate to wear revealing clothing in order to be successful.

Yet - we sometimes wonder why there are such negative connotations associated with admins and why some are revered as "just admins?"

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Mel in Laval, Quebec

80 months ago

anonymous in Arlington Heights, Illinois said: Loved being an AA and EA, but moved on because they were dead end jobs. Could not support my family on the pay. Unless you are an Administrative Assistant to a celebrity, the money will not allow you to be self-sufficient.

If you are a compulsive enabler of needy, abusive people, it's a great career. If you can work with such people without being negatively affected, it could be a great starting point. Even appreciative employers who endlessly praise their Administrative Assistants will remind them at raise time they can "only make so much". Praise and recognition doesn't pay bills, but it can help you get a better job eventually.

That said, an Administrative Assistant position can be a next step up and an excellent way to learn about a business from the bottom up, while gaining and maintaining important skill sets. I've worked for a ridiculous number of executives who could not spell, balance a check book or coordinate flight arrangements. Who knows how that can happen, but it does.

The ultimate purpose of an Administrative Assistant is to be the glue that brings a team together. To make a work flow flow, despite personal shortcomings or those of co-workers and management.

What doesn't work needs to be prioritized and possibly fixed. What works as it is without negative impact on anything associated with it, should be left alone. Critical thinking combined with experience should grow an ability to recognize these differences and learn appropriate problem solving.

If an Administrative Assistant is fortunate to be in an intelligently progressive work environment that rewards initiative, integrity and solid work ethics, that would be an excellent opportunity all the way around.

These considerations aside, very few Administrative Assistant positions will allow a person to be self-sufficient and very unlikely to support a family.

It is a thankless job! Too many people take advantage!

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Babette in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

Wow -- do you think they have enough tasks for this person to do? I'm exhausted just READING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't they hire more than ONE person to do it all? Surely with all those executives, they have the money!!!

Gevo, Inc. is a high energy, team-oriented organization that is pioneering the advanced biofuels industry. We are looking for an Executive Assistant for the Executive Team, which will be based in Denver, CO. The purpose of this position is to administratively support all members of the Executive Team, including the CEO, CSO, Vice President of Business Development, Vice President of Bioprocessing & Engineering, Controller, and Director of Human Resources. At times, this position will be needed to support any Gevo team member. Expanded duties may include corporate communications, project management, and reception duties.

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Suzee in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

I would say key traits would be someone who is more INTROVERTED than extroverted. Administrative work is very TEDIOUS, BORING and DETAIL ORIENTED. If they like to have their nose in front of a computer for most of the day, they're your man!

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Merribelle in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

Angelique in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia said: For those willing to take a moment to answer a few inquiries,

I am soon to enroll in an administrative assistant program and would greatly appreciate feedback and experiences from those who are/have been employed as Administrative Assistants.
WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE AN ADMIN. ASST FOR A CAREER? IS THAT YOUR LONG TERM GOAL?

If there was anything you wish you had known when entering this field, what would it be? IT IS USUALLY DEAD END!!!

Describe your experiences and obstacles as an entry level applicant.

What industry did you end up working in or enjoy the most?

What would you say would be the key traits of the "perfect" Administrative Assistant?
SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T MIND BEING PUSHED AROUND!

What do you find employers look for the most in an Administrative Assistant?\
SOMEONE EASY TO PUSH AROUND THAT DOESN'T SPEAK UP!

Any other input would be most helpful, thank you all for your time and consideration =)

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME AND LIFE DOING ADMINISTRATIVE WORK! IT'S THANKLESS FOR THE MOST PART --

IF YOU TRULY LIKE REPETITIVE TASKS, WORKING FOR LESS THAN YOU'RE WORTH, AND WORKING ON A COMPUTER, THEN IT'S FOR YOU! :)

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Trish in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

Angelique in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia said: For those willing to take a moment to answer a few inquiries,

I am soon to enroll in an administrative assistant program and would greatly appreciate feedback and experiences from those who are/have been employed as Administrative Assistants.
Hands on is the best schooling one can get, Seminars and courses are useless

If there was anything you wish you had known when entering this field, what would it be? How much an Admin is responsible for and how little noticed

Describe your experiences and obstacles as an entry level applicant. You always have to work your way up from the bottom; there is no way around it, Hope for the best; and always be prepared for the worst

What industry did you end up working in or enjoy the most? Property Management / Property Management

What would you say would be the key traits of the "perfect" Administrative Assistant? Always know what they are thinking before they think it. Never allow them to ask for the same thing twice.

What do you find employers look for the most in an Administrative Assistant? Good Organization is the key to a sucessful Admin.

Any other input would be most helpful, thank you all for your time and consideration =)

Never allow yourself to become a personal assistant to anyone; never allow yourself to be called a secretary. Administrative Assistants are so much more

Good Luck !

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