Administrative Assistant

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keepthering in Staten Island, New York

38 months ago

Then why don't you just go do it.

Please try to keep this post polite. There is no need to start with the name calling.

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Frankensense in Warwick, Rhode Island

38 months ago

keepthering in Staten Island, New York said: Then why don't you just go do it.

Please try to keep this post polite. There is no need to start with the name calling.

Who called you a name? I said you had a bad attitude - so far that has shown itself here. I'm just calling it as I see it.

I have been networking - both online and off. I'm also not unemployed, just looking for a different/new job.

I should have realized that this is where people come to whine about their problems instead of actively trying to solve the problems that they find themselves with.

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bree in Portland, Oregon

38 months ago

Marie in Staten Island, New York said: You seem a little brash yourself. Are you always this judgemental???

I'm not sure they were being judgemental, and not commenting on anyone specifically, confidence, and attitude can have a ton to do with it. I'm admin assisting for 3 HR recruiters, filling 80 positions at once, and personality and attitude is huge, huge huge.

My husband has been looking for over a year, and the more depressed he gets, the worse he is at interviews, even job searching. I have to tell him, "If you don't think you're hireable, who else is going to?" Fake it til you make it. It's hard, but keep the spirits and confidence up, even if you don't succeed, you'll feel a little better as time goes on.

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mars in New York, New York

36 months ago

I am really saddened to see the postings and attitudes regarding AAs and EAs. These positions are not necessarily the bottom feeders of a company, and many are valued employees. As you move through the ranks of the administrative world, and make no mistake, there are ranks, your value will increase. Unfortunatley, in order to move to the next level, you normally have to move to a new company. Administrative growth is restricted in many companies because by the time an admin is at the senior or executive level, they are well established and not moving. Many of these positions will pay over 35.00 an hour, and at the executive level, can offer executive packages with stocks, executive perks and bonuses. It is not unheard of for an EA to make six figures, and these are not Fortune 500 companies. As I said, these are valued employees with much experience to offer an executive environment, and it can be a very satisfying career (if you are suited for it). The best advice I have is to become an expert in applications for your field (Microsoft Office Certification, Adobe), take classes in accounting (CFO's are great to work for) and event planning. Polish your appearance, it's the first impression you make. Nails, hair, clothing, shoes. A Sr. Admin and EA represent high level managers and are the first people that customers and visitors meet upon entry to a company. You NEED to look professional and polished. Stay out of office politics and do not get involved in gossip. Trust with confidential information is key with this career.

Look at job postings, see the qualifications they are looking for and make sure you have them before you reply. If you do not, it will be very apparent to your employer immediately. Good luck to all, and again, it can be a very satisfying and rewarding career if you have the stamina for it!

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Destined4More in Houston, Texas

36 months ago

PayScale.com puts the national average for an executive assistant between $30,098 - $66,383 including bonuses. Where are you getting your information that "many jobs pay $35 an hour" which would equal $72,800 a year. Why do you think they created secretary/admin appreciation day?? If we were valued and loved so much we wouldn't need a special day.

If you are happy with your job than I'm happy for you but there are more unhappy administrative professionals than happy ones. I make above the national average and I have a "stable" position but if the copier breaks, someone needs coffee, or if anyone can't figure out why their computer went blank, I'm the one they call. Some people have a serving personality and like to feel needed. Crap like this just gets on my last nerve. Also, I am educated with a Finance degree so just because I'm an executive assistant what makes my job description include stocking the kitchen supplies over anyone else? We have the only job that you cannot say, “that’s not my job”. If anyone needs help with ANYTHING, you are expected to help. No matter if you have a PhD and make six figures. You better go get that coffee. 

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Marie in Staten Island, New York

36 months ago

Your description of the Executive Assistant sounds exactly like the same job I had for over 25 years. Only my position was called, "The Office Manager".

I didn't have a degree like you, so I had to roll with the punches. I can imagine how disappointing it can be to have studied for so many years, and then have to clean the coffee machine. My heart goes out to you. I am sure when you took the job, these duties were never described to you. At least in my case, it was part of the Office Manager duties. Don't you hate it when the copier toner gets all over the nice suits you are expected to wear?

I previously worked with a woman who had a Master's degree in Business. The boss gave her tons of filing to do. She was so mad, she wanted to quit. I told her not to quit, and if they want to pay you the big bucks to file, then just file.

On the plus side, if you have a steady job in this economy, it's best to stay put.

Good luck to all.

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crazy EA in Methuen, Massachusetts

36 months ago

I don't mind doing any and all of the above that's required in an office. Making coffee, changing the toner cartridge, etc. doesn't bother me. Hell, I'll mop the floors if they asked me. The only thing that bugs me working as an administrative assistant, is when I do all the work creating something and the boss takes all the recognition. Maybe soneday when I create a report, I'll add a little "f*** you" within the composition and the boss will either turn it in or get up in front of the masses to say his speech, without proofreading it first....

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crazy EA in Methuen, Massachusetts

36 months ago

*someday* Looks like I didn't proofread my own copy!!! Har-har.

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Destined4More in Houston, Texas

36 months ago

Thank you Marie for your understanding and you are dead right that they never hire executive assistants and honestly tell the little crap they have to do. We are told that we are the right hand man/woman to the CEOs, Managing Directors, VPs.

But the rest of the office feels you are their assistants as well. One guy years ago had my name and office number on his business card as his assistant. He wanted to look like a big dog to his clients. I didn't even support him.

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jackie in Saint Petersburg, Florida

36 months ago

hey can anyone tell me what is best thing for me to do to get a good aa job? i have a ba is there anything degree i could get to help me get a job? i know how valuable aa are and there is always a job! but i need more training.

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Babysoftpink in San Francisco, California

36 months ago

I can identify with this. But the trick I used when I cannot take those other office manager is I said to the manager asking "I would love to assist you in every way possible to help your business but I am doing something urgent for the CEO, if you could speak to so so... [CEO's name] now [starting dialing and pretend to hand him the phone] I would immediately drop all of his work and come to assist you." Do this a few times, no one comes to bother you. That's my trick and I do it when I am extremely busy. Other times, I try to be nice but they all learn to back off.

Destined4More in Houston, Texas said: Thank you Marie for your understanding and you are dead right that they never hire executive assistants and honestly tell the little crap they have to do. We are told that we are the right hand man/woman to the CEOs, Managing Directors, VPs.

But the rest of the office feels you are their assistants as well. One guy years ago had my name and office number on his business card as his assistant. He wanted to look like a big dog to his clients. I didn't even support him.

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Ambitious and Tired in Frisco, Texas

35 months ago

lost in Phoenix, Arizona said: Are you kidding me? Who wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a college education just to be an admin? I have years of debt to pay off and I'll never make enough money being an admin to stop renting an apartment and pay off all my debt. It's not easy to move up in the job either. All the admins at my company are women and there are tons of them. All the men my age that just graduated college are managers. I am halfway through my master's degree and all I get is an admin job? I decided to drop out of grad school becuase I can't waste money on something that won't be appreciated. I was a project manager before this job and I left becuase everyone was getting laid off and I took the first thing I could to get the hell out of there before a lawsuit happened. I should have never sold myself short becuase I can't stand busy work and making copies. Nobody wants to be a servant and my ego has suffered severely. No matter what I said in the interview and how well I display my knowledge, everyone still treats me like a child who has no experience. I could run circles around them if I just got a promotion. I'd almost rather not work at all than have this job. As bad as my previous company was, I almost wish I didn't leave because at least I had prestige and the ability to do real work. I feel that if I wasn't a woman I would have been making at least twice as much money as I am now. Everyday I come into work and see a parking lot full of BMWs and Range Rovers, I being to despise the doors I walk through. Even when I try to go to networking events, guys just hit on me and try to buy me drinks. Women aren't taken seriously and I can't stand it. I don't want to waste my life. I've paid my dues (literally and figuratively) and I'm tired of still doing it. How the hell do you get a promotion? That's what I want to know. Before the interview, I was told the woman in my position got a promotion after being here one year. It turns out tha

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Ambitious and Tired in Frisco, Texas

35 months ago

I know how you feel. Believe me, I am grateful, extremely grateful to be employed! However, when you have studied and earned a bachelor's degree or any degree, and still pay student loans, it makes you wonder, where did you go wrong? Why are you not making more money? I know I should be making at least $10,000 more a year than I do because I have a degree. It's ashame to have a bachelor's degree and make less than a school teacher. Everytime hear about how awful salaries are for teachers, knowing I make less. That was the whole point of going to college. Why do you have a degree and work as an admin, but know people who do not and are in management? It does affect your self-esteem and your personal life. Especially when your exhusband trades you in for a newer model with a bachelor's degree, but was fortunate enough to have a management position. So, he is living in a new house, while you live in an apartment with his two children. I struggle with wanting a better life for my two children. I have a degree, and know I should be making more money, and on top of me suffering for it, now my kids must suffer. It's a horrible feeling knowing you purposely did what you thought was right to achieve the Amerian dream. Graduating high school without becoming a statistic and getting pregnant. Then, going to college and graduating. Then getting married, purchasing your first home, etc.... And, 17 years later, this is all you have to show for it. I don't know anyone who graduates college, to become an admin. If that is what you like, fine. But, when you have attended college and have a degree, believe me, it's a totally different experience. But, please understand, I am very grateful to be employed in today's economy. And, I pray, I will be able to achieve my dream.

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jackie in Saint Petersburg, Florida

35 months ago

wow both of your stories are very sad. we are told all our lives we need to go to college. the job market suck cause the employers are getting away with offering the lowest pay for jobs they want you to have a ba for! i am going into default on my loan soon if i dont get a job! and some of the jobs i am applying for look at your credit so... it is a cycle of bs! that is why unions started in this country and that why they should never go away!

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jackie in Saint Petersburg, Florida

35 months ago

bree in Portland, Oregon said: I'm not sure they were being judgemental, and not commenting on anyone specifically, confidence, and attitude can have a ton to do with it. I'm admin assisting for 3 HR recruiters, filling 80 positions at once, and personality and attitude is huge, huge huge.

My husband has been looking for over a year, and the more depressed he gets, the worse he is at interviews, even job searching. I have to tell him, "If you don't think you're hireable, who else is going to?" Fake it til you make it. It's hard, but keep the spirits and confidence up, even if you don't succeed, you'll feel a little better as time goes on.

He should lie and say he is self employed. apparently they are not hiring people who have been out of work that long!

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Ambitious and Tired in Frisco, Texas

35 months ago

Sarah in Abilene, Texas said: Nice comment, Patricia. I like how you worded it all. Truly, I guess I have been doing Admin for 11 years now since it does fit me. I interviewed for an Admin role today, and felt super that I was one of five chosen out of 67 applicants. Though I may have goals related to 'using my journalism degree', perhaps those goals will be accomplished in my off-work time, such as freelance writing.

Probably many of the comments that scared Mike where folks wanting to see their specific field of education fit into a professional role that specifically required that educational expertise (or experience). But another gal had commented well on it too, saying something along the lines if one found themselves not liking their role (and this goes for any job role), then they probably aren't a great fit for it and should move on to another opportunity...take a different path.

I applaud Mike for being pro-active and taking a new path. His blue-collar work will certainly have transferrable skills that he can 'beef up' on his resume... working with team members, communicating, documenting the work done/written records for filing or tracking, etc.

Perhaps if one is not embracing their role as an AA, they need to figure out what it is they want while doing the role (i.e., some might do Admin in a college setting, while working on a degree program part-time).

Thanks Sarah. I have been contemplating becoming a freelance fashion stylist which is my true talent. I've worked in stores for years, but knew I did not want to work in a store my entire working career. Fear has been hindering me trying to figure out how to balance it all. I am as single parent of two. I wanted to have 1 job that I enjoy. That is why I earned a degree. But, I feel to relieve my frustration, I need to have two to release all of this creative energy I have. But, I must be able to work around my schedule and find a way to balance it all.

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Marie in Staten Island, New York

35 months ago

Ambitious and Tired in Frisco, Texas said:

The end of your post got cut off. I was interested in knowing how the other Admin got the promotion after one year. I can only guess or imagine based on the company culture you have portrayed.

I'm sorry for your frustration at work. Maybe you can look for another position, while you still have your current one. As reported by another poster to this website, it's very difficult to get a new job if you are not employed.

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ltoscano in New Westminster, British Columbia

34 months ago

I am 25 years old and have worked as a LAA for 4 years, enough time to realize that this work is not for me. While working for my last employer I found out that one of the assistants had only finished High School and was given a better position than I was offered, eventhough I have an Associates Degree in Criminology and a Legal Administrative Assistant Certificate. There is also the fact that you will always work under someone else and will never make the decisions yourself. I was laid off 6 months ago and I am considering going back to school. I was thinking of getting my BA in Crim. but I fear that it will get me back to where I started and get me nowhere. Now I don't know what to do, I am confused and need help. Does anyone have any thoughts??

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JD in La Crescenta, California

34 months ago

The role of an Administrative Assistant is really vague nowadays. People talk about that job as if it's all the same. Some jobs in this field can be as low as minimum wage or around $10/hr and other jobs could be high paying (ie some high paying law firm, bank, or private company). Also, there are jobs where all you literally do is the same thing everyday with little thought, while there are Admin jobs that lets you grow and learn more about the company/organization, eventually leading to a promotion. For example, in a school district, one can go from clerk>typist>secretary>executive assistant>manager>director.

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Trice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

32 months ago

I am so glad to come across this page as like many others here I am trying to get out of the AA field. I have been doing this type of work for 12 years now and am really frustrated with it. In my previous position I was all over the place from having my bosses car detailed to running to putting together executive presentations. At first I didnt mind it but it became frustrating when there was a lack of appreciation. I decided to get my bachelors so that I can become a supervisor/manager, but it seems that because I am good at what I do that transferring to a higher position in house is a problem. I know that I am outta this role once I graduate and I do not care if it is to become a marketing assistant or what have you....I just need out of here so that I can grow to that executive level and have my own assistant.

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crazy EA in Methuen, Massachusetts

32 months ago

To ambitious. My daughter is interested in the same thing, she lives in Killeen...you two should go into business together!!!

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Anne O NyMous in Somewhere in, California

27 months ago

Verina in Brooklyn, New York said: Why every one is calling themselves Administrative Assistant ,
from a HS degree to a Masters degree in Administration . We don't have secretaries any more.
Why go to college to be an AA, when you can have a HS diploma only and the range of salaries are 23000 to 60000 and more per yr.
If you are over 50 years of age, it is very hard to get an AA position if even you have a BA degree, WHAT IS GOING-ON.

Because we don't type, take dictation or shorthand? That is what I think of when I think secretary - those girls with the type writers outside the Mad Men execs offices. I don't understand what they do/did.

I was more like a technical office manager at my last real job. I had to speak internet, do low level testing, understand the differences between computers (read the specs), manage a budget, make sure freelancers weren't cheating us. I was in charge of purchasing. I wrote first and last drafts of reports for my boss that went to his boss. I designed (not just put together) PowerPoint decks.

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Anne O NyMous in Somewhere in, California

27 months ago

Trice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: I am so glad to come across this page as like many others here I am trying to get out of the AA field. I have been doing this type of work for 12 years now and am really frustrated with it. In my previous position I was all over the place from having my bosses car detailed to running to putting together executive presentations. At first I didnt mind it but it became frustrating when there was a lack of appreciation. I decided to get my bachelors so that I can become a supervisor/manager, but it seems that because I am good at what I do that transferring to a higher position in house is a problem. I know that I am outta this role once I graduate and I do not care if it is to become a marketing assistant or what have you....I just need out of here so that I can grow to that executive level and have my own assistant.

Let us know how it goes. I have a Bachelors in Poli Sci and Communication but Advertising pays less than EA and is much more stressful. I did learn web development at a JC - 5 short classes but I am not a programmer. I'm going for my paralegal certificate so I can at least be paid what I think we are all really worth. Then maybe an MBA. Good luck! I've only done this 6 years, since 2006. I meant to make the jump to web designer in 2008 and was interviewing within my company but we know what happened then. Hiring freeze. Now they only see EA.

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Tori81 in New Orleans, Louisiana

11 months ago

I have a good one for you I was seen at Goldman Sacs.....met with HR it went well. Was called back for a second interview and I was seen by an associate the interview went very well....got a call from my head hunter and the assoicate that I met with flat out lied about what I said to her. I told her I would love to work for this firm because I love learning new things and being in the financial industry it would be interesting learning the investment side of banking. OMG then was told I asked about how much time do you get for lunch and she brought that up to the HR person as well.....I couldn't believe it. She also meantioned that I live far and it might be a problem for her. When in fact she lives in the same county I do. I was just so taken back by that but you know what they say what goes around comes around.

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Gracie257 in Toms River, New Jersey

11 months ago

Sounds like you were great for the job - perhaps not so great for the interviewer - you were a threat to her job! take it as a compliment. Also, as someone who would interview prospective employees - I was very cordial, smiley, as nice as I could be to people even when I knew I would never hire them. they could never 'read' me. so when it was my turn at being interviewed and walking away super confident that I nailed it but never got the job - it made me reflect on how I was when I sat in that chair. Dazed and Confused! Good Luck. BTW - the office manager/bookkeeper is now a p/t accts payable clerk!!!!

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rose in Fairfax, Virginia

7 months ago

i need an internship please

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