Best Admin Asst Advice

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Jacqui Conforti in Salem, Massachusetts

15 months ago

5 - Set goals for yourself (some companies require this) that are aligned with your manager. If it's required that you create official goals for the year, go to your manager and ask that they let you see theirs, so you can align yourself with them.

6 - Really impress by being proactive and thoughtful. If they travel and are runners you can locate hotels in their travel area that have a gym, or a park nearby with a great running trail. If they are big beer fans you can locate local micro-brew pubs for them. Instead of agreeing to every meeting ask for agendas from the meeting creator, politely. Make sure the agenda is important to your boss and if you don't know, ask. Check in with external meeting participants a day or two before their meeting to ensure they are still coming, that they know how to get there, inform them of parking issues, give directions. Some people never accept or decline meetings, so check with them, every time...sometimes that helps force them to accept/decline.

7 - Keep abreast of their hobbies or areas of interest. There is nothing like chatting up the boss about their favorite team/band or talking in depth about the latest news story about another company's advances or failures in what they are doing

I find that it really is more helpful to be not only proactive in your job search but make sure you don't take a job that is with someone you don't think will mesh well with you. That fit of personalities is just as important as salary and benefits, because otherwise you will be miserable. Also, make sure your expectations mesh...make sure they are okay with how you plan to work and get to know what they need...if they want you to do a lot of personal things and you aren't comfortable with going grocery shopping for them then it's best to know now.

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Ericka in Austin, Texas

14 months ago

Hi Elizabeth,
I read you response to the thread and felt like I am in a very similar place in the wanting/needing to travel. I am 23 years old and I just graduated with my bachelors last June. I know that I want to be happy, make a living (anything 40k or above would be nice to start) and the freedom to travel a couple months out of the year. Im thinking of going back to school and getting a masters in something related to sustainable design. I never have reached out to someone like this before, but you seemed like a great person to talk to, and I would be so grateful for some advice. Before going into getting my masters I want to make sure that I would love a career in it, but I don't know how to do that without having tons of experience(being fresh out of college. I feel like I have a strong resume, but again the guidance is what is lacking. I feel that NOTHING in college prepared me for the doom and gloom that I have been feeling over trying to figure out what my career path should be. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear back from you!!! feel free to email me back @ erickaking06@gmail.com

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Regretful in Springdale, Arkansas

11 months ago

So I've been in the role of EA for about 1.5 years, and like many of the other posters, I did not realize going into this that once you take an admin role, it is like trying to pull yourself out of quicksand to get out. I have had a 10 year banking career, and I moved to the EA role in the IT area of the bank I was working for out of the role of Commercial Loan Assistant. Now I am trying to post out, and it is nearly impossible, even with my range of banking experience.

First, the good parts:
When I first started, my boss was wonderful. Gave me interesting projects to work on, sent me to Las Vegas to an Admin Conference, made me feel like part of the inner circle. I'm salaried, so I can pretty much come and go when I please, unless I have a meeting, which is a great perk. I also got lots of free meals since I take notes at many of the executive meetings. I felt like it was very interesting to learn how the higher level functions.

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Regretful in Springdale, Arkansas

11 months ago

Now for the bad parts:
Last Fall, we hired a new CIO, who is a very nice man, but has different ideas of the admin role than my boss did/does. Now that I help him out, I am primarily a babysitter, appointment scheduler, food orderer. I hardly see my boss anymore, and when I do, I don't get any "good" assignments anymore. I am no longer a part of the inner circle, and feel like "the help" most of the time. One of the other comments on here referenced not being admin to a group. Well, that is absolutely correct. I am admin for pretty much the whole building, and some treat me with great disdain and I do think many think that anyone in the admin role is beneath them and must be stupid if they are doing it.

I'm tired of trying to put agendas together and setting a deadline for document submission that is ignored. I'm tired of being asked to order lunches at the last minute for people who fail to plan and don't care that they are inconveniencing someone else. I'm tired of taking notes and then having someone say that they didn't say whatever it was they said, or that they did say something that isn't in the notes. I'm tired of dealing with executives that can't spell correctly, or be bothered to answer a simple email. I'm tired of being asked to go get hamburgers at a food truck in the cold drizzly rain for a group of people that are too important to do that. Most of all, I'm tired of the undercurrent of "you aren't as good as the rest of us" that comes not from the top executives, but from the other mid-level people in the organization. It is very demoralizing, and I feel defeated.

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Regretful in Springdale, Arkansas

11 months ago

Anyone planning to take a "temporary" job as an admin, there should be a pop up that says, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here," because like the others have said, it is nearly impossible to get out. I've interviewed for 4-5 positions in the company in the last couple of months, and have not even gotten a call for an interview from outside companies. Once you take this role, you are marked. I did a phone interview for an internal HR position yesterday. I had already posted for it but the starting pay is lower so I withdrew. They posted it again, and now I’m willing to take a large pay cut just to get out of this role. That’s how bad it is. And the longer you stay in the role, the harder it is to get out. I wish I had read up on this role before I got into it.

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shingami in Chicago, Illinois

11 months ago

sg351 in Conyers, Georgia said: My official title is " Executive Assistant " but in reality, I'm a babysitter , problem solver, mommy, punching bag, janitor , data entry clerk , and so, so much more.

There is no real career path as an admin or executive assistant. No one can see you as anything else...It is a very slippery slope, and like I said, it is nearly impossible to get out.

My advice to anyone considering this type of position: unless you love doing menial, brainless, idiotic tasks and have to clean up for and baby-sit adults, stay away... you will be branded with "admin" for the rest of your career life, and unfortunately, you will never be seen as anything else.

This is 100% true. Those who said it depends on the company and the people are absolutely correct. Unless it is some huge corporation it can be very hard to position yourself as the boss' "right hand man" In my last job people liked working for shareholders because they felt it was safer. Not no. It depends on the person. No matter how good you are, and despite it being the shareholder, CEO, President, whoever if they are the type to see you as just their EA Clerk, then you will be seen as nothing else no matter what.

I've seen job titles of "executive assistant" but they want you to clean out the fridge, relieve reception, pass out the mail. I've seen so called professional pretty much run in circles because the copier was out of paper. Oh, only I can open a drawer and put some paper in and close it again.

It is a thankless job unless you are lucky enough to land in some great large company where you can move around in positions and not always have to stay an admin or receptionist. Otherwise it's a dead end street.

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Sheri Eland in Hampton, Virginia

11 months ago

Elizabeth in San Lorenzo, California said: 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.

If you are making over $45,000 a year as an Admin Asst, you should consider yourself lucky!!!! I've been an admin for over 15 years and I barely make $34,000. I have to share a house with my son and his girlfriend just to be able to buy groceries. So stop complaining about your $45,000!!!

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Regretful in Springdale, Arkansas

11 months ago

Regretful in Springdale, Arkansas said: Anyone planning to take a "temporary" job as an admin , there should be a pop up that says, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here," because like the others have said, it is nearly impossible to get out. I've interviewed for 4-5 positions in the company in the last couple of months, and have not even gotten a call for an interview from outside companies. Once you take this role, you are marked. I did a phone interview for an internal HR position yesterday. I had already posted for it but the starting pay is lower so I withdrew. They posted it again, and now I’m willing to take a large pay cut just to get out of this role. That’s how bad it is. And the longer you stay in the role, the harder it is to get out. I wish I had read up on this role before I got into it.

Reporting back:

I did it! I got the HR job and the pay cut isn't as bad as I had thought. I am so very glad to have a new job title. Don't give up!

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Sara in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

8 months ago

My best advice is to become a member and get training through an association like TNAOAP or IAAP. Plenty of information online about both organizations and both offer training and development courses. Personally, I went with TNAOAP due to the lower costs and less demanding timeline. Having a membership to list on a resume always helps when looking for work.

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oldschoolmelody@*****.*** in Sacramento, California

8 months ago

Hello, I've been a Admin 15 yrs. I've worked for companies that were so bad, so brainwashing that I hated every second but on the flip side the last company I worked for was amazing, even when it was horrible and I wanted to scream I could still say I honestly loved my job. Now of course it changed as time went on, got more corporate, more rules less perks, mistakes added to hr file when accomplishments were ignored. it was a tile company we did foreclosures so busy busy, great pay 18.00hr or 35,000yr, so much overtime I made over 50,000yr. Sadly, just as it was mentioned in this thread I was fired due to a mistake my direct supervisor made. Over 2yrs now and I feel lost, I'm seeking employment again but what now? I don't have much education and honestly don't want to go to school. Don't want to end up going through the same thing again, oh also I have a problem with quitting jobs, I just can't seem to do it even when I hate every second, the fear of the next one sucking more makes me stay. Should I ditch the admin field and try to find a job as a waitress or something?? I'm bubbly, super nice, love to cater to needs, oh and I have big boobs figured that could help with the tips as well lol. Am terrified, I don't even want to know what minimum wage. Thanks if you took the time to read my rant, any suggestions would be so super awesome. Have a BEAutiful day.

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oldschoolmelody@*****.*** in Sacramento, California

8 months ago

Hello again, was hoping for some advice. What type of industry should I go for, as an admin asst? I would like to work in an industry that creates a lot of revenue, that alone should make my pay higher. The more in demand they are, the more you can demand to be paid. I'd like to find an industry that isn't super ups and downs, such as real estate. Even though my last job was in foreclosures and we got paid great. Thanks for you time.

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uberlurker1 in Everywhere

7 months ago

Sara in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania said: My best advice is to become a member and get training through an association like TNAOAP or IAAP. Plenty of information online about both organizations and both offer training and development courses. Personally, I went with TNAOAP due to the lower costs and less demanding timeline. Having a membership to list on a resume always helps when looking for work.

**TNAOAP (and tnaoap.org / tnaoap.com) is a scam.** They are not a legitimate credentialing organization, and all of the comments from "members" throughout the internet are planted by the company, and they don't go back any further than three months ago. Neither does their website, Facebook page, or Twitter page. For a company that claims to have been around since 1993, 2015 is pretty late to be gaining a web presence. When you eliminate hits from their own website, there are only about 1000 hits from google, and many of them are web analytics pages.

There are also (at least) three reddit users I've found so far that are very obviously posting the same sort of comments within reddit, and not-so-coincidentally, all three user accounts are less than a month old and the names are similar to the user names for the internet commenters that discuss this organization.

TNAOAP is not a US registered business or nonprofit despite being located in Pennsylvania. Please do not pay money to this BS "organization." I have personally seen their materials and taken their tests, and it is consistent with the shadiness I've discussed above.

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Feret in Lawrence, Kansas

7 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!

Not cool. It doesn't work that way.

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Melinda in Sunnyvale, California

5 months ago

Hello Trish, My experience as an administrative assistant in the Tech, Construction, Finance and Insurance industries continues to evolve. I'm always learning something new, expanding my skill set. I began as a receptionist, and now an office manager. In my opinion the "perfect" Administrative Assistant is one that is eager to take on new assignments, finding ways to add value to their organization. Education is never-ending, and pays off, and yes hands-on is the best experience, however certifications and degrees, and increasing your technical skills will set you apart from other administrative assistants.

Donna in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina said: 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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Melinda in Sunnyvale, California

5 months ago

My experience as an adminstrative assistant began as a receptionist, today, 7 years later and an Associates Degree in Communications,(working towards a Bachelor's in Public Relations) I'm working as an administrative assistant in Marketing. I'm continually evolving, expanding skill sets. That is what will set you apart from other administrative assistants and that is how you will add value to your employer.

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Georgia in Escondido, California

5 months ago

Hi there

My name is Georgia Kershaw, Founder & Creator of the Office to Girlboss Community. I am looking for Personal Assistants, EA's, Admin & Office women to interview, please get in touch asap. As an ex-personal assistant and office support person, my blog is dedicated to you.

Georgia

info@georgiakershaw.com
www.georgiakershaw.com
www.facebook.com/georgiahkershaw

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