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Sharon in Seattle, Washington

72 months ago

soeung sokrith in Cambodia said: I want to get a lot of documents therefore complete my job as administrative assistant

I don't know what you mean....you want to get a lot of documents ????

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Denise in Portland, Oregon

72 months ago

The problem with admin work is that the pay and respect do not represent the work. As I look at job listings, the lists of duties and responsibilities are longer and longer and the pay remains the same - over the past 10 or so years! As soon as women take up a profession, the pay stagnates. I would like to see some of the male execs multi-task on the same level they have come to expect form their support staff. These jobs should be respected and paid accordingly instead of making us all run around trying to get the stench of "administrative assistant" out of our resumes. I'd like to see a national Admin union. Let's see companies run without admins.

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

71 months ago

Wanda in Orchard Park, New York said: Just be yourself - take chances and explore risks. Everyone needs to standout and be above and beyond others. For example, I am also an admin. asst. for many years and found myself in a rutt also. To institute a change, I decided I would take my own steps by developing/creating something the company would find useful. I prepared and researched in my downtime or at home. I made sure I had backup for any and all questions I thought might be brought up before I presented. Having everything in hand, presenting, answering questions about a topic the firm didn't even realize I would have a clue about, I stood out. I got their attention through visuals (ie: charts, graphs), and I stood before them positive and astute. Everything changes when YOU make the change. Did you ever think it was YOU that was holding back? Go and Discover! I wish you the best!

******
I agree with these comments -- that one has to stand out positively -- BUT -- one also has to be careful not to do "too much" where it isn't appreciated or even seen as "threatening" "rocking the boat too much." I did that once and I was called in the President's office who asked me if I wanted to take over someone's job. I was speechless -- shocked-- but you have to be careful how your "helpfulness" is being perceived. Once I explained my point, that I was trying to "help" it was understood. I still don't think my "helpfulness" was ever appreciated though at that particular company.

The more confident and secure upper management, the better it will generally be perceived. The more insecure upper management is, the more negative "improvements" may be seen. Sounds crazy but true.

Larger, more bureaucratic organizations are not used to change and don't easily adapt like smaller companies.

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

71 months ago

Denise in Portland, Oregon said: The problem with admin work is that the pay and respect do not represent the work. As I look at job listings, the lists of duties and responsibilities are longer and longer and the pay remains the same - over the past 10 or so years! As soon as women take up a profession, the pay stagnates. I would like to see some of the male execs multi-task on the same level they have come to expect form their support staff. These jobs should be respected and paid accordingly instead of making us all run around trying to get the stench of "administrative assistant" out of our resumes. I'd like to see a national Admin union. Let's see companies run without admins.

***********

Denise, you're right. I mentioned it before but I earned $9 - $10 in 1986! That was over 20 years ago and they are still paying that NOW for many temp assignments. Unions have gotten a bad name and the tide is to not get involved. Unfortunately, they are absolutely needed in some companies that will take full advantage of employees, mainly salaried, because they can.

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Sharon in Seattle, Washington

71 months ago

You make very good points. I have noticed, as I am job-hunting, that the list has grown extensively....or they just are being more honest about what you really will be doing! An Admin. Union...hmmm.. food for thought.

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Portia in Lanham, Maryland

71 months ago

Hello,

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I work in the federal government in DC and it is very very difficult to break out of the administrative fields. They put you in a box and keep you there. Although,I certifications in various areas they still just see me as a Secretary. I feel your pain.

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

Thanks,
L

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Patty in Forest Hills, New York

71 months ago

jessica61480 in pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: You sound like you are a single man who has been rejected by women one time too many.

Please stop replying to George. He sounds like a lonely man who only gets to talk to women through this site. He's obviously just trying to get under everyone's nerves.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

71 months ago

George in Narre Warren, Australia said: A lot of the stigma comes from the fact it is a female only job. Make it gender neutral and a lot of it would probably go away. All female only jobs attract a stigma that is associated with femininity, just as masculine jobs do.

Affirmative action would help in this situation. Forcing companies to hire Male administrators for various role and perhaps recruiting young men from College campuses for such roles and advertising requirements that this is a gender neutral position.

A lot of the stigma would probably go away.

Actually George it is not a "female only" job. It actually started out being a job held by men, but when women started taking jobs this one became popular and men were slowly edged out. I think that men are slowly starting to fill this position again, as I have met a few male admin. assistants. Maybe you're just living in your own little world, eh? There is no more discrimination in this role then there is in any other. What about women who want higher roles in the construction business? I've worked in that field and I can assure you that it is still very much a "boys club".

George, I honestly think you need to pull your head out of your butt here and get a grip. You're likely not getting jobs because of your attitude and your tendency to find a scape goat to blame for your troubles instead of accepting it as your own fault. You're not getting pushed out of consideration for admin. jobs because of women George.

Go back to school. Learn something. Polish up your resume. Read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and try to work on your bias towards women. It's off putting and probably comes through during interviews.

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officequeen in Orland, Florida

71 months ago

Hi Lore in Orlando, thanks again for another e-mail. I'm thinking maybe it's my age, I'm 56 years old, but I have alot of experience in my field. I just have to keep trying. Have a wonderful day! If you know of any jobs out there, would appreciate if you send them my way.

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officequeen in Orland, Florida

71 months ago

I've read most of these comments, I understand the fustration, the anger and the hopelessness, but we need to look at things in a optimistic way. No matter how dark things look, there is always hope. Don't give up, let's just keep helping each other and upbuilding each other. We need encouragement right now. Try praying it does helps, the almighty God does give strength in our darkest hour. We will all find jobs soon, don't give up. All of you have a wonderful day! Keep the faith and keep your chin up!

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Anonymous in Buffalo, New York

70 months ago

Wanda in Orchard Park, New York said: Just be yourself - take chances and explore risks. Everyone needs to standout and be above and beyond others. For example, I am also an admin. asst. for many years and found myself in a rutt also. To institute a change, I decided I would take my own steps by developing/creating something the company would find useful. I prepared and researched in my downtime or at home. I made sure I had backup for any and all questions I thought might be brought up before I presented. Having everything in hand, presenting, answering questions about a topic the firm didn't even realize I would have a clue about, I stood out. I got their attention through visuals (ie: charts, graphs), and I stood before them positive and astute. Everything changes when YOU make the change. Did you ever think it was YOU that was holding back? Go and Discover! I wish you the best!

Your right, not matter how bad a situation is it is only you and your drive that will dig you out. If you are in a situation that you feel the need to complain about only you put yourself there. Blaming the economy, the company, your boss only prolongs your misery. You teach people how to treat you, you get out of life what you put in. When YOU decide you control your destiny by looking outside of the box, like Wanda did, you will find you will have less to complain about.

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Anne in Littleton, Colorado

70 months ago

Anonymous in Buffalo, New York said: Your right, not matter how bad a situation is it is only you and your drive that will dig you out. If you are in a situation that you feel the need to complain about only you put yourself there. Blaming the economy, the company, your boss only prolongs your misery. You teach people how to treat you, you get out of life what you put in. When YOU decide you control your destiny by looking outside of the box, like Wanda did, you will find you will have less to complain about.

I agree 100%. There is other work for women to do -- sales, for example. Retail.... the most important thing is to figure out what kind of work makes you happiest and what kinds of people you enjoy being around -- for example, do you like working with more creative types or strictly by the book types? I really think people succeed best when they are doing what they love -- or at least like (not hate!)

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classy08 in Sheridan, Arkansas

70 months ago

classy08 in Sheridan, Arkansas

4 days ago
December 2008 . I was an employee of Dillard's for ten months. This has got to be the worst place i have ever worked in my life. With all that is going on right now, you'd think Dillard's would had give us a break on the Credit Applications.
No way... They are in such financial troubles that it makes the whole store be in little knots. Dillard's in North Little Rock, Arkansas is discussing . They treat the employees like crap and require at least 3 credit applications a week... If you do not get this credit applications, then they make you come to a little credit application class on a Saturday morning at 7:30 by putting it into your schedule. If you got 5 in one month, so be it, you gotta get at least 3 the next month or to the class you go, even if you have the day off, you'd better show up for this stupid meeting. They don't want you to get your quotas that are required so that set your quotas up so high that it's impossible to get it done, especially when they have all of you working at one time. It's like a bunch of animals going for after one bone.. Then there's a issue of the team playing, they expect you to team play with all your coworkers here going after this one sale. It's set up to cause problem after problem with your coworkers, especially when you put a bunch of women at one counter. Then you have your boss who has to have sales too. She's unable to get her on sales so she takes yours and credits them to herself,then to win the ", Most Sold in the store yesterday". Hello... I see a big problem here... You go to the store Manager and complain... "We'll take care of it is all you get!" So actually, not a damn thing is done! You have a quota to meet, if your sales Drop they lower your pay... and yet this person is allow to steal your seals right under your nose. How, you ask??? The boss just buts in and takes over the sale and your left there standing!Store manager won't do anything. So you call Corpo

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LRS in Illinois

70 months ago

It really sounds like time for you to start making some money from home 'part-time' so you can leave! Don't let someone like that determine your value - www.resetnow.com

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EA in Seattle, Washington

70 months ago

George in Narre Warren, Australia said: What respect do they deserve ? they make coffee and write letters ? how does that entitle you to anything ? Some of you just think you are better than other people for no reason and it frustrates you to be treated like a normal person.

Lots of people use AA as a spring board into something better and it is an option that only women have. The stigma, is not against women, but against people who are not showing the initiative to be promoted to a skilled job.

George,

You have a significant misperception of the role of an administrative assistant. Of course it depends on the company, department, etc., but many AA positions are very demanding positions and staff whom managers rely heavily upon for many things. I was an AA for 11 years, and I never once made coffee. Not that it would have bothered me to do so, but I don't drink coffee, so I wasn't ever the one in the breakroom making it in the mornings. I took my position seriously and I knew I was contributing to the success of the department, my managers, and ultimately the organization.

Today I working as an Executive Assistant to a high profile A-list executive in Seattle. I earn over $80k in salary, closer to six figures in my total compensation package. I earn this salary because I am a professional with years of expertise in my chosen field of work. The company I work for values that expertise and they pay well for it. I feel respected and appreciated. I work as hard as it takes to get the job done, and don't mind doing so. Afterall, I'm earning a handsome paycheck for it. My point in sharing this is to those who look down on AA's. It can be a great path to a lucrative career.

My next question to you, George, might be...How much do you earn? What surrounds you each day? Is it a high-rise penthouse office and some of the brightest minds in corporate America? If not, how can you snub the AA's on here? That's where they're headed. How about you?

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George in Melbourne, Australia

70 months ago

My initial comments were in regards to the sexist complaints of what is a sexist profession. That is one where men are largely excluded.

I am sure if any of you were to get a TECHNICAL degree. You would move up much faster than a graduate without your experience.

The above poster. That you for proving my point. AA is a good job and you should all stop complaining.

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h in Bozeman, Montana

70 months ago

Then, why, George, don't YOU get a technical degree? Aren't you a recent AA employee? I don't have the aptitude for the technical field, otherwise I would do that because those positions, mostly held by men, of course are paid more then most AA positions. Perhaps some AA positions are good, but they are difficult to find. I've been in the field for many, many years, and from my experience, more and more is expected with no increase in pay. You have no idea how someone like me, who has a bachelor's degree, which I earned while working full-time, and has worked very, very hard in my field. I know what I've seen and experienced, George, so DON'T tell me that I've been respected and well-paid or any more of your garbage. YOU don't know.

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h in Bozeman, Montana

70 months ago

I meant to say: You have no idea what someone like me, who has a bachelor's degree, which I earned while working full-time, and has worked very, very hard in my field, has gone through.

And finally, it is not easy to trade careers. AA is a career I fell into to the pay the bills. It's difficult to jump ship, possibly get more training/education, which usually costs $$, when you need to work that full-time job!

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George in Narre Warren, Australia

70 months ago

I have a technical degree. I was being facetious. I'm not employed as an AA. An AA is a person who orders stationary, manages diaries, books flights, filing and ad hoc duties like making coffee. I'm just a low level employee. Where I am working an executive assistant would be a rank or two above me. An Administration Assistant would have every opportunity to change careers or be promoted. Many move on to management. If you were to get an Accounting degree, for example, why would a career change be difficult ?

"You have no idea what someone like me, who has a bachelor's degree, which I earned while working full-time, and has worked very, very hard in my field, has gone through."

I'm sure you have been through a lot. I'm sure you are not the only one. What I don't understand is that on one hand you complain about your job. Yet on the other hand you need it becayse it pays so well. When there are people who cannot afford to get by at all. Mabye you are not in such a bad position ? I worked briefly at a small Public Accounting (as a trainee acountant)firm where one of the Senior accountants, that is my boss, had joined the firm as an Office Assistant. Not one other of the Admins or receptionists had a degree in Accounting. I've been told that if you want to advance your career or get out of a rut that an Accounting degree will open the most number of opportunities. Most financial planners and insurance underwriting positions require administration experience.

I think admin must be a broad term. Which is where we're getting confuded. I tend to think of it as offering a few more opportunities than you are all making out.

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George in Narre Warren, Australia

70 months ago

I'm sorry if I have hurt anyone's feelings. I see the Admin positions as a sort of foot in the door. Which is why I can't understand the level of complaints. I am sure you can get stuck and that it would be bad to be stuck. I hope that you can find a way out. Which is why I suggest a technical sort of degree. As it will show your superiors you are serious about your career and have a high level of intelligence. Such as a degree in Accounting, Economics, Math, Computer Science or Engineering.

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George in Narre Warren, Australia

70 months ago

I started posting at a time when I was frustrated I could not get any sort of work experience. Other than basic retail or laboring. I saw admin as a way many people got a foot in the door. Which is why I was frustrated to here you complaining.

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h in Bozeman, Montana

70 months ago

Well, George, I do appreciate those last posts wherein you gave a little more insight & feedback. Yeah, I am stuck and I am frustrated with my "career" right now. I guess the truth of the matter is that I do not like what I do AT ALL. And I feel like a little rat that can't escape the maze :( But I need to hang-in for that tiny bit of cheese that barely pays the bills. You suggest the accounting degree, but that again leads me back to school at which time I can't afford. I'm still paying off my first student loan. I probably need to move to a bigger city for bigger & better opportunities; unfortunately, moves cost money... And round and round I go!!

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springtime in Longview, Texas

70 months ago

Dear George, You have a real problem. Please stay in Australia and make coffee all day long..It probably pays more than admins., in TX or anywhere else in the US, even though we are paid a minimum of $75,000.00 per year, not including benefits..PS The benefits are "awesome". So please bend over and kiss your own As?!..Or your boss. Could get you somewhere, since you have a reason to believe that is what we do!!!

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Patricia in Ottawa, Ontario

69 months ago

I was watching this topic a long time ago, but now I want to get out of it as I haven't followed along with the conversation for a long time, but don't know how. Anybody out there know how I can "unwatch" this topic? I have made sure the "Email me when new comments are posted to this discussion" is unclicked for this reply and perhaps that will do the trick.
Merry Christmas everyone and have a safe and happy New Year.
Patricia
secretaryhelpline.blogspot.com/

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Anne in San Juan Capistrano, California

69 months ago

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

I like your comments. When we are younger (20's and 30's), we strive to get out of the admin field because America teaches us to be ambitious and always striving. When you get a chance to get out of the admin field and into management or even own your own business, you realize how good it was to be an admin. I think making 55-65K supporting an executive is a pretty good living if you live within your means. And Gail, you are so lucky to have had a nice executive for 7 years! That is really key. It's all about the boss. I've had some nasty ones, so I understand how a person could feel unappreciated, etc. I also received my 4 yr degree in business but ended up finding out that I am not "wired" to be a risk taker, manager, business owner, salesperson, etc. I respect the admin role and it's pretty decent working 40-50 hours a week instead of more hours just to find out later on that you wish for more down time. I do have some concern about age discrimination later on.

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Nancy_Michigan in Farmington, Michigan

69 months ago

I made a career change back in 1996 (former hairdresser). I had decided to work as a contract/temp employee and return to school (completed a Bachelor's of Science, 04). Contract/Temporary work used to keep one busy. I liked being able to move around, learning new skills, different companies and management styles. All I had to do was post my resume and they called. But as time went on and the economy worsened my skills, experience and degree don't seem mean much. I recently went on a second interview and have the third interview on Monday. I'm relaxed, yet focused in selling myself no matter what. I'm not timid. It's when I leave that I often replay the interview in my head and realize things said didn't seem quite right. Example. The interviewer (Contract House, a direct hire position) asked, "who are some of the other contract houses you've worked for that you're not showing on your resume?" I hesitated and responded by saying "They're contract houses I'm not particularly fond of the way they conduct themselves so I don't show them." She asked more forcibly, "Well, who are they?" I named two. She replied, "They're our competitors". I wondered what her point was. Why did she need to know who I didn't like? Was this a test? Does anyone have any comments on how you feel about interviews that like putting a person in a negative light? I have this 3rd interview but I'm noticing that during the first two interviews they really wooooed me, now I get emails as my form of communication. Sometimes I have to contact them because they say their going to contact me by a certain time and they don't, so I end up having to follow up with them and ask. I get responses like, sorry I've been really busy, or I think we're having a server issue. Would anyone else see these as RED FLAGS? Even if one is struggling to find work, is a bad job worth it?

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Nancy_Michigan in Farmington, Michigan

69 months ago

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

Thanks,
L

The type of comment you've given is someone who is intentionally throwing a slam. It’s a hostile comment. I've got a degree and I'm telling you, it's all "Bait and Switch". You get the degree but it doesn't mean you're going to get a promotion. What they'll do is increase your responsibilities but not your pay. It's tough for women to get promotions. When someone wants an "Administrative Assistant" what they're saying is they want smart, cheap and will never say no. Listen to the interview. Most of us wear many hats, come in early, bi-lingual, multiple PC skills, an idea how many women are willing to take your job for probably less than what you're making? And you can bet plenty of have that degree. Don't fall for the degree trick. A degree works in business if you get out of college, start working for the company, survive every downsizing, being sold, you name it, to the company over the years. If 30 years later you're still there, you win. And please remember, it's not what you know, it's who you know.

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Nancy_Michigan in Farmington, Michigan

69 months ago

Brenda Love in Sanford, North Carolina said: Your last sentence said it all. You must see yourself as being able to add value to a company.

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

Wish me luck!!!!

How have things turned out?

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

68 months ago

George in Narre Warren, Australia said: I started posting at a time when I was frustrated I could not get any sort of work experience. Other than basic retail or laboring. I saw admin as a way many people got a foot in the door. Which is why I was frustrated to here you complaining.

Here in the states that is not a guarantee, George. This is a hard job that often comes with little thanks. In my experience with the job I was expect to be the den mother to five childish "adults" - follow up and make sure they finish their projects, if they didn't finish their projects then I would have to complete them and let them get the credit, plan run and clean up all events, keep track of calendars and appointments, follow up on their sales leads, update the website, send out press releases, keep up with the marketing collateral, update the marketing material, create the marketing material, set up meetings, take notes during meetings, type up all notes during meetings, send out gifts, order Christmas cards, send out Christmas cards, re-do the filing system that the previous admin had messed up horribly, etc etc etc.

Your rude behavior goes beyond someone who was just "worn out". You were rude to all of the women here. Shame on you.

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Red in Redlands, California

63 months ago

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

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

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

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Red in Redlands, California

63 months ago

Red in Redlands, California said:

Geri Thanks for this

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h in Bozeman, Montana

63 months ago

Yes, thank you :)

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Kimberlee Erica Anthony(Smith, Butler) in Hartford, Connecticut

62 months ago

L. Erica Mims in Ithaca, New York said: .....It's not between you and them, it's between you and GOD, Mother Theresa

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

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

Please dont be upset with me, I've been looking for you for a very, very long time. If you get this message please give me a call at three one five seven two four one two two six, that is my home number. I am looking forward to talking to you.

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Leanora Erica Mims in Ithaca, New York

62 months ago

Hi I will call you tonight--I am so glad that you decided to get in touch with me--I have a few things that you might like--my cell phone number is six zero seven three seven nine three zero three zero. Please call me tomorrow (I left it at work)

I could never be mad or angre with you

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atladmin in Atlanta, Georgia

55 months ago

I agree with many of you here. I have been an admin for over 10 years, the last 8 with the same company. I have attempted to post out to other positions, taken classes, worked with mentors, etc. only to find that it is all political with my company. Regardless of the qualifications,education, etc. if the hiring manager already has a candidate in mind, you have prepped in vain. This type of treatment has led me to feel unappreciated many times. Let's not talk about feeling overworked and taken for granted far too many times. Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful to be employed, however, I still deserve the same respect to at least be considered for advancement. Mind you, I have served 5 years in the Army, completed an Associates degree, Bachelors and now working on my Masters, while many of my superiors have a lot less education and skills. I have accepted that patience and continued efforts to better myself will pay off someday. It is not so much the job that gets to me, but the people....I cringe at the little things I am asked to do, just because...Like someone walking by the copier or fax with documents, to come to me and ask me to do it. Or being told by a new asst director in our first one on one meeting, that maybe someday I would be the assistant to the president of the company....(as if that were my highest goal)..How did he not know I may have been striving to be President someday....and the same director on a later occasion, told me to "Stay in my paygrade"...???? That one took me over the top...those snide remarks are what make it harder for individuals in support roles to move forward with a positive attitude...it only reminds you of what they really think of you....I know that I have much more to offer and my full worth is not being utilized...but I am working on a strategy that I know will beneficial in the long run...To all of you keep your head up, your hard work will pay off one day...

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LaShawn in Herndon, Virginia

52 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

George, men do work in the field of administration. In addition, what do humanities have anything to do with administrative work? For your information I am management assistant and I am finishing up my MBA with a concentration in finance. Administrative work can be more than just being an assistant. It is hard work, managing and running an office. There are times when some assistants are involved in the strategic development of the office. Some of us write policies, standard operating procedures just to make sure that the office is running smoothly. Not only that some of us are responsible for implementing internal controls and analyzing the office budget, finances, administrative and IT functions to improve efficiency. In addition in the United States this is how we spell "discrimination" not "descrimination".

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LaShawn in Herndon, Virginia

52 months ago

George in Narre Warren, Australia said: What respect do they deserve ? they make coffee and write letters ? how does that entitle you to anything ? Some of you just think you are better than other people for no reason and it frustrates you to be treated like a normal person.

Lots of people use AA as a spring board into something better and it is an option that only women have. The stigma, is not against women, but against people who are not showing the initiative to be promoted to a skilled job.

George,

I am really tired of your abusive remarks towards administrative assistants. If you think you can torment us just see how quickly your business will unfold. I think you are just bitter because you are not doing what you want to do in life.

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Melanie in Houston, Texas

49 months ago

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

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

This worked out very well at my last job. We met once each quarter for lunch (and the bosses would rotate who footed the bill for catering the lunch!). We shared resources, ideas, and had guest speakers. It was great to have moral support from people in your same position.

I tried starting that at my new company and the women looked at me like I had grown a third head. Eventually I gave up. I guess it just depends on the culture of each company.

It's still a great suggestion though!!

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Wilma

49 months ago

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

I have been an administrative professional all my life and I don't think that it was beneath me or my education to do this job. YES! I understand your frustration because employers don't want you to move up the ladder even though they know of your great potential. However, look at it this way, they have to keep their best where they are because if they don't, they want have anyone there to make them shine.

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Wilma

49 months ago

Wilma said: I have been an administrative professional all my life and I don't think that it was beneath me or my education to do this job. YES! I understand your frustration because employers don't want you to move up the ladder even though they know of your great potential. However, look at it this way, they have to keep their best where they are because if they don't, they want have anyone there to make them shine.

I was recently in a position where I worked circles around my boss and really started to shine. You know what they did? They took all of my talents and work and tried to give him credit and when they thought that I was looking "too" good, they found a way to get rid of me. Why? In order to save his job because of the economy. After all my hard work making that program run smoothly, and my friendship and help, he slammed the door right in my face. I see it as a compliment to my talents because if I was lazy and couldn't do anything, they would have kept me because they seemed to like slovenly, unprofessional, gossipers, and liars that keep the company in an uproar constantly.

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Wilma

49 months ago

Karen in Denver, Colorado said: I think you all need to stop crabbing!

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

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

The folks at the top where I worked was only goal-oriented for their little "pets". I talked my head off trying to get them to see my potentials and what I could do for the company but they put their feet on my neck every time I tried. I took every management and supervisory class they offered. As a matter of fact, they even denied me one of the supervisory classes. I even went back to college and maintained a 3.92 GPA, but I think that made some of them scared that maybe I would take their position when I graduated. In some companies being goal-oriented works, but not in all. And it especially doesn't work when there isn't any fair treatment. Sorry, not ragging but I lost my job in January 2010, because they just didn't want me around anymore. Sometimes your great potential causes you to lose your job, especially in this economy where everyone is back-stabbing everyone else to stay afloat.

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kbklinger@comcast.net in Denver, Colorado

49 months ago

Hi Wilma,
I am sorry that you lost your job, doesn't looking for a job suck!
I have since found a job as the office manager for a non-profit and boy oh boy it's a different world that's for sure. I totally get what your are saying about "favorites" and the "back stabbing". No matter where you work that will happen we just need to watch our backs way more than we used to. The stinkin' economy certainly doesn't help. It's a hard way to learn that the "dog eat dog" world really exists. Although I currently have a job (under paid and under employed) at least I'm glad I have one but I never stop looking. My suggestion to you (even though you sound like you are and intelligent person and know what you're doing)is just hang in there and don't settle. Figure out what you want to do and follow the dream. One never knows it could be right around the corner. Hang in there!

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cobi in Elmsford, New York

48 months ago

And can you believe there is a site where people are complaining that they cannot fill administrative assistant jobs because the applicants are all stupid.

www.gaebler.com/Hiring-an-Administrative-Assistant.htm

People should just spam this site with venom.

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cobi in Elmsford, New York

48 months ago

Janet in Cleveland, Ohio said: Maryanne--why do you have to be so condescending...telling her to get her anger under control. Sounds like you have had to deal w/ that same issue, I'll bet. She is just venting her frustration on this forum. I'm SURE she doesn't go to work and drop the "f bomb". You are one of those people we've all worked with who holds herself above everyone else, as if you've never had a bad day!! I can't stand people like you. Why can't you just give this woman a break and let her vent? I feel the same way sometimes. I have to get coffee...and it's 2008. He can't get his own coffee as he walks past the coffee machine? But, again, you had to cut her down w/ your rude, superior remards instead of just either letting it go or empathizing w/ this woman.

Don't even bother commenting on my blog. I'm not interested in your haughty, uptight opinion. Perhaps YOU should look at why you're so cold...and we'll look at why we're so angy. K?

Couldn't agree more. We don't need anger management, you need to stop pissing us off. I am serious. Employers sit there and argue with you about why they think you are wrong. And even after you get proven right they still don't admit it. It wouldn't be so bad if we didn't live in a country full of morons like yourself who probably vote for the tea party (because you are stupid and can't see how it is against your interests. You think A) they are going to restore some sort of victorian morality to the world, or B) fix it so you can become a millionaire yourself.) This is where this country is headed. All ass-licking hypocrits get ahead while the rest of us get kicked out of our jobs to be replaced by people we are a lot smarter than.

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Executive Assist-SR in Rockville, Maryland

46 months ago

Hello everyone. I must say I'm an executive assistant/personal assistant to the CEO and owner of a company. I am also the office manager of 50 staff. With my many tasks I've been looking for an admin assistant for about a year now! I worked with temp agencies and the candidates could not follow directions (after keeping many on board for a few months; to give them a chance to become acclimated to the office style). It was as if they were temping to just get a paycheck. I spoke to the other executive assistants to the other companies in my building and they had the same experience. Believe me I am as shocked as the next person. Just remember because of the recession, a lot of people of "posing" as "experienced" admin assistants. As the Executive Assistant to the CEO and truly his right hand person, I will not settle. I don't mind teaching/training someone who wants to learn the job.

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Sus in New York, New York

46 months ago

Anybody know anyone know the culture, etc. at MJE, or Manhattan Jewish Experience in New York City. Any information would assist.

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hwatson in Washington, District of Columbia

44 months ago

L. Erica Mims in Ithaca, New York said: Good Luck! It's a great idea to start your own business. What is very helpful, is to read a very good book, before you start, Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office. If you go to Amazon.com and type in the title, you'll be able to find the cost, etc. Also there might be a lot of government grants that could help you. Don't forget to use all the experience that you've accumulated in the various jobs that you have held.

You'll probably find that all that hard work all those years, will come in very handy as you work very hard for yourself. Another great book is Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow, again Amazon.com would be the best place to find this book.

Take care, and good luck.

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office is a GREAT book!! And perfect for this situation

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Feeling Stuck in Admin in Arlington, Virginia

40 months ago

WOW..you hit this right on the head. I am in the same boat as you spent 40k a year for a "good private school" to be stuck in a position that is below me and I am financially imprisoned by it. I will fight for the lifestyle and career I want but as of late it seems like this I am stuck and I HATE IT!!! I'm college educated and yearn to be higher educated but how to do that when I can not afford to take out a loan and I have no skill to make me stand out from graduate school competition because I'm just an administrative assistant.

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Jonathan in Caledonia, Ontario

39 months ago

It's nice to know that I am not the only person who feels trapped in the administrative assistant world. I also have an Honours BA degree. For the last 4 years, I have bounced around from one administrative assistant contract position to another at the university I currently work at. Now, my resume is very heavily administrative-based, and I feel like I have cornered myself. I thought this would be a stepping-stone for me, but it seems that employers only see me as an administrative assistant now.

I would like to let everyone here know that this problem is not exclusive to women. I did not even apply to my current job as a receptionist/administrative assistant - I applied to an Intellectual Property Administrator position in the same department. I received a call from the hiring manager that I would not be invited to an interview, and instead she offered me the receptionist position, which is covering a sick leave until the end of the year. I find the job extremely demeaning - some of my many menial tasks involve watering plants and making coffee for executives. My supervisor is by far the worst micro-manager I have come across in the 10 years I have been employed and she treats/speaks to me like I am inferior to her. I know I have to make a drastic career change because being an administrative assistant is not for me at all. Some people enjoy it and I am happy for them, but quite frankly, I find it mind-numbing to the point where I literally feel like a zombie by the end of the day. I'm beginning to feel hopeless...

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Melissa M in Berkeley, California

38 months ago

I just realized and need to keep repeating to myself that I deserve much more than administrative work. Not that I'm displeased with my workplace or colleagues, it is actually all-in-all a great place to work. However, as an example of my continuing frustration, I just got back from a week and half long vacation, and knew that as soon as I got back to the office, hardly anyone would be asking about my vacation, and just asking for things that needed to be done. Sure enough, only two people out of a staff of 8 asked how my time was, and then they only had 2 seconds to listen. Then the requests started pouring in.

Mostly, I am very tired of being continually asked to do things. Everyone has a now deadline, and I am in a position that is hard for me to say "not now". I need to keep repeating to myself that I value my skills and knowledge, I am a worthwhile person and deserve to express my talents, and get paid for it! I am interested in a lot of things, mostly art related, and I long to work in a creative, compassionate environment. Change begins from within.

Does anyone else relate?

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