By Karen Porter
The job description written out for you or given to you on that piece of paper when you started in your administrative position is what it is; reality is every administrative professional’s true job description. The typical day of an administrative professional is not always what’s on that piece of paper.
Here’s what some administrative assistants and executive assistants say is a “typical day” as an administrative professional in their industries.
“Part of the reason I love this job so much…there’s no such thing as a typical day! One day, I could be spending half the day arranging meetings and the other half producing a PowerPoint presentation for my boss. The next day I could be working with US Senators’ staff members on a federal appropriation request and then ‘catering’ an informal reception for college staff hosted by the president. Everyday is different.” –Executive Assistant to the President/Board Secretary in a community college
“Return phone calls, schedule meetings, type correspondence, greet clients, schedule travel.” –Executive Assistant in engineering/land planning industry
“Calendar management, routing phone calls, contacting team members for deliverables, running reports.” –Administrative Assistant III in mortgage loan servicing industry
“In this office, a typical day is rare. Everything depends on what is happening in the moment. We also do a lot of speaking engagements across the state during the day. When it is quiet, I work on speeches and reorganizing the schedule.” –Executive Assistant to the Lieutenant Governor in state government
“Every day is very different. I handle many aspects from arranging meetings, to acting as a liaison between my boss and external and internal contacts, to many forms of project management, and numerous routine administrative functions.” –Administrative Assistant in education
“Placing phone calls on my managers behalf, arranging meetings on his calendar, and various projects that arise on a daily basis.” –Executive Assistant in entertainment/music industry
“Early in the morning I need to check my bosses calendars, answer seven phone lines, coordinate meetings & conference calls, check in/check out of equipment, process expense reports, maintain a website team site, maintain office supplies inventory & process the paperwork for payment.” –Administrative Assistant in hospitality industry
“Payroll, payables, putting out fires, answering questions, etc.” –Administrative Services Manager in a manufacturing industry
“I do not have a typical day. It varies. My main focus is processing and assisting with contracts.” –Legal Assistant in corporate law legal department
“Organized chaos.” –Administrative Assistant in healthcare industry
“Send and answer e-mails and correspondence; answer phones; set meetings; keep calendars; order office supplies; run financial reports; filing; train staff on financial software program; Excel; Word; PowerPoint; Publisher; Visio; Outlook; PeopleSoft; Concur.” –Executive Assistant, Christian ministry
“Everyday is different.” –Executive Assistant in a medical laboratory
“Process incoming mail (snail mail and email); fill in and distribute reports; process billing for the day; intermittent customer service (lunch eaten on the run); spend the afternoon finishing up morning tasks, if necessary, then spend the rest of the day working in my archives” –Admin Assistant in publishing
“I work on various tasks and projects, anything from preparing proposals to assisting with organizing events. Constant communication flow, meetings, liaison between staff, single point of contact, new staff orientation schedules, some site coordination (we have five sites), program manual preparation, in addition to the usual AA tasks of reports, scheduling meetings, correspondence, filing, etc…” –Administrative Assistant in nonprofit community mental health services industry
“I do a lot of scheduling of meetings, travel arrangements, order computers, processing expense reports. It can vary day to day.” –Executive Assistant in Biotech industry
“No typical days!!” –Executive Administrative Assistant in institutional real estate
“Start with e-mail, usually requests for me to do something. I maintain keys and card access. Maintain employee calendar, mail, timesheets, equipment repair requests, IT requests, job postings, Property, training, etc., etc.,” –Executive Assistant II in transportation industry
“I always check my manager’s e-mail and calendar when I arrive at work in order to prepare for the day’s events. I also keep a list of task and/or requests and check them off after completion. My duties vary from day to day as well as the people I work for/with.” –Executive Assistant in retail industry
“Check email/voicemail; plan, prepare, & set up meetings; code and submit invoices for payment; track and make updates for all processes, capital expenditures, budget activity, new employee/contractor setup, contracts, recognition gift giving, organizational & floor plan changes. (Varies day to day).” –Administrative Assistant at a direct selling company
“Depends on my VP’s schedule, if he’s very busy, then I’ll be very busy.” –Executive Administrative Assistant in utility industry
“I do a lot of financial & statistical type of work, travel arrangements for my executive, schedule / attend meetings, I coordinate all contractors within our organization.” –Project Coordinator in software industry
“Extensive meeting planning, travel arrangements, process expense reports and follow up on payment.” –Executive Administrative Assistant in pharmaceutical industry
Administrative Professionals: Add your typical day below in the comment section.
It may also be helpful to readers if you add your job title or function and industry too since a typical day and job description information can vary per function and industry.