By Karen Porter
The phrase administrative professional can be an official title or a general title associated with administrative support staff. Sometimes informally called admin professionals (the short version of administrative professionals), these are the individuals who are the administrative support system of corporate America and globally. You’ll find them using titles in the workplace such as administrative assistant, administrative secretary, executive administrative assistant, executive assistant, senior administrative assistant and even office manager. Those are some of the common titles of administrative professionals. However, admin titles are specific to individual companies. That’s just a small sample of administrative professional titles.
Administrative professionals perform work that includes writing business correspondence, developing and maintaining paper and electronic filing systems, managing individual projects, conducting research online and offline, creating and maintaining databases, scheduling for managers and executives, maintaining calendar systems for individuals and departments, ordering office supplies and maintaining inventories, leasing office equipment, working with vendors, answering and handling telephone calls, creating spreadsheets and reports, planning and coordinating small and large meetings and events, making travel arrangements, and much, much more.
Administrative professionals often are highly trained professionals who know how to use computer software extensively along with multiple office equipment. They usually are good communicators, able to adapt to different personalities and work styles of managers, executives and coworkers whom they assist and or work with.
Administrative support staff are highly composed professionals; after all, it is administrative professionals who greet and assist company visitors and customers as well as managers, executives and their other staff. Administrative professionals are frontline personnel and backend personnel. Often admins offer the first impression of their companies to customers and visitors when they greet, direct or assist them. Often they also offer the last impression of the company to these same folks since they usually assist or interact with them as they depart. In that respect, administrative professionals can be the “voice” and “face” of a company to visitors and customers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, secretaries and administrative assistants held about 4 million jobs in 2010, ranking among the largest occupations in the U.S. economy. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm)
Administrative professionals work in many industries ranging from construction to finance to hospitality to much more. Many administrative support professionals support multiple managers or entire departments, even entire small companies, while others work for individual executives.
If you are an administrative professional or you are thinking about becoming an administrative assistant or executive assistant, then you may be interested in my “best resources for admins” — a large packet of educational and informational resources to help you in your administrative job and role.