They’re the ones who are always on top of things, well informed, organized. They’re dependable, trustworthy, honest. They know your family, know how you like your coffee and know exactly what to do in almost every single situation, always remaining calm and focused. They’re so fab, there’s an entire week dedicated to them.
Administrative Assistants are so much more than “assistants” – I truly do not believe that word describes them accurately. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been one myself, or maybe because I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside many great ones in the past, but I feel they’re the glue that holds everything together, totally invaluable and irreplaceable. A good Administrative Assistant possesses a skill set that encompasses a bit of everyone else’s within an office; they’re incredibly well-rounded and can step in at any given time when needed. Performing beyond their role is quite common; being known as the go-to person at the office should be included in the formal job description.
While living in Ohio, I worked with a woman who has been the Executive Administrative Assistant for the agency for over 30 years. She’d seen executive directors come and go, watched the agency expand around her, yet she held her position and performed with grace and precision each and every day. I had the pleasure of working alongside her for five years, during which I gained more useful knowledge and skill than I’d ever learned inside a classroom (not to negate the value of my college education, of course – but it’s true.) She was so punctual, organized, with it – she was familiar with just about every single thing happening within our non-profit organization that spanned 4 counties and 11 separate sites in Southeastern Ohio. She was a positive influence on me, and even at what feels like a lifetime away from my old home and job, I’ll be sad to hear of her final day at the office. She was nearing retirement when I resigned in June 2011; she’s the kind of woman who will work until she simply can’t anymore, just to make sure things get done the right way. She wasn’t just an “assistant” – she kept things going, spearheaded major projects, kept us all in place. She’s absolutely irreplaceable. Her lessons and work ethic continue to influence me daily; her voice rings still rings softly in my ears.
If you’re an Administrative Assistant, be proud of the impact you make and those you help day in, day out. If you’ve hired an amazing Administrative Assistant who makes your office go ’round, thank him or her right now.
And enjoy the weekend!