The Administrative Professional: Start here. Go Anywhere!

Apr 6, 2012 | Career Development

Our local community college has a saying they use on their promotional materials: Start here. Go anywhere.  As an administrative professional, I have always seen the administrative profession in the same way.  The career potential both within the administrative profession specifically as well as beyond it is so vast it is hard to truly comprehend sometimes.  It’s easy to forget all of the options that exists for us to expand our careers beyond our current position.  With the celebration of Administrative Professionals Week® later this month, I wanted to get you thinking about all of the potential that exists for you as an administrative professional and challenge you to consider where your own career path is leading you…or where it could.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals ® (IAAP®) theme for the 2012 Administrative Professionals Day® is: “Admins, the pulse of the office.”  This April marks the 60th anniversary of the celebration of Administrative Professionals Day®.  A lot has changed in our profession over the past 60 years. In an article entitled, “The Evolution of Duties,” published by IAAP, they compare how the typical duties of the administrative profession have evolved over the past two decades.1 The duties of decades past included handling clerical duties, supporting one manager, taking minutes at meetings, and being more of a low-level assistant.  Today’s administrative support role serves at a much higher level.  You must be prepared to manage projects, lead process improvements, master integrated computer software applications, support multiple executives, and work as a partner, team player, and contributing part of the management team. These new expectations and job responsibilities open up entirely new career paths for motivated administrative professionals who want to continue advancing their careers and pursuing new challenges.  Some of those careers include project management, information technology, process improvement, LEED certification, event management, supervisory and managerial roles, virtual assistance, marketing and public relations, communications and public affairs…the list is endless.

The administrative professionals who recognize the potential in themselves and their career can capitalize on their administrative roots as they successfully transition into these new professions.  As an admin, you are the pulse of the office which gives you a unique perspective and valuable insight into how your company runs and where you fit into its success.  When you apply that knowledge and master the technology and tools you already use, take advantage of learning new skills whenever you can, and ask for more responsibilities in the areas of your strengths, you are preparing yourself for a logical transition into a new field when opportunity knocks.

I challenge you to start thinking about where you’ve been throughout your career, where you are today, and where you want to take your career in the months and years ahead.  The administrative profession is one of limitless potential if you choose to use it as the training ground for even bigger and better opportunities to come.

Our respective career paths and desired outcomes may differ, but the potential for career advancement and fulfillment in our administrative profession are still the same.  Whether you feel like your career is stuck in a rut or you simply want to explore additional ways to keep your career positively moving forward, it’s never too late to start!  You can create the career you’ve always imagined.  Administrative Assistance: Start here. Go anywhere!

Download a copy of our FREE report: “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” here.

© 2012 Julie Perrine International, LLC

[i] “An Evolution of Duties,” International Association of Administrative Professionals, accessed March 1, 2012,

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