According to Wikipedia Administrative Professional Day is the last Wednesday in April. Officially the festivities last the entire week, known as Administrative Professional Week. Very befitting, as I think
these individuals are what allow organizations big and small to run smoothly, to consistently move forward and can make you look really REALLY good.
Started back in 1952 by Harry F. Klenfuss and originally known as Secretary’s day; it was touted as a way to value and exalt the importance of the position (really it was a marking ploy to entice more women to enter into the role, as the hours were long and they could pay them less). Now a days, we seem, for the most part to have moved away from designating this as a “pink job” since both men and women make up the varied demographic of the title (My education in Social Work does not allow me to have this go without mentioning).
Its interesting that this day of appreciation would be created during the era that is so popularly depicted through the television show Mad Men; full of sexist attitudes, current day illegal working practices and frequent jaw dropping reminders of how far we have come as a society. Thankfully, long gone are the Don Draper days of making coffee as an assigned duty for Administrative Professionals.
The path traveled in this profession is interestingly captured through its titles: Secretary back in 1952, to Professional Secretary in 1981 and the most recent, Administrative Professional in 2000. These changes speak to a shift of both progress & hard earned respect that has brought the role to what it is today. It is my $0.02 (which in my world is about 2k in go2girl dollars of course) that the role that the Virtual Assistant has played in taking the torch and bringing the profession to the next level is a critical one.
As the Administrative professional role matures from its first baby steps into the virtual world almost 20 years ago it is important to remember how far it has come. Positioning of Administrative Professionals as business owners themselves allows for the creating of even ground from which to build a working alliance. Gone are the days of employer and employee; instead replaced with the harmony of working in tandem. The over arching umbrella that secures the success of working with an administrative professional is the nature of the relationship; one of collaboration and partnership. These individuals (like yours truly ;oP) are dedicated to the success of the companies, business owners and entrepreneurs they work with while reaping the benefits entrepreneurship.
Ask anyone successful in business today about how they got there and the refrain is always the same, a good administrative professional, whether virtual or traditional, is more valuable then there weight in gold and truly a foundational component in the success model of any enterprise.
I dutifully celebrate this day in honour of those mostly women more then half a century ago that laid the foundation for my business today and it’s a great way to get into the mood for the upcoming Virtual Assistants day on May 17th.
Now go on, do something a little special for the administrative professional in your life. Perhaps you can let them off a little early, a gift certificate is nice or just a consistent show of appreciation through genuine gestures of gratitude; however you chose to do it make sure they know how valued they are.
If you already have an administrative professional working with you, what are the things you are delegating to them? What would you like to delegate but don’t know if you can find the right person? I would love to hear how you guys chose to employee such flexible yet specialized individuals.
If you and your business don’t have an admin professional of some kind (hint hint like me!) working for you, what are you waiting for?